Military Canyon is an area in the southeastern Owlsheads which contains scattered debris from past military overflights. Difficulties encountered on the hike include route finding to access the canyon, searching out the locations of the scattered military debris, using caution if attempting to visit the crashed dart, and figuring out the correct crossover route from one canyon to the other. A Google Earth map of the hiking route can be found by clicking on the button above. GPS coordinates for the parking area are 35° 42.748'N, 116° 31.669'W. GPS coordinates for the crashed fuel tank are 35° 41.651'N, 116° 35.438'W. GPS coordinates for the crashed dart are 35° 42.289'N, 116° 36.463'W.
Military Canyon is an informal name I've assigned to an area located within the East of Owl Lake 7.5 minute topographic quadrangle map. Military Canyon includes three specific small canyons which all drain to the east. The three small canyons include Military Canyon S Fork, Military Canyon N Fork, and a canyon which splits off of the north fork near the bottom and heads toward a crashed dart. The reason for the canyon name is that this area holds a high concentration of scattered military debris leftover from the time before the Owlshead Mountains became part of Death Valley National Park. The main object of interest is a crashed fuel tank, which is located outside of the small canyons and is easy to find. Within the canyons, there can be found some small missile fragments and also a weather balloon radiosonde. If you locate some of the missile fragments, please do not pick them up as they may contain unexploded ordnance. The hardest object to reach is the crashed dart. Getting to the dart requires an additional elevation gain of 750 feet, successfully following a side canyon with several confusing forks, and scrambling up a steep hillside. For my visit, I first checked out the crashed fuel tank, then hiked up the S Fork, checked out the grand view at the crossover point, and finally followed the N Fork back out. I did not visit the crashed dart during my hike as it was not discovered until several years later. The interesting thing about doing this hike is seeing the impact on the landscape from the military's former use of the land and air above it. My hike took place on March 16, 2010.
Many more photographs taken during our visit are available for viewing for this destination. To see all of them, choose one of the two options presented below. The two options are Slideshow viewing and Trip Report viewing. The Slideshow option allows for viewing larger images with an autoplay option and a full screen option (available on most browsers). This option works very well for large computer screens and tablets. The Trip Report option allows for viewing smaller pictures in a standard scroll-down format and enlarging of any panoramic photos taken during our visit. Click on the option of your choice to view all of our photos from this destination. The Slideshow format opens in a new browser window and the Trip Report format uses the same browser window for viewing.
TRIP REPORT FORMAT