Bendire and Knight Canyons
Bendire and Knight Canyons contain old roads that continue well beyond the BLM barriers at the mouth of each canyon. Both canyons contain interesting mining relics and quite an assortment of interesting plant life. Although Maturango Peak is sometimes climbed from Bendire Canyon, climbing the peak requires that one trespass onto military property and is obviously therefore an illegal activity. The areas around the mouths of each canyon are also quite interesting with the Panamint Crater being of special interest. (Click here for area map)


Knight Canyon - April 2019    Quick view of trip pics
  1. Desert Puffball - There were several of these growing below 3000 feet.
  2. Lilac Sunbonnet - Langloisia setosissima of the Phlox Family.
  3. Panamint Phacelia - Phacelia perityloides of the Borage Family.
  4. Purple Sage - Salvia dorrii of the Mint Family.
  5. Rock Wall - Just above bypass in major side canyon.
  6. Columbine Plants - No flowers, but plants located at productive spring.
  7. Milkvetch #1 - Species of Astragalus in Pea Family.
  8. Yuccas and Pines - Pinyon pine forest begins at about 5200 feet.
  9. Large Pinyon - Some very large pinyon pines grow in this side canyon.
  10. Yuccas Blooming - More yuccas and pines!
  11. Milkvetch #2 - Another species of Astragalus in the Pea Family.
  12. Donkey Skull - Miner's lettuce growing out of eye socket.
  13. Miner's Lettuce - Mound of Claytonia perfoliata of the Purslane Family.
  14. Another Spring - It appears that an actual road led to this one at one time.
  15. Evening Primrose - Species of Oenothera in the Evening Primrose Family.

Bendire Canyon - April 2019    Quick view of trip pics
  1. Desert Snow #1 - Lots of this small plant at the wilderness boundary.
  2. Desert Star - Another small plant, but this one is in the Sunflower Family.
  3. Blazing Star #1 - Close look at a flower of this member of the Loasa Family.
  4. Purple Mat #1 - Another very small plant. This one is in the Borage Family.
  5. Broad-Flowered Gilia - Gilia latiflora of the Phlox Family.
  6. Desert Gold Poppy - Eschscholzia glyptosperma of the Poppy Family.
  7. Desert Snow #2 - More Linanthus demissus of the Phlox Family.
  8. Purple Mat #2 - More Nama demissum of the Borage Family.
  9. Blazing Star #2 - Often Blazing Star grows at the base of Creosote Bushes.
  10. Box Thorn - This member of the Nightshade Family is also known as Rabbit Thorn.
  11. Lesser Mohavea - Sometimes also called Golden Desert Snapdragon.
  12. Canyon View - Looking down from 5000' in south fork of Bendire.
  13. Evening Snow - Small flowers open up at dusk.
  14. Donkeys #1 - Local natives suspicious of hiker passing through their territory.
  15. Donkeys #2 - Keeping watch and making sure stranger behaves himself.
  16. Desert Paintbrush - Castilleja angustifolia surrounded by Salvia dorrii.
  17. Scarlet Milkvetch #1 - Astragalus coccineus of the Pea Family.
  18. Scarlet Milkvetch #2 - Encountered at about 5200 feet.
  19. Rock Structure - Probably an old chimney encountered at 5400 feet.
  20. Rusty Cans - Lots of cans scattered around old rock chimney.
  21. Rusty Griddle - Found along with other rusty items near chimney.
  22. Yucca Bloom - Low growing bunch of yucca flowers.
  23. Joshua Tree - Lots of these yuccas had flowers.
  24. Yucca Flower Bud - Looks a little like an artichoke!
  25. Another Yucca - Yucca brevifolia (aka, Tree Yucca) of the Lily Family.
  26. Fallen Sign - Sign near three way intersection at about 4700 feet.
  27. Evening Primrose #1 - Species of Oenothera of the Evening Primrose Family.
  28. Evening Primrose #2 - Another healthy specimen growing at about 4500 feet.
  29. Donkeys #3 - Group of Donkeys near bottom of side canyon at about 3500 feet.
  30. Donkeys #4 - A closer look at some of the donkeys in the group of twelve individuals.

