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Armstrong Canyon and Water

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Armstrong Canyon and Water

Postby ExploreABitMore » Mon May 18, 2015 9:31 am

Hello,

I've wanted to visit Armstrong Canyon for a while now just to check it out and maybe go up Mt Perkins from there, but I noticed Secor says there is no water in the canyon. Is this true? Would a summer backpack require carrying all my water with me? Or, is there anywhere you can scrounge and filter some water.

Also, I've been wondering how bad that road is going up the canyon. Would it be feasible for a 4WD 4Runner to make it up a ways, thereby saving some mileage on foot? Places to park, or turn around, or is it one of those committing narrow roads? I'm a major wimp these days when it comes to 4x4 :crybaby:

I think no available water and having to hike up that road would make Perkins a tough day hike for me. I drink quite a bit of water on bigger day hikes. That's one thing I love about the Sierra over, say, Death Valley ... normally, lots of water around for refills.

Thanks for any info!
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Re: Armstrong Canyon and Water

Postby tomba » Wed May 20, 2015 8:18 pm

I went down Armstrong Canyon from Armstrong Col last September. There was no water at all.

On the 4WD road there are long stretches with no turnaround but there are some places to turn around. There is some information on the web about this road. It would be really nice to be able to drive it instead of hiking it.
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Re: Armstrong Canyon and Water

Postby KathyW » Thu May 21, 2015 9:01 am

A few years ago a 4Runner would have been fine to get you almost to the end of the road (there was a boulder blocking the road before the very end) if you didn't mind being really close to the edge of the road on a shelf road with no place to turn around for long sections, which would be a big problem if you run into another vehicle going the opposite direction (I had to get out in one section and make sure I wasn't going to go over the edge in a Tacoma - I had to back up and pull in as far as possible before going across that particular section), but from what I hear the road is washed out down pretty low; so you'll be walking most of the way up the road unless someone has been nice enough to fix it. Maybe Tomba can comment on the conditions of the washed out section???

There is no water in the Canyon, but in early season there is snow.

Some pics from June 2011(a heavy snow year as I recall): http://kathywing.smugmug.com/California ... Perkins#!/

I could have driven up the road a little past where I parked camped - there was one more pullout/parking/camping space before the road was blocked; so if the washout at the bottom of the road has been fixed you might be able to get close to the end of the road if you dare.

It is a really pretty area with abundant wildlife due to the lack of human traffic.

Also, Perkins is a pile of loose rocks - no fun.

Edit: With all the wildlife up there and the old mines, one would think there is some source of water. I wonder if there is a spring somewhere up there.
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Re: Armstrong Canyon and Water

Postby ExploreABitMore » Thu May 21, 2015 9:35 am

Thanks for the feedback guys, much appreciated. I've got little tolerance for 4x4 these days, so I'd probably find it preferable to hike the road based on what you guys said. It is surprising there is no water, just because that's a different experience from the average Sierra hike. I'll keep Armstrong Canyon on the list, but I guess with all the other neat places to visit this summer I get a feeling it may get bumped this year. Would like to get up there one day, though.
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Re: Armstrong Canyon and Water

Postby Turtleggjp » Thu May 21, 2015 11:24 am

I did a dayhike up Armstrong Canyon back in October 2010. I was able to find a running stream somewhere near the top of the road and refill on water (it was flowing decently enough). It was down a steep hill, and over one small canyon, but I could hear it from the road, hence why I went looking for it. I think the general consensus though is that there usually isn't any water up there, so especially this year I wouldn't bet on there being very much, unless you go there soon. If you're interested, I could probably dig up my GPS track and get some coordinates to help.

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Re: Armstrong Canyon and Water

Postby tomba » Sun Jun 07, 2015 9:24 pm

KathyW wrote: Maybe Tomba can comment on the conditions of the washed out section???

I haven't noticed any washed out section, but I wasn't focusing on the road condition, and I short cut one section. At Scotty Spring there was a family (a father from Italy and grow-up children) who shot a deer the day before. They gave me a ride in a large truck to Sawmill Pass trailhead.
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