Cougar Buttes or Fissure mountain trail Johnson Valley

WheelinMatt

Member
Anyone interested in exploring either of these areas one of these days? Fridays are best for me but would do a Sat or Sun also. I just got back to Palm Springs for the winter and will be hitting trails probably every week so let me know who wants to hit some trails in the Johnson valley, 29Palms, Joshua Tree, Bradshaw trail and surrounding areas!

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JimLee

Active Member
I might be able to drag @Sylvester with me as well, if the timing is right and he wants to make the trip down there. We've been planning a DV excursion as well up this way (Defense mine for sure, maybe some others) if you are interested. Ive run into a couple of snags but I think Ill be done in a couple of weeks, we'll see.
 

WheelinMatt

Member
Let me know when your up and running and I’ll be happy to go wheelin! I’ve only been to Death Valley once and have wanted to go back ever since, I could be persuaded to pull my camper up there for a couple days of exploring!
This Friday, meeting a Jeep buddy to run Fissure mountain trail in Johnson valley as a desert warm-up trail. I’ve been wanting to run Fissure mountain for a while so I’m pretty stoked. If anyone wants to join let me know 🤙🏽
 

Sylvester

Caught the Bug
I might be able to drag @Sylvester with me as well, if the timing is right and he wants to make the trip down there. We've been planning a DV excursion as well up this way (Defense mine for sure, maybe some others) if you are interested. Ive run into a couple of snags but I think Ill be done in a couple of weeks, we'll see.
For sure I'll jump in
 

Samuelh3

Member
I've yet to spend any time exploring in Death Valley. I might be down for this in Jan. The holiday schedule is insane.
 

JimLee

Active Member
Right on. Right now Defense mine is almost a certain, as we get closer we can discuss some other possibilities such as:

Pleasant canyon loop (watch this video
, @Sylvester you need to determine if you are comfortable with taking your JT down the shelf road and around "chicken rock". I do this loop 4 or 5 times a year but you have more wheelbase to get around those corners).

We've also got Goler wash to Mengel pass (pretty easy with a couple of short moderate areas but scenic).

There are only a few trails inside the park that I would consider "wheeling", Lippincott mine road (possibly impassable and one washout that is terrifying as you have to run two tires over a gap on a narrow shelf road inches away from a several hundred foot cliff, I don't know if I can do it now that I'm running 2" wider) and Titus canyon (easy, but amazing scenery). There's also a few others that I haven't tried out yet.

Up the 395 on the edge of DV we've got Sierra Gordo mine/ ghost town (maintained road, usually) and Saline Salt tram road, possible my favorite trail close to home. And also Reward mine, but you won't be able to drive the mine on more than around 2.5 to 3" of lift ( I wont fit anymore, and honestly driving the mine is kind of the highlight of the trip IMO).

Almost all of these trails we consider day trips, some long days some short, we might be able to chain a couple together but things are pretty spread out and you'd be cutting into any time you have to get out and enjoy the scenery, old mines, town sites, etc. As we get closer we can discuss if you guys want to do a day trip or turn it into a couple of days. If we can put together an itinerary before hand I can possibly pre run a couple of these trails, we had some serious rain and massive floods recently and the condition of most of these trails is unknown to me right now.
 

WheelinMatt

Member
Those are all on my to do list! I saw a video the other day of a group doing the Pleasant canyon loop earlier this month so that trail is definitely doable!
I’ve spent only 2 days in Death Valley a couple years ago by myself in my Powerwagon and trailer, so no real wheelin but it was absolutely amazing and I can’t wait to go back! 6FCD3F9D-A6C1-46F9-90A3-343C9BD1DC11.jpeg
 

Sylvester

Caught the Bug
Right on. Right now Defense mine is almost a certain, as we get closer we can discuss some other possibilities such as:

Pleasant canyon loop (watch this video
, @Sylvester you need to determine if you are comfortable with taking your JT down the shelf road and around "chicken rock". I do this loop 4 or 5 times a year but you have more wheelbase to get around those corners).

We've also got Goler wash to Mengel pass (pretty easy with a couple of short moderate areas but scenic).

There are only a few trails inside the park that I would consider "wheeling", Lippincott mine road (possibly impassable and one washout that is terrifying as you have to run two tires over a gap on a narrow shelf road inches away from a several hundred foot cliff, I don't know if I can do it now that I'm running 2" wider) and Titus canyon (easy, but amazing scenery). There's also a few others that I haven't tried out yet.