Knight Canyon - Sept/Oct 2018    Quick view of trip pics
  1. Bypass Trail - A 300 yard long bypass trail connects middle canyon to upper canyon.
  2. Donkey Trail - The upper canyon is relatively open once narrows bypassed.
  3. View of Trail - Looking down on upper canyon from ridge.
  4. Large Rock - Rock at fork at top of upper canyon.
  5. Upper Fork - Rock from previous image at center bottom of image.
  6. Rock and Yucca - These rocks appear at bottom, right of previous image.
  7. Yucca - A few yuccas on ridge above canyon.
  8. Rusty Trailer - Some kind of trailer near mining camp in middle canyon.
  9. Rusty Tank - Another item left in middle portion of canyon about a mile below the trailer.
  10. Top of Tank - Interesting bolt pattern.

Bendire Canyon - April 2018    Quick view of trip pics
  1. Panamint Phacelia #1 - Small plant next to a nail.
  2. Panamint Phacelia #2 - Phacelia perityloides of the Borage Family.
  3. Old Foundation - Located below falls, mine, and steep section of trail.
  4. Milkvetch - Species of Astragalus and member of Pea Family.
  5. Evening Primrose - Only a few of these observed on the hike.
  6. Old Sign - Located a half mile or so below falls.
  7. Hedgehog Cactus - Echinocereus engelmannii of the Cactus Family.
  8. Purple Sage - Salvia dorrii of the Mint Family.
  9. Prickly Poppy - Several of these plants observed during hike.
  10. Brittlebush - Encelia farinosa of the Sunflower Family.

Bendire Canyon - November 2015    Quick view of trip pics
  1. Donkeys #1 - A group of donkeys below the mouth of Bendire Canyon.
  2. Donkeys #2 - Another look at the group of donkeys.
  3. Panamint Crater - A quick look at the bottom of the crater.
  4. Ruins #1 - Remains of a small shack located in lower Bendire Canyon.
  5. Ruins #2 - This small mine camp is on the south side of the canyon.
  6. Ruins #3 - White rock in railroad tie bin.
  7. Ruins #4 - Small storage hole behind shack.
  8. Ruins #5 - Back of the shack.
  9. Ruins #6 - Another look at rock bin.
  10. Ruins #7 - Looking across valley late in the afternoon.

Bendire Canyon - May 2015    Quick view of trip pics
  1. Upper Road #1 - Road out of canyon on high ridge above falls.
  2. Upper Road #2 - Looking towards the end of the road.
  3. Hedgehog Cactus Flower - Close look at bright magenta flower.
  4. Cottontop Cactus - Clump of larger than average cottontop cacti.
  5. Upper Road #3 - View of end of upper road from a short distance up the ridge.
  6. Upper Road #4 - Looking down road on way down from ridge.
  7. Beavertail Cactus - Pinkish-magenta flowers on this common cactus.
  8. Upper Road #5 - Another view of road on way back down into canyon.
  9. Beardtongue #1 - Attractive bluish-pink flowers usually abundant in Bendire Canyon.
  10. Beardtongue #3 - Close look into a single beardtongue flower.
  11. Beardtongue #3 - Collection of flower buds, dried seed capsules, and flowers.
  12. King's Snapdragon - Attractive member of the Figwort Family.
  13. Donkey - This guy seems to have a strange glow in his eyes.
  14. Rusty Bucket - Old bucket hanging from the branch of a bush.
  15. Purple Sage - Attractive member of the Mint Family.

Knight Canyon - May 2014    Quick view of trip pics
  1. Rock Nettle #1 - A look at the flower from the side.
  2. Rock Nettle #2 - View of the front of two flowers.
  3. Rock Nettle #3 - A bunch of flowers on a single plant.
  4. Rock Nettle #4 - Close look at the reproductive parts.
  5. Sandpaper Plant #1 - A cluster of small flowers.
  6. Lesser Mohavea - Also sometimes called Golden Desert Snapdragon.
  7. Brickellia - Interesting member of the Sunflower Family.
  8. Desert Riparian Habitat - Notice two large sandpaper plant bushes.
  9. Sandpaper Plant #2 - Another look at a cluster of small flowers.
  10. Prince's Plume - Lots of this scattered around springs.
  11. Columbine #1 - Close look at a single flower.
  12. Columbine #2 - A slightly different angle.
  13. Columbine #3 - Another flower tangled up in some vegetation.
  14. Columbine #4 - A group of flowers blowing around in the wind.
  15. Beardtongue - Very difficult to get a good shot due to strong wind.

