This is part 2 of my 2012 Panamint Mountains backpacking report, continuing where the report for Hall Canyon leaves off.  As we finished up our first day of hiking, we camped overnight outside of the Rowland Cabin in Middle Hall Canyon.  The next day, we all woke up and did a day hike over to neighboring Jail Canyon.  To reach Jail Canyon, we hiked on the Hall Canyon Cutover Trail, which is an old 4WD road that has now been closed down for a long time.  The route is easy to follow for the most part.  Leaving from the Rowland Cabin and Hall Creek area, the road climbs uphill as it winds around the mountainside.  During this first part of the hike, about 1,000 feet of elevation is gained.  The road eventually hits two bumps (or saddles) before heading back downhill the other side towards Jail Canyon.  From the second saddle, it is a steady drop of 2,000 feet in elevation.  A couple of things were notable along the way.  First, sometimes a burro trail will cut off of the main road and create a shortcut that will save time and avoid wasted elevation drops or gains.  If you pay attention, you can spot these places.  Second, the views into Panamint Valley were outstanding once again, although not as spectacular as they were during our first day of hiking (crossing from Surprise to Hall).  There are also nice views looking down into both Hall Canyon and Jail Canyon, depending on where you are at the time.  Third, the cutover trail does not take very long to hike.  We left camp in Hall Canyon at 9AM and arrived in Jail Canyon at 11AM.  Once in Jail Canyon, we first hiked up to and explored the Corona Mine.  After that, we explored the Jail Camp before heading further up canyon.  Because there were so many good pictures, I have had to divide Jail Canyon into two different reports.  This first report covers the Corona Mine and Jail Camp.  The second report will cover our exploration further up canyon beyond the camp and also include our crossover route back towards Hall Canyon.  Below, I have included a couple of Google Earth route maps to show you the full journey for both reports.  Click on the map images to enlarge them.
Please do not enter the mining tunnels of the Corona Mine.  Potential dangers inside abandoned mines include unseen vertical mine openings, deadly gases, oxygen deficiency, cave-ins, unsafe structures, unstable explosives, and other assorted risks.  As the NPS recommends-- Stay Out and Stay Alive!
Jail Canyon GE map 1
Jail Canyon GE map 2
Shawn waking up and relaxing on the springs of an old cot:
Heading up the start of the Hall Canyon Cutover Trail.  99.99% of all other hikers would have started this trail from the other side in Jail Canyon:
Spectacular view down into the Hall Canyon gorge and narrows:
The trail first heads up this small canyon partway before turning sharply to the left:
In the center of the picture, you can see our hikers heading up the 1,000 foot initial ascent:
Looking back down on our camp at Hall Creek and the first part of the trail:
Continuing to progress steadily uphill:
View of the Hall Canyon gorge as we hiked up the trail in the next two pictures:
The trail soon rounds a bend and flattens out briefly when Panamint Valley comes into view:
Looking down towards the mouth of Hall Canyon:
Zooming in, Indian Ranch becomes visible:
Another uphill section with Tobin hiking ahead:
Nice view of Lake Hill, Panamint Dry Lake, and the Panamint Sand Dunes:
We caught a brief view of Telescope Peak for the only time today:
The pyamid-shaped peak in the distance above Upper Hall Canyon is Peak 8740.  We would nearly get trapped on this peak later in the trip:
Here we have briefly left the old road and are now hiking on a burro trail in order to minimize unnecessary elevation loss:
As you can see, the old road is well below us:
Meeting back up with the old road and continuing the hike:
The light-colored walls of Jail Canyon can now be seen off in the distance:
The lower part of Jail Canyon could also be seen:
Here we have reached the first summit bump and are now doing a brief downhill section:
Looking straight across Panamint Valley at the Argus Range.  I have not taken an interest in hiking the Argus as of yet:
Looking back towards the first bump and the section of road which drops from there:
The road/trail wrapped around the hillsides in this area:
We have now reached the second and final bump and it is all downhill from here:
Tobin reaching the section where the trail gets very steep:
Steve with Panamint Valley in the background:
Another view of northern Panamint Valley and Lake Hill:
