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Thursday, April 12, 2012

Turtle Mountains

 We drove east across Ward Valley headed toward the Turtle Mountains in the distance. Gray skies make for cooler temperatures but poor photos.
 Driving on desert pavement as we enter the Turtle Mountains.
 Looking back at the Old Woman Mountains to the west.
 In three days of travel we only encountered people twice.
This mailbox is a way-point that marks our turn south.
The road gets a little rougher.
Very photogenic mountain range.
One of several picnic/camp sites built along the roads in the area. These shelters were built to last. At first glance the structures appeared to be wood but a closer inspection revealed that they are welded steel.
Next stop the Lost Arch Inn.
Not much remains of Charley Brown's cabin.
 An apparition appeared in the window. Charley Brown's sister perhaps.
Near cabin there were several old cars. This is the dashboard of one of them.
The grill of another.
Leaving the Lost Arch Inn.
We plan to drive south toward Carson's Wells and then southeast along the flank of the Turtles.
Looking to the south.
Looking south and in this view I notice a dent in the rear bumper. That dent was made seven years ago when we drove to the Doll House in the Maze District of Canyonlands National Park. If you want remote, then that is the place to go. We were out there for four days and encountered just one other person. The road to the Doll House is not as difficult as the rangers make it sound.
Late afternoon and the shadows are getting longer.
Crossing what could be called Coffin Springs Wash and looking to find a campsite before dark.
 Dusk at our Turtle Mountain camp.
 The next morning we continue south through a few fairly steep wash crossings.
Approaching the end of the road.
Jan noticed this tiny baby barrel cactus.
Two arches above a canyon that I hiked into after reaching the end of the road.
Found this very orange rock while hiking down a small canyon.
Would like to be here when the water was flowing down this stream.
Old and not so old relics from the past.
How many years have gone by since this can was opened?
We begin our drive back to the Lost Arch Inn.
Retracing our route through the steep wash crossings.

Hard to leave such a picturesque landscape.
A barrel cactus with a view.
The steepest wash climb is about a 1/4 mile from the Carson's Wells trailhead.
Jan stands next to a large ocotillo that Jo Ann spotted about 100 feet from the road.
View from inside the stems.
The ocotillo standing alone in the wash.
A cactus between a rock and a rock.
Leaving the Turtle Mountains and driving the long, dusty, washboard road to US 95.
Gasoline prices in Needles.


  1. I just came across your blog. My husband and I love to explore the Mojave Desert too. We were at that mailbox just last weekend. We found someone had left a note in it from their visit in April. Was this you by any chance? We are thinking of going out again in a couple of weeks to the Lost Arch Inn, what is the road like?

    1. Turtle Mountains are an interesting range. We plan to visit again this winter. One of the ladies in our group left a note in the mail box. I left a card. The road to the Lost Arch Inn is very tame. No 4x4 required. Thanks for visiting. Cheers.

  2. Thanks for the reply, it's very helpful. We have a 4x4 just wondered how the road is, we will probably go out again in the winter too, maybe our paths will cross.

  3. Wow! You only encountered two people?