Knight Canyon - March 2014    Quick view of trip pics
  1. Gate - Gate coinciding with wilderness boundary.
  2. Second Fork Spring #1 - The second fork goes to the left about two miles up from gate.
  3. Columbine - These appear to be young columbine plants at second spring.
  4. Second Fork Spring #2 - View of spring from above.
  5. Prince's Plume - Attractive member of the Mustard Family.
  6. First Fork Spring #1 - The first fork heads to the left about one mile up from gate.
  7. Venus Hair Fern - Some fern plants growing along stream.
  8. Overhang #1 - Overhang at First Fork Spring
  9. Duchess #1 - Plate identifying a corner of The Duchess mine claim.
  10. Duchess #2 - Looking down on First Fork Spring.
  11. Dry Fall - Steep dry rock fall, about thirty-five feet high, but easily climbable.
  12. Wishbone Bush - Close look at attractive member of Four O'Clock Family.
  13. First Fork Spring #2 - Looking down on dense vegetation growing along stream.
  14. Overhang #2 - Looking down on overhang from above.
  15. Sandwort - Delightful member of the Pink Family.

Knight Canyon - September 2012    Quick view of trip pics
  1. Donkey #1 - One of six donkeys observed on this hike.
  2. Donkey #2 - Two donkeys at top of ridge near mouth of canyon.
  3. Brittlebush #1 - Encelia farinosa of the Sunflower Family.
  4. Ground Cherry #1 - Physalis crassifolia of the Nightshade Family.
  5. Ground Cherry #2 - The fruit of this plant looks a little bit like a lantern.
  6. Ground Cherry #3 - A closer look at one of the yellow flowers.
  7. Brittlebush #2 - Brittlebush plants producing flowers were scattered up and down the canyon.
  8. Big Horns - Large horns left by a deceased big horn sheep.
  9. Goldenrod #1 - Solidago spectabilis of the Sunflower Family.
  10. Goldenrod #2 - This plant requires a moist location such as a spring-fed stream.
  11. Mexican Bladder Sage - Salazaria mexicana of the Mint Family.
  12. Rattlesnake Weed - Close look at unusual flowers of this low-growing plant.
  13. Donkey #3 - Another donkey wandering around the canyon.
  14. Creosote Bush #1 - Larrea tridentata of the Caltrop Family.
  15. Creosote Bush #2 - Groups of bushes here and there were in bloom while others were not.
  16. Prince's Plume - Stanleya pinnata of the Mustard Family.
  17. Indian Tobacco - Nicotiana attenuata of the Nightshade Family.
  18. Donkey #4 - Another donkey hanging out in the canyon.
  19. Tank - A tank left near intersection with road going off to the north.
  20. Donkey #5 - Three donkeys on ridge near mouth of canyon.

Bendire Canyon - June 2011    Quick view of trip pics
  1. Rock Wall - Rock wall along road on way up canyon.
  2. Thistle - The only thistle spotted on this hike.
  3. Beard Tongue Flowers - Lots of beard tongue in bloom!
  4. Beard Tongue Plant - Bendire usually has a lot of beard tongue in late spring.
  5. Spring - First spring on the way up the canyon above the fall.
  6. Rothrock's Nama - Member of large colony growing at the second spring.
  7. Prince's Plume - Quite a lot of this along the way up the canyon.
  8. Spare Parts? - A few rusted relics on display on a rock near a spring.
  9. Old Road #1 - Remnants of old road taking off out of the canyon to the south.
  10. Old Road #2 - This section of the old road is actually in the canyon.

