Thirteen years after visiting Death Valley for the first time, I finally had the chance to drive the Hunter Mountain Road.  In the past, we had avoided it during our trips because of its remote location and the fact that there were other ways to get to where we were going.  But for our Summer 2010 trip, we found it necessary and preferable to drive the full length of the road on our way to Harris Hill, Lost Burro Mine, and White Top Mountain.  We found Hunter Mountain Road to be in excellent condition during our visit, one of the best dirt backroads of the park.  We liked it way better than Racetrack Road, that's for sure.  The night before we hiked Harris Hill, we camped on the Hunter Spring side road, which turns off of Hunter Mountain Road.  We found a great area there for camping, and there is a picture of our camp on our Introduction Page.  For our hike of Harris Hill, I set it up and designed it as a unique loop hike.  The loop hike would involve parking at Goldbelt Spring, hiking down Upper Marble Canyon, turning right into Shorty Harris Canyon, reaching the summit of Harris Hill, then dropping back into Shorty Harris Canyon to follow it back up to the road, where another vehicle would be parked to use as a shuttle.  Once we reached the summit of Harris Hill, we adjusted those plans slightly and decided to stay on the Harris Hill ridge instead of dropping back into Shorty Harris Canyon.  This was for two reasons.  First, Shorty Harris Canyon appeared to have a lot of thick growth in it, which would make navigating through the brush difficult and frustrating.  Second, the ridgeline appeared to head all the way to the road, with minimal elevation changes.  And the 4 mile loop hike actually worked out perfectly, as you will see with our map and pictures below.
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Driving down Hunter Mountain Road as a stunning view of Harris Hill appears off in the distance:
We ended up parking at Goldbelt Spring after dropping off the other vehicle.  Here is a view of the greenery of Goldbelt Spring:
Some kind of fruit was growing on the trees.  I'm not sure what it is or if it is edible:
Large old barrel on the ground at Goldbelt:
This small area was fenced off.  It could have been a source of drinking water or an old mine shaft years ago:
A couple pictures of old vehicles resting in peace at Goldbelt:
Here is where the hike towards Harris Hill begins, at the modest head of Marble Canyon:
Following an old road down towards the junction of Marble Canyon and Shorty Harris Canyon, with a full view of Harris Hill off in the distance:
Reaching the junction and looking at the 1st Spring of Marble Canyon:
We turned right and headed up Shorty Harris Canyon a short distance before turning off in a side canyon which led up Harris Hill:
The side canyon that we entered leading uphill:
Kirk looking back at where we came from during the 1,000 foot + elevation climb:
In this picture, you can see the remnants of the old road heading up the left side of Harris Hill:
We first went up a nearby peak, which provided this nice view of Harris Hill and the old road:
Steve with Harris Hill in the background on August 2, 2010:
Our group crossing over from the lower peak towards Harris Hill:
We reached a final saddle and then only had about 200 feet of elevation to gain before the summit:
View from Harris Hill to the southwest up Shorty Harris Canyon towards Hunter Mtn Road.  The first picture of this report was taken from that road far in the distance:
Looking to the west towards Goldbelt Spring where we had started our hike:
View to the north, with the summit of Dry Mountain on the far left side of the picture and the White Top Mountain peak on the right side (the peak above the white band):
Looking east down Marble Canyon towards Mesquite Flat and Stovepipe Wells (and 118 degree weather):
Zooming in on Marble Canyon and the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes:
Getting a close-up of Tucki Mountain.  Dead Horse Canyon is just over the first ridge to the right:
On the summit of Harris Hill at 5,738 feet.  The register on the summit was old and crumbling.  I need to start remembering to carry spare new register booklets when I do Death Valley summits:
Heading down from Harris Hill and preparing to follow the ridge line:
There were quite a few ups and downs along the ridge, but the elevation loss and gain was minimal:
Passing by a group of Joshua Trees along the ridge:
Continuing to follow the ridge in 90 + degree weather:
Awesome view down into Shorty Harris Canyon:
Looking back at Harris Hill and the long ridge we had followed:
And finally linking up with the road where our second vehicle was parked.  Loop hike successful, now we can enjoy some shade, lunch, and air conditioning.  Oh, and fresh cold watermelon thanks to Patrick!: