Fish Canyon Escape Trail

William Lewis Manly  (April 6, 1820 – February 5, 1903)
William Lewis Manly (April 6, 1820 – February 5, 1903)

The Fish Canyon Escape Trail is a route discovered by William Manly as an escape route from Death Valley in 1849.  The group tried to navigate the hot and dry Mojave desert with hand drawn maps, which supposedly showed short cuts across the desert. After being lost of months in the wilderness of Death Valley, William Manly and a group of emigrants headed to California. William Mandy set off and finally discovered a route out of Death Valley.  

William Many was like many man of the era. He made his living as a guide, fur hunter, farmer and later in life a writer. In 1849, he followed thousands of other young men and travelled to California to join the Gold Rush. He was 29 years old at the time.

Near Provo Utah he joined other travels to cross the great basin to Southern California. In December, the group became lost following the inaccurate maps which they brought with them. For three weeks they struggled in Death Valley. With food supplies depeleted. Manly and John Haney Rogers walked the Mojave for 250 miles, finally reaching Rancho San Fernando.

On his return with food and horses, he discovered that only two families, the Bennett and Arcane, survived his absence. This trail is part of his route.

The trail is mildly rocky and suitable for most SUV’s

Further Reading

Fish Canyon Escape Trail Map

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