Knight Canyon - October 2009    Quick view of trip pics
  1. Road to North - Road north of mouth of Knight Canyon.
  2. Tarantula #1 - Looking straight down on large spider.
  3. Tarantula #2 - Frontal view of large spider.
  4. Gap in Hill - Mining activity north of Knight Canyon.
  5. Road Through Gap - Road passing through gap.
  6. South from Gap - Looking south back toward mouth of Knight Canyon.
  7. North from Gap - The road continues to the north.
  8. Panamint View - Shadows on Panamint Range late in day.
  9. Panamint Shark - Some see eyes and a mouth on the right side of light area.
  10. Argus Roads - Roads at foot of Argus range north of Knight Canyon.
  11. Joan and Billy - Apparently these two had some kind of romantic connection back in 1980.
  12. Claim Marker - Engraved metal marker on post.
  13. Cottontop Cactus - Many of these guys were growing on steep rock slope in canyon north of Knight.
  14. Narrow Passage - Narrows in canyon about one and a half miles north of Knight.
  15. Tarantula Video - Same spider as shown above in the second and third pictures.

Bendire Canyon - May 2009    Quick view of trip pics
  1. Panamint Penstemon #1 - Several groups of plants were blooming at about 3800 feet.
  2. Panamint Penstemon #2 - These plants were at about 3800 feet, but those further up the canyon were not blooming.
  3. Chukar - A rather plump chukar.
  4. Lupine - The grape soda smell was quite noticeable!
  5. Argus Blazing Star - There were many of these plants in bloom along the way.
  6. Miner's Lettuce - There was quite a lot of this plant at the base of rock walls.
  7. Desert Figwort #1 - Small flowers at top of tall stalk.
  8. Desert Figwort #2 - Nice specimen at about 4100 feet.
  9. Granite Gilia - Plant growing out of crack in rock wall.
  10. Pinyon - Pine tree at 4500 feet in south fork of Bendire.
  11. Evening-Primrose - Plant with buds nearly ready to bloom.
  12. Ephedra - There is a lot of ephedra in Bendire Canyon!
  13. Desert Paintbrush - These plants were quite prevalent.
  14. Inyo Onion - An Inyo Onion plant at about 4600 feet.
  15. Panamint Penstemon #3 - Flower, buds, and seed pods from previous year.
  16. Hedgehog Cactus - Flower part way open.
  17. Rattlesnake - Friendly rattesnake on trail.

Bendire Canyon - August 2008    Quick view of trip pics
  1. Canyon Mouth - Looking from mouth of Bendire Canyon across valley toward Panamint Mountains.
  2. Cabin Remains #1 - Boards left over from some sort of wooden structure.
  3. Ore Loader - Ore loader about two miles up canyon from BLM closure.
  4. Mine Entrance - Shallow tunnel at point where canyon turns north.
  5. Foundation - Foundation of cabin at end of road.
  6. Large Tunnel - Looking up at large tunnel near dry falls.
  7. Narrows - Narrow area in canyon just below dry falls.
  8. Beardtongue #1 - Seed pods of abundant beardtongue plants.
  9. Beardtongue #2 - Beardtongue plants were abundant beginning at 3900 feet.
  10. Pinyons on Ridge - Looking south toward ridge covered with pinyons.
  11. Yucca - Group of yucca at about 4600 feet.
  12. Sign Down - The sign marks the boundary with the adjacent military base.
  13. Stone Structure - Stone structure across canyon from shallow mine tunnel.
  14. Cabin Remains #2 - More remains of some sort of wooden structure.

Knight Canyon - October 2007    Quick view of trip pics
  1. Eroded #1 - Badly eroded road at about 4800'.
  2. Eroded #2 - Another section of road that is badly eroded at about 4800'.
  3. View to North - Looking north along Argus Range from above Knight Canyon.
  4. Donkey - Donkey hanging out at about 4900' feet above dirt road.
  5. Shovel - Shovel left on road not far from the end of the road.
  6. Near End - Looking up toward the end of the road.
  7. Pulley #1 - Remains of pulley apparatus left at end of road below tunnel at about 5000'.
  8. Pulley #2 - Another view of pulley apparatus.
  9. Pulley Frame - Base of pulley apparatus.
  10. Tank #1 - Tank left at end of road.
  11. Tank #2 - Another view of the tank.
  12. Donkey Trail - A donkey trail continues beyond the end of the road.
  13. Canyon View - Looking down the south fork of Knight Canyon. (The road goes up the north fork of the canyon and actually there is also a middle fork, BTW.)
  14. Cable #1 - Cable between end of road and tunnel.
  15. Cable #2 - Another view of the cable.
  16. Tunnel - This tunnel is located just above the end of the road. It is maybe 30 feet deep.
  17. Bed Frame - Refuse left behind at mining camp at about 4000'.
  18. Assorted Junk - More refuse at mining camp.
  19. Sink - Rusted sink at mining camp.

