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Friday, April 5, 2013

Around Turquoise Peak - "appeared on the ridge next to our camp"

We drove northeast on the Mojave Highway (I-15) to Baker and after getting fuel and ice cream cones continued on to the Halloran Springs Exit. We had been to Turquoise Peak area several times in the past but this time wanted to circumnavigate the peak and see if there were more turquoise mines. Desert Magazine April, 1977 page 32
In a canyon on the northwestern slopes of Turquoise Peak.
 High above our location, the passengers on both planes cheered for the FAA's Vertical Separation Minima (VSM) of 1.000 feet.
Farther down the canyon.
The remains of a turquoise mine camp.
Jan noticed that there were still plates in the dish rack.
 I thought about driving the road up to the mine but after looking at the topo map decided against it. After hiking about 50 yards I discovered that my decision was correct because the road became very steep and loose. Tire tracks on the road showed that the last vehicle had a very difficult time.
I hiked up the hill and soon sighted the first workings at the end of the road.
Closer look into the workings.
Looking west from the mine.
Found evidence of others searching for turquoise.
Higher up on the ridge-line there were more workings. I hiked to the top of the ridge where one could look down on the larger workings to the south.
We spotted this little lizard sunning on a tire as we drove west toward Riggs Wash.
After a few miles we met a transmission line road.
We drove south until reaching an east bound road to continue our circumnavigation.
Heading east along a flowery wash toward the Wander Mine.
Thousands of caterpillars were crawling around on the road and flowers.
We spotted some rock art.
About a mile later there was evidence that someone had been dry washing.
The sun highlighted Turquoise Peak.
An old fire ring. Who camped there, why and when?
We passed this old claim marker with a jar holding claim papers.
Headed for our next campsite along a rutted seldom used road.
Sunset at our camp about 1/2 mile south of Hytens Well.
Dawn and some interesting silhouettes appeared on the ridge next to our camp.
Jan prepared some savory breakfast burritos.
Which we ate while enjoying the view to the west. Baker in the distance.
After breakfast it was time to figure out why the truck wasn't charging the camper.  The only charge was coming from our solar panel. After some troubleshooting I determined that the battery isolator in the truck wasn't working. I wired a bypass to connect the truck directly to the camper. No worries though because the camper is also equipped with an isolator.
We followed our tracks down the rutted road toward the old Silverlake cutoff of the Arrowhead Highway.
This bit of road damage exposed the oiled/paved surface of the once well traveled Arrowhead Trail, the original US 91.
We discovered this old foundation. My guess was a service station.
I came to this conclusion after finding this pile of old tires and then another pile of old oil cans.
This old map of the Arrowhead Trail shows a station to the west of Halloran Spring. Click here for a guide to the entire route.
Found alongside the Arrowhead Trail.
We drove on to Halloran Spring.
Once again some goldfish are proving that they are actually a type of domesticated carp.
We looked around and found the actual spring and qanat about 70 yards north of the water trough. After finding the spring it was time to get on I-15 and head for our next destination.


  1. Interesting journey!

    Noticed a hook or something attached to your jack brackets that I hadn't seen in earlier photos (maybe because I just learned how to view the pics full size.) Mind telling what you have attached and what you use if for. I'm just starting out in my Fleet and am looking for all sorts of tips.

  2. I am experimenting with a new type of mounting system for the FWC on the Tacoma.(fourth system) The factory bolted the camper to the bed on my QuadCab Tacoma rather than the eyebolt system they use on full bed trucks. Bolting onto the bed probably works okay for driving on paved roads but left a lot to be desired when 4x4ing.

  3. hi, I've been studying several old topos as well as the classic "guide to the arrowhead trail"......can you tell me EXACTLY where you ran across the old foundations of what looked like a "Service station"? With all the tires? Also, the photo with the "construction sawhorse" where you had mentioned that the "oiled paved" old Arrowhead Highway section was? I cannot seem to pinpoint it on aerial photographs of the area....Thank a LOT in advance!


  4. Awesome trip report! We'd love for you to share your trail with us over on Offroad Trail Guide!