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Lowest Peak in the Park - aka Into the Owlsheads (Nov 2021)

I have no better way to describe this trip than Michel Digonnet has so expertly done in Hiking Death Valley. One read of this, and I was sold - it was time to visit the Owlshead Mountains.

At the south end of Death Valley, between the imposing Panamints and the mysterious Avawatz Mountains, the land gathers up into a colorful aggregate of low ranges collectively known as the Owlshead Mountains. Believed to be the eroded and partly collapsed remnant of a once much taller range, they consist of a roughly circular arrangement of hills surrounding two dry lakes. The name is said to have been inspired by the resemblance of Owlhead Peak's outline to the head of an owl. It is a coincidence that decades later, after the area was fully mapped, the shape of the range also turned out to look like an owl's face, the two dry lakes depicting the eyes.

Far from main lines of travel, accessed mostly by long primitive roads, and eclipsed by more formidable neighboring ranges, the Owlshead Mountains rank among the least visited in the park, which makes for superbly secluded hiking. Because it takes so long to drive to the few areas accessible by car, and even longer to walk anywhere else, to amortize your driving investment it is best to come here for a few days.

Total immersion in the Owlshead Mountains is pure bliss - you may well encounter more wild burros than humans.

Wandering Rocks and Lost Lake - Owlshead #1 Wandering Rocks and Lost Lake - Owlsheads #1 - I have no better way to describe the impetus for this trip than Michel Digonnet has so expertly done in Hiking Death Valley. One read of this, and I was sold - it was time to visit the Owlshead Mountains. At the south end of Death Valley, between the imposing…
Lowest Peak in the Park - Owlsheads #2 Lowest Peak in the Park - Owlsheads #2 - Thankfully, the wind tunnel that can occur through the Lost Lake valley didn't materialize overnight, and we slept reasonably well, with the entire place to ourselves. I was up - as usual - just before sunrise, and the light was fantastic. Unfortunately, I'd forgotten that I'd changed the settings on…
Low on Water, We Split Up in the Desert - Owlsheads #3 Low on Water, We Split Up in the Desert - Owlsheads #3 - One of the things that surprised us when we climbed into the tent just after 6:30pm, was that there wasn't much wind up on the top of the platform. Not that we were complaining. But it wouldn't last. By midnight, it was windy and we'd both put in our ear…
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