Knight Canyon - June 2007    Quick view of trip pics
  1. Gate - This gate marks the end of the road that you can drive on. From this point you must proceed on foot. The elevation at this point is 2600'.
  2. Spring View #1 - This view is almost the same as one shown further down the page except that it was taken during early summer.
  3. Tractor - This tractor is shown from a different angle further down the page.
  4. Pipes - These pipes were found up on a ridge almost directly north of the tractor at an elevation of 3900'.
  5. Barrel - The barrel is near the tractor, at the bottom of the canyon. This is a view looking down from the ridge.
  6. Spring View #2 - The spring shown previously only from up on the ridge.
  7. Upper Road - The road continues up the canyon and then climbs a ridge to the south. Part of that road is seen here.
  8. Azurite Deposit #1 - The road that branches to the north ends at a shallow pit full of azurite.
  9. Azurite Deposit #2 - This pit sits at an altitude of 4100'.

Knight Canyon - May 2006    Quick view of trip pics
  1. Crater View #1 - Looking down into the crater from the east.
  2. Crater View #2 - View to the north across the crater.
  3. Crater View #3 - Closer look at the bottom of the crater.
  4. Crater View #4 - View to south across the crater.
  5. Crater View #5 - Closeup view of the cover of the shaft at the bottom of the crater.
  6. Crater View #6 - Looking down the shaft.
  7. Quarry View #1 - View across Panamint Valley at snow-covered peaks.
  8. Quarry View #2 - Looking over top of quarry towards Argus Range.
  9. Quarry View #3 - Road through middle of quarry.
  10. Quarry View #4 - Looking down on quarry area.
  11. Quarry View #5 - Another hilltop view of quarry area.
  12. Quarry View #6 - Close up view of quarry.
  13. Panamint Valley - Looking across middle part of Panamint Valley.
  14. Rock in Road - This rock was the first major obstacle (other than the BLM signs and the gate).
  15. Overgrowth - This overgrowth was encountered about a mile and a half up from the gate. It's pretty much impassable with a normal vehicle.
  16. Spring #1 - Nice cottonwood trees about 1.5 miles up from the gate.
  17. Foundation #1 - Old foundation about 100 yards from cottonwood trees.
  18. Foundation #2 - Another view of the same foundation shown in the previous picture.
  19. Spring #2 - Another view of the cottonwood trees.
  20. Lower Mine Road - This mine road branches off from the main road at according to the map ends near two mine tunnels.
  21. Tractor - This is an old yellow tractor left over from some mining operation.
  22. Drill Thing - My guess is that this insn't actually a drill. It's probably for sorting ore, but I'm not too sure of this.
  23. Tank - This is a rusty old tank left over from some mining operation.
  24. Stream - In several places in the canyon small streams can be found just below springs.
  25. Trailer - This is an old rusty trailer left over from some mining operation.
  26. Loading Dock - This looks like it might have been used to load ore into trucks. The pipes make it look like maybe water tanks were filled here also.
  27. Upper Canyon - View looking up the last section of the canyon after the road doubles up a slope toward the final tunnel.
  28. Upper Mine Road - This is where the trail leaves the canyon to head to final tunnel another mile or so up the trail.
  29. --- Older Pictures from Bendire Canyon ---
  30. Kid And Trail - Kid by some willows below old trail in Bendire Canyon.
  31. Wood Structure - An old mine-related structure in Bendire Canyon.
  32. Trail On Mountainside - A view of the old trail leading up Bendire Canyon. It was used to haul pine wood down the canyon for use in the Wildrose Charcoal Kilns according to Doc Cole.
  33. Snake - I found this snake in the canyon that forks off to the south near the mouth of Bendire Canyon.
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