In the next two pictures, you can see Shawn hiking far ahead of me:
First view down into the wash of Jail Canyon from the trail above:
In the next two pictures, we continue to drop in elevation as we draw closer to Jail Canyon:
A view of the white cliffs and Upper Jail Canyon:
Panoramic view of Jail Canyon from the Hall Canyon Cutover Trail (click to enlarge):
Jail Canyon panoramic
Tobin looking down into Jail Canyon far below us:
The road begins to drop more steeply in a series of switchbacks:
Another picture of Steve with Jail Canyon in the background:
Looking out the mouth of Jail Canyon towards Panamint Valley:
Heading down the switchbacks to complete the 2,000 foot drop into Jail Canyon:
Along the way, we found lots of boulder walls to prevent vehicles from illegally trying to drive on the old road:
At the bottom of the Hall Canyon Cutover Trail, we found this wilderness boundary sign:
Now hiking up the Jail Canyon Road, which is still open to vehicles:
The Cottonwood trees which mark the Jail Canyon Camp can now be seen ahead:
Heading up a side canyon to the left before reaching the actual camp area:
We hiked a little bit too far and then began climbing a hillside to search for the Corona Mine:
Nice view of the switchbacks which we had earlier come down to get into Jail Canyon.  We were hoping that later in the day, we could find a shortcut to avoid hiking back up these:
Climbing to the top of the (wrong) hillside:
Once on the ridge, we realized that we had missed the trail and were on the wrong hillside.  We could see the Corona Mine Trail across the way:
We decided to try to cross over, despite having to drop into a chasm which was a bit tricky:
On our hillside, we found this marker with some cairns:
It took about 20 minutes of a very cautious descent, but we made it over and found ourselves at the entrance to the Corona Mine:
This is the view looking into the Corona Mine from the outside:
Steve outside of the Corona Mine after shining his light inside:
After leaving the mine, we continued farther up the trail to look for the wooden tram tower:
View down into Jail Canyon from the top of the Corona Mine Trail:
The collapsed wooden tram tower is at the end of the trail:
Another view of the collapsed tower which once carried ore down into the camp:
View of the Jail Camp from high above:
Heading back down to Jail Camp the proper way on the correct trail:
An old beat up vehicle at the entrance to the Jail Camp:
A mattress that is in really bad shape and some other items:
An old stove sitting outside at the edge of the camp:
The largest piece of machinery which is found at the camp:
Three views of a yellow truck which is slowly being buried by gravel and rocks:
A collapsed house stands at the junction of Jail Canyon and the side canyon we hiked up earlier:
Shawn checking out the International which is forever parked here:
Back view of the large mining equipment we showed earlier:
Rock foundations and an old pipe:
A metal conveyer belt used to move rock sent down from above:
Large Cottonwood trees towering over the cabin and shack:
More rock foundations below one of the picnic tables:
The first building is the shack, or what I call the powder room:
I say that because some white powder is spilling out of open bags and is all over the floor of the shack.  I'm not sure what it is, but it is probably better not to breathe it in:
The cabin is the featured building at Jail Camp:
Inside the cabin is a wood burning stove.  It looks like previous visitors have stacked up some wood which is available to use.  Do not collect wood from the area to use when you are here, but bring all wood from home or use leftovers found here:
Checking out the kitchen area of the cabin:
There is a desk and dresser with a logbook on top of it:
Signing into the logbook.  It looks like Jail Camp receives regular visitors:
There are a couple of beds and a bookshelf inside the cabin:
There is an outdoor shower which was once in use:
One of the two outhouses which are still standing at the camp:
It was a hot day, so we enjoyed our lunch in the shade at the picnic table next to the cabin:
A couple pictures of the outhouse which is at the other end of the camp:
The unshaded picnic table has an outstanding view into Panamint Valley:
Pumping water into our bottles to refill them for the second half of the day's journey, which would take us farther up Jail Canyon to the Burro Mine.  To continue along with us, visit the next Jail Canyon trip report:
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