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Pinyon Wash to Harper Flat and Cabin Messages in this topic - RSS

hikerdmb
hikerdmb
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1/7/2013
hikerdmb
hikerdmb
Posts: 423
Took a overnight backpack trip out to Harper Flat this past weekend. We left midday Saturday and drove out to the end of Pinyon Wash off highway 78. Hiked in to Harper Flat and headed toward our usual campsite. I think we have spent about 10 nights in this area over the years. When we got close to our planned campsite we heard voices and saw a group of 4. We asked if they were spending the night and they were so we headed on looking for a site. This was the first time we saw anyone else camping in the flat and only the second time that we saw other people out there. It got down the the high 30's on Saturday night and then the wind picked up a bit just before sunrise. There were a few clouds blowing over the mountains but no rain fell while we were there.

After breakfast we packed our packs and headed southwest across Harper Flat headed to the old Harper Cabin. I visited this cabin in November 2011, but my buddy had not been there before. On earlier trips we have pretty much been all over the entire flat but this time we were mostly in the western part of it. Here we are about halfway across the flat looking up toward Whale Peak. There was a bit of snow left near the upper parts of the mountain from last weeks storm.


We made our way up to the wash where the Pinyon Mountain road comes down from the Drop Off and then headed up to the cabin. There is not much left of it. But it is still an interesting place with lots of old cans and an old bed in the corner. It looked to be only about 5 feet long. The Harper brothers must have been pretty small.


We found some very interesting writing on the wall just to the right of the "door." It is a little hard to read in the photo below but it says, "The assessment work has been done on this claim at a point 200 yards south west of here. For the period ending July 1, 1931. E. A. Harper, Witness L. B. Spaulding, Exemption years 1932-1933-1934-1935, Assessment work completed 1936."


Here is a nice close up of the signature.


Here is the large dam that is just up canyon from the old cabin. This dam is probably 12-15 feet tall, but completely filled with sand.


Just above this dam there is a smaller dam. I am not sure what the wires above the dam were used for. It is actually barbed wire and it is centered right over the dam.


After spending a half hour or so looking around we headed downhill to the truck. There is a fence blocking entrance into Harper Flat from the Pinyon Mountain to Fish Creek Road but even so there were lots of motorcycle tracks in Harper Flat.


We finished our hike, about 8 miles with 2300' elevation gain all total and headed home. Since we didn't have lunch with us we stopped at the restaurant at Lake Henshaw and had some good food and enjoyed the view out to the lake. That is my truck and camper on the right of the picture. Didn't use the camper on this trip but it is still on the truck from the last trip.
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ziphius
ziphius
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1/7/2013
ziphius
ziphius
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Nice area and trip. Any idea what the claim was for? I guess it could have been for one of many minerals, heh? I like that the cabin utilized the existing terrain for a lot of the wall structure. Impressive dam. Any mylar balloons seen?

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rockhopper
rockhopper
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1/7/2013
rockhopper
rockhopper
Posts: 600
I was wondering the same thing. Assesment for what? Water? gold?
Someone here on the forum may chime in on that one.
Neat trip!
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surfponto
surfponto
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1/7/2013
surfponto
surfponto
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Posts: 1275
Good to see cabin is still there somewhat smile
Looks about the same as when we hiked to Harper Cabin with the Anza Borrego Foundation a few years back.

We commented the same thing about the wires over the dam.


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hikerdmb
hikerdmb
Posts: 423


1/7/2013
hikerdmb
hikerdmb
Posts: 423
I know the Harpers ran cattle out there until the dams filled up with sand and the cattle got sick, I think anthrax is what I read somewhere. Maybe they had to stake a mining claim to have the cabin in there. Just a guess. I know that I have seen the same type of messages about assessments being completed in some old cabins in and around Death Valley. I think they have to do that to keep the claim active so the cabin can remain in use in the National Park.
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herofix
herofix
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1/8/2013
herofix
herofix
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Great TR and pics. Thanks for sharing. I gotta get out there someday.
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tommy750
tommy750
Posts: 984


1/8/2013
tommy750
tommy750
Posts: 984
Nice trip. Walked right past the cabin last trip out and never even saw it. Guess I can start leaving the spray can and chisel behind, a pencil seems to be the best way to leave a permanent tagsmile
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hikerdmb
hikerdmb
Posts: 423


1/8/2013
hikerdmb
hikerdmb
Posts: 423
I was also amazed that it was written in pencil. At least that is sure what it looked like. Hard to believe that the writing could last 80 years. My first trip up there it took me a while to find the cabin.
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dsefcik
dsefcik
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Posts: 2518


1/9/2013
dsefcik
dsefcik
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Posts: 2518
Nice TR David, I still want to do an Alma Wash/Harper Cyn backpack trip...anybody interested?
We saw lots of motorcycles in Fish Creek on our trip, maybe they made it up to where you saw the tracks.

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tommy750
tommy750
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1/10/2013
tommy750
tommy750
Posts: 984
dsefcik wrote:
Nice TR David, I still want to do an Alma Wash/Harper Cyn backpack trip...anybody interested?


I wouldn't mind trying that route sometime. Assuming it's about a 20 mile one-way trip? Tom
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dsefcik
dsefcik
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1/10/2013
dsefcik
dsefcik
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Posts: 2518
It could be or more...here is a rough idea, plenty of room to modify...

http://caltopo.com//map?id=1I65




tommy750 wrote:
dsefcik wrote:
Nice TR David, I still want to do an Alma Wash/Harper Cyn backpack trip...anybody interested?


I wouldn't mind trying that route sometime. Assuming it's about a 20 mile one-way trip? Tom


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anutami
anutami
Posts: 491


1/10/2013
anutami
anutami
Posts: 491
dsefcik wrote:
It could be or more...here is a rough idea, plenty of room to modify...

http://caltopo.com//map?id=1I65

I would be interested. I have wanted to check out that small flat between harper flat and alma wash for some time.


tommy750 wrote:
dsefcik wrote:
Nice TR David, I still want to do an Alma Wash/Harper Cyn backpack trip...anybody interested?


I wouldn't mind trying that route sometime. Assuming it's about a 20 mile one-way trip? Tom
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