Ascent of Towne Benchmark on 1999-02-27

Climber: Richard Carey

Date:Saturday, February 27, 1999
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Towne Benchmark
    Elevation:7287 ft / 2221 m

Ascent Trip Report

The benchmark is north of Towne Pass for which it is named. The pass was named in 1860 by Dr. Darwin French for Captain Towne, a member of the party that crossed Death Valley in 1849. (Gudde, p. 342, Hanna, p. 332)

In Death Valley National Park. No permit is required for day hikes in the park. Information on back country camping and regulations is available from the Park Superintendant, Death Valley, Ca. 92328. (760) 786-2331

The benchmark can be reach by hiking northwest from Towne Pass. There is a large parking area here by a water tank. Start up the slope to the northwest to the ridge line which is marked by steel posts next to a benchmark every 1/4 mile or so. This was the old Death Valley Monument boundary before the expansion and change to National Park status. Follow the ridge north and then west to the benchmark on a prominent high hill. The benchmark is a short distance west of the highest part of the summit. The ascent takes about 2 3/4 hours and is 3.5 miles with an elevation gain of about 2600 ft. adding in several dips in the ridge. There is a light plane wreck visible down the slope southwest of the summit just east of point 7090 ft. shown on the topo map. 2/99 RLC
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