January 2022 News

I've been working on trip reports. The directions are taking way longer than I thought they would, so I'm cutting back to just GPS waypoints and tracks for now. Maybe in the future, I will be able to add more details to them. But in an effort to get more of my old trips online and fix existing ones, I need just to do waypoints and tracks.

New trips since the last update

Hidden Valley
Reportedly, Bill Keys dynamited a few boulders to allow cattle to gain entrance in 1921. I’m not sure if that story is true or not but Hidden Valley certainly would make for a good corral. A sign along the nature trail says it happened in 1936, so sources vary.
Boy Scout Trail
This is a shuttle hike that goes along the edge of the maze that is the Wonderland of Rocks and then drops down into Indian Cove. It’s not a backcountry hike to an old mine or anything but I am including it for completeness of Joshua Tree hikes that I
Window Rock
I’m a fan of arches. I don’t know why but they are always fun to find. There aren’t that many in Joshua Tree National Park (Arch Rock and Garrett’s Arch come to mind) but the lesser-known Window Rock one is lurking right off the road. Directions
“Antirhodes” Mine
Reader-supported field notes from backcountry explorations of the Western United States
Picture Canyon Pictographs
Well-named Picture Canyon floated to the top of my list of places to go in late 2021. Hikers have rediscovered this canyon at the southern end of the Sheep Range (and inside of the Desert Wildlife Refuge) in recent years in their search for missing long-distance hiker Kenny Veach. He
Barker Dam
It goes without saying that water is important in the desert and in Joshua Tree that is no different. A rancher by the name of C.O. Barker built the dam around 1902 to improve the natural tank here for his cattle. Along with the nearby Cow Camp reservoir, it
Petroglyph Wash Arrastra and Petroglyphs
I decided to head out to try and track down an arrastra I read about a long time ago. It was mentioned in a report to be one of only two known “wagon wheel” style arrastras in a national park (The other one is the Pinto Wye Arrastra out in
Mastodon Mine
The Mastodon Peak Loop is an easy and well-known hike in the southern end of Joshua Tree National Park but the history of the mine and nearby mills are lesser known. The Mastodon Mine was owned and operated by George Hulsey (and his family) of Indio. The gold-bearing quartz vein

I've updated these trips since the last update

Roode Rock
While out wandering around in the wilds of Death Valley National Park, we found a historic inscription by William Roode (also Rood or Rude), who was part of the Jayhawkers escaping Death Valley in 1849. There is some debate as to if the inscription was really made in 1849 or
Johnny Lang Mine and Quail Mountain
I’ve hiked to the top of Quail Mountain from Covington Flat, but I wanted to visit the Johnny Lang Mine. Johnny Lang, being noted for his involvement at the Lost Horse Mine, made me curious about his mine on the shoulder of Quail Mountain. He worked this small mine
Confidence Wash Upper Mines
The Confidence Wash area of southern Death Valley has always interested me. I’m not sure why. There isn’t much out there. It is a wildly desolate and forsaken stretch of desert and can only be visited in the coldest of winter months as the rest of the time
Lemoigne Mine
Jean François de Lamoignon (shortened to Jean or John Lemoigne), was a black-bearded Frenchman who differed from most of the other early Death Valley prospectors; he was a well-educated mining engineer. He came to Death Valley around 1879 to supervise the Eagle Borax Works. Unfortunately, by the tim…
Desert Queen and Eagle Cliff Mines
This old trail leads to a couple of historic mines and a hidden rock cabin. This is a must-see for Joshua Tree. History Desert Queen Mine The Desert Queen is one of the largest mines in the park and also has an equally large history. Frank James first discovered the
Pinto Wye Arrastra
An arrastra is a simple and primitive gold milling device. Heavy stones are dragged over gold ore to crush it. Mercury and water are added to the floor of the arrastra to create an amalgam and capture the gold. There is somewhat of a mystery about who built this arrastra

A couple more notes

I often go back and update old posts as I get new information.

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More to come. Thank you for your continued support!