After considerable time spent putting it together, I am now releasing my report on Middle Slab Canyon. Slab Canyon is quite a special place for me personally, so I’m glad that I can share some photographs of it with you. This is an advanced canyon. There are sections that should only be done by canyoneers. But I tried to showcase the parts of the canyon that an advanced hiker could see if using the correct bypass routes. Someday I hope to get back to see the upper canyon. It would be a very difficult endeavor. Middle Slab Canyon is currently listed as report #90 on the main page.
In addition, it turns out that my special feature page on the major natural bridges of Death Valley is already outdated. A 9th major natural bridge has been identified somewhere in the park. But I probably won’t be able to hike out to it until the Fall. Possibly sooner, but it depends on the heat.
I’ve got a brand new book to read sitting here in front of me. And it is 452 pages long. The new book is entitled Hiking the Mojave Desert: The Natural and Cultural Heritage of Mojave National Preserve by Michel Digonnet. Those of you who are long time visitors to the site know that Michel’s two books on hiking Death Valley had a huge impact on me and were basically what encouraged me to get out there and explore undocumented areas of Death Valley. It looks like his newest effort will be inspiring me to visit the Mojave Preserve for the first time in the near future. I am going to post a review of Michel’s new book after I get done reading it over the course of the next week or two. Until then, I just wanted to tell you about it and let you know about it being released. Here is the overview taken from the back cover.–
THE THIRD LARGEST DESERT PARK in the country, Mojave National Preserve protects 1.6 million acres of spectacular arid lands at the heart of the Mojave Desert. Part of the celebrated Great Basin province, it is a spellbinding region of mighty mountain ranges rising thousands of feet above vast inland basins. Famous for the majestic Kelso Dunes, the Devils Playground, and the world’s largest Joshua tree forest, the preserve also holds considerable natural and cultural wealth, including a wild range of landscapes, striking plant communities, and a rich mining past. Above all, it is a land of contrasts, alternatively forlorn and vibrant with life, stark and colorful, blanketed in snow in the winter, awash with wildflowers in the spring, and scorching hot in the summer. Being high-desert country and generally a little cooler than Death Valley, topographically less rugged, and far less visited, it offers a tremendous potential for comparatively easier hiking in complete solitude.
This book is an invitation to desert lovers to explore this little-known gem. Meticulously researched, it provides valuable information about the geology, mining history, wildlife, and botany of the beautiful region. Illustrated with plenty of custom topographic maps, photographs, and hand drawings, it describes more than 80 hiking destinations as varied as rugged canyons and lofty summits, salt flats and eerie volcanic plateaus, lush springs and pine forests, cactus gardens, rock art, and a healthy collection of mines, camps, and ghost towns.
Yesterday I finally finished up my special report on Death Valley’s Natural Bridges. With the discovery of four major natural bridges in the past four years alone (one each year), I wanted to do a report that gathered up all of the bridges and information on them into one place. So I worked hard on putting this special report together. You can read it here or by clicking on the 5th link down from the top on the site’s main page.
My tree searching and bushwhacking adventures resumed last week in both Humboldt Redwoods State Park and Redwood National Park. My main search targets were Icarus and Orion, the 4th and 8th tallest trees in the world. To read about my incredible adventures and success in finding these trees, check out my Hyperion Tree Search page right here. The main link to this page is kept on my Introduction Page. Scroll down to Part 4 to read about this most current bushwhacking trip.
My report for Lower Slab Canyon has now been published and is up on the site. It is currently listed as trip report #89. About four months ago, I had previously published it for one day. But then I took it back offline due to concern for the safety of others who might anonymously read my reports and try to hike out to this area. Thus, I removed the maps and made a few adjustments to the report so that the location was not obvious and that all hiking contained within the report could be done relatively safely. A follow-up report will be released on Middle Slab Canyon sometime next week, which will feature stunning narrows and breathtaking views.
My newest trip report for Death Valley which I have just released is for Dry Bone’s Main Side Canyon. This was an overnight backpacking trip to a very hard-to-reach canyon that was previously undocumented and had some amazing scenery within. Be sure and check it out. Dry Bone MSC is currently listed as report #73 on the site.