July 13 - Black Rock Desert

Friday morning, I drove up the steep trail behind Black Rock Point, and then hiked to the peak, 300m above the playa surface, from which I took this panoramic shot. on the left, you can see the green patch which is Black Rock Springs, and on the far right, you can see the black dot which is my Jeep parked on the ridge below.

220 degree panoramic view from Black Rock Point, looking southwest, south, and east (7/13 9:59 AM)

Afterwards, I drove on another Jeep trail See in Google Maps See on a USGS topographic map See in Google Earth 41.00716, -118.9602  (marked "4WD" in the map through the two small elevated playas to the north (visible in the panoramic image above), and up into the hills, where I had lunch with a view. See in Google Maps See on a USGS topographic map See in Google Earth 41.0192, -118.9986 

Driving down (to the north) from behind Black Rock Point (7/13 10:43 AM)Small elevated playa (7/13 10:53 AM)View from cliffs north of Black Rock Point, facing southwest (7/13 11:42 AM)

Back on the playa, I headed north to Double Hot Springs, where there was a tub! This tub allowed the water to cool just enough to bathe in. A little sign next to a homemade ladle said, "please wash feet." See in Google Maps See on a USGS topographic map See in Google Earth 41.05098, -119.0276 [I visited again in the summer of 2006. Here's what it looked like.]

Pool at Double Hot Springs (7/13 3:07 PM)Double Hot Springs - tub (7/13 3:12 PM)Double Hot Springs - tub (7/13 3:18 PM)

My playa map showed that the ghost town of Hardin City lay just ahead to the north, but I had been warned that there wasn't much there. Sure enough, I learned a lesson that would hold true throughout the rest of my trip - any place named Something City was lucky to be more than just one or two buildings. All that was left of Hardin City were the foundations of a two stone buildings. See in Google Maps See on a USGS topographic map See in Google Earth 41.11629, -119.0018 

Sign for Hardin City (7/13 3:33 PM)Hardin City (7/13 4:02 PM)

I decided to try to cross Black Rock Range where my map showed a road (that proved to be an extremely rough track) to the northeast, up over the hills. I camped at the far east end of the road, just before descending into the east branch of the "Y" at the top of the Black Rock Desert playa. See in Google Maps See on a USGS topographic map See in Google Earth 41.10811, -118.9613 

spider web over hole in the ground (7/13 5:59 PM)camp (7/13 7:42 PM)sunset, looking northeast towards playa (7/13 8:11 PM)