Up the 395 on the edge of DV we've got Sierra Gordo mine/ ghost town (maintained road, usually) and Saline Salt tram road, possible my favorite trail close to home. And also Reward mine, but you won't be able to drive the mine on more than around 2.5 to 3" of lift ( I wont fit anymore, and honestly driving the mine is kind of the highlight of the trip IMO).

Almost all of these trails we consider day trips, some long days some short, we might be able to chain a couple together but things are pretty spread out and you'd be cutting into any time you have to get out and enjoy the scenery, old mines, town sites, etc. As we get closer we can discuss if you guys want to do a day trip or turn it into a couple of days. If we can put together an itinerary before hand I can possibly pre run a couple of these trails, we had some serious rain and massive floods recently and the condition of most of these trails is unknown to me right now.
I would give Chicken Rock a Look, not too much I have backed out from... defense Mine 100% Want to do that and Lippincott Road again I am longer should be okay.
 

Sylvester

Caught the Bug
Pretty sure I have heard of 4 door Toyota's doing this trail, Supposed to be Harder & tighter than Black Bear Pass. I found Black Bear really Fun and Easy. I would enjoy this Trail when we going?
 

JimLee

Active Member
Yea, there's nothing really hard about the Pleasant canyon loop, there's the narrow shelf road and Chicken rock but that's really only a couple of miles or less of the trail. Chicken rock I have to say is scarier than it looks on video, but that's just because you are off camber and looking over a steep drop off as you try and round the corner. Seen some pics and videos of people who have rolled off chicken rock but they seem to be mostly people who shouldn't have been there in the first place and rental Jeeps out of DV. With the traffic over the years the big chunk of bedrock on the inside of the turn at chicken rock has worn down a bit, and I suspect someone has taken a jackhammer out there and knocked it down a bit (probably the NPS, they are the ones that destroyed the gatekeeper waterfall in Goler wash). Depending on which way you run the loop there is a pretty steep ascent/descent shelf road with a bunch of hairpin turns at the bottom of South Park canyon, but it's really no big deal, maybe a couple of 4 point turns for longer wheelbase vehicles. The trail on both sides of Rogers pass is really steep loose shale, but you just crawl up/down it. The top of Pleasant canyon can get very deeply rutted from clowns out there mudding after the snows melt, but there's plenty of room to straddle the ruts. You just don't want to hit this section when there's snow pack and can't see the ruts, my buddy almost rolled his TJ up there getting into a snow hidden deep rut.
 

TrailHunter

Hooked
I ran Pleasant Canyon loop a couple weeks ago.. Starting at Ballarat. Its One of my favorites. We hit some snow and some mud.. there was a washout from the rain earlier in the week.. just be careful and take it slow on the shelf road around chicken rock.
 

JimLee

Active Member
Here’s that video I mentioned of a group running Pleasant canyon loop and Chicken rock earlier this month, looks pretty easy

The first 19 minutes of that video are actually Defense Mine. Looks like someone pulled out the big boulder that used to be in the middle of what they were referring to as the "bathtub", so tired of these big trail runs (and clubs) modifying the trails out here.
I ran Pleasant Canyon loop a couple weeks ago.. Starting at Ballarat. Its One of my favorites. We hit some snow and some mud.. there was a washout from the rain earlier in the week.. just be careful and take it slow on the shelf road around chicken rock.
Is the trail still really overgrown by the creek on the lower end of Pleasant? Or did all the PV days runs clear it out again?
 
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TrailHunter

Hooked
The first 19 minutes of that video are actually Defense Mine. Looks like someone pulled out the big boulder that used to be in the middle of what they were referring to as the "bathtub", so tired of these big trail runs (and clubs) modifying the trails out here.

Is the trail still really overgrown by the creek on the lower end of Pleasant? Or did all the PV days runs clear it out again?
It wasnt bad.. but you will get pinstriped a bit.. the scenery is worth it though.
 

JimLee

Active Member
It wasnt bad.. but you will get pinstriped a bit.. the scenery is worth it though.
Oh, I've already got mine, just wanted to forewarn others. One of my dipshit buddies that bought a Bronco still bitches at me about the scratches in his new (at the time) paint, lol. This is my backyard, me and the wife usually run Pleasant canyon several times a year.
 
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