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Surprise/Sentinel/Happy Area Map
The main sites of interest
in this area are:
  1. Surprise Canyon
  2. Happy Canyon
  3. Jackpot Canyon
  4. Panamint City
  5. Thompson Camp
  6. Panamint Pass
  7. Sentinel Peak
  8. Porter Peak
  9. Happy/Pleasant Saddle
  10. Weston Cabin
  11. Notch between forks of Happy
A dirt road runs a couple miles up Surprise Canyon, but is closed at Chris Wicht's Camp (also known as Novack Camp). From there it is necessary to hike up the canyon. Much of the canyon is clogged with vegetation making hiking difficult. Panamint City is approximately five and a half miles up the canyon from the trailhead. From there is is possible to hike in several directions. One major destination is Sentinel Peak. However, it is also possible to climb Sentinel Peak from Pleasant or Happy Canyon. Although a road enters the mouth of Happy Canyon and it is possible to hike up the canyon from the bottom, the route is clogged with vegetation. A better way to access Happy Canyon is to drive up Pleasant Canyon and park at the saddle between Happy and Pleasant.


Panamint City (Spring 2004)
It is said that over 2000 people lived in Panamint City during the late 1800's. The first three pictures show some of the ruins from this time period. The fourth picture shows the famous stack which stands sixty feet high and was built in the late 1800s. The last three pictures show various structures in and around Panamint City. The mine tunnel shown in the last picture goes straight into the mountain about one-third of a mile.

Lots of good information about Panamint City is available at

Limekiln Springs (Spring 2004)
Limekiln Springs is about a mile up from the falls. Another spring, called Brewery Springs, is another mile or so up the road.

Hall Ridge (Spring 2004)
This cabin, located on the ridge between Surprise Canyon and Hall Canyon, is what, I believe is sometimes referred to as Shotgun Mary's. Hall Canyon is the canyon to the north of Panamint Canyon. Some people call the cabin at Thompson Camp by this name. Thompson Camp is less than a mile up the canyon from Panamint City.

HAPPY CANYON FIRE: The fire occured more or less from July 23, 2000 to July 26, 2000 in the south fork of Happy Canyon. The fire crews used Trona High School as their staging area. I have a copy of the "Happy Fire Incident Action Plan" that was issued at that time. (I was teaching summer school at the high school that summer.)