By Russ Chung
In the fall of 1849, a group of pioneers left Salt Lake City for the gold fields of California. They knew that the Donner Party met disaster in the Sierra Nevada Mountains three years earlier, so instead of risking an early snowfall, they intended to detour to the south of the Sierras and find the Old Spanish Trail. On Christmas Eve of 1849 the travelers arrived in what is now known as Death Valley. They were running short of supplies and the towering Panamint Mountains blocked their way. They struggled to find a way through the mountains, set up camp in the valley and dispatched two young men on foot to get supplies. After three weeks, the men returned with supplies and led the pioneers to safety.
In November 2020, Cal4Wheel will follow in the wagon tracks and footsteps of these hardy 49ers in the 2020 Escape from Death Valley Run. This three-day, two-night overlanding style run will depart from Panamint Valley Days Headquarters, explore Death Valley, and end in Trona, CA.
Days 1 and 2 are limited to 12 vehicles due to Death Valley National Park permit restrictions and require pre-registration. Day 3 will depart from Panamint Valley Days Headquarters and is open to any PVD participant.