For the weekend of May 4-5-6, I led a large group of overlanding friends to explore an area in the Inyo Mountains known as Papoose Flats. This area also included Mazourka Canyon, Mazourka Peak, Squaw Flats, Harkless Flats and the Narrows. This section of the Inyo National Forest is located a little east of Big Pine, California.
We had quite a diverse group of vehicles including a stock vehicles, a 60's Land Rover, Land Cruisers and more that come together to explore and camp. This is a shot of the initial group high atop Mazourka Peak where numerous radio relay sites keep a silent watch high above Highway 395.
Even more interesting than the vehicles were all of my friends who owned them!
We chose the more difficult route into Papoose Flats by coming in from the south through Mazourka Canyon. This route includes rocky terrain, tight turns, numerous trees as well as a bit of routefinding. The northern routes from the old Death Valley Road are much much easier but are still unimproved roads with steep hills and loose dirt. This picture is where we aired down our tires in Mazourka Canyon. Dropping the air pressure increases the contact area, or "patch" of the tire tread to the ground. It also helps the tire to conform to rocks and irregular terrain.
Papoose Flats offers quite a varied expanse of terrain with very scenic views of the Sierra Nevada Mountains as well as steep roads, narrow canyons and interesting mines.
Friday night's campfire being enjoyed by Jason, Chris and Dave
We also had some wonderful entertainment; Live bluegrass music!
My trailer's Roof Top Tent (RTT) under clear and starry skies and lit externally by the bright moonlight.
The trailer tracked really well through rough terrain
On Saturday a smaller group of vehicles headed out to the Narrows. Other folks stayed in camp to hike, nap or take shorter drives. The next two pictures are from the very steep northward route to go to the Narrows. I would not recommend it for inexperienced drivers! Also be sure to have tire repair equipment and recovery gear while out in this area.
Heading down into the Narrows from the north. That is Ian's well equipped Land Cruiser ahead of me.
Inspecting an old mining cabin in the Narrows