DesertBakersfield to Mojave and Red Rock Canyon
Mercury mines near Keeler and the Cactus, Golden Queen and Solidad Mountain gold mines near Mojave are visited. Then we go to Red Rock Canyon by way of the old salt mines at Saltdale. On the way we examine the Garlock Fault. The day ends with a tour down the Kern Canyon on our way back to Bakersfield. Management practices for the Mojave ground squirrel, Desert tortoise and Tehachapi salamander are discussed.
This field trip investigates the titanium deposit at Soledad Canyon, the graphite vein deposits and Howlite borate deposits at Tick Canyon, and the Tropico Gold mine near Rosemond. We also investigate a large anorthosite body in the northern San Gabriel Mountains. A final stop is made a Placerita, the site of the first gold discovery in Spanish California (no, it was NOT at Sutter’s Mill!).
Old Mojave Road
The Old Mojave Road starts at the Colorado River in Nevada 14 miles north of Needles, California, at a point 0.6 miles east of the Casino on the Fort Mojave Indian Reservation. This starting point is in the floodplain of the Colorado River which has cut down through older units and exposed them, from youngest to oldest as we drive west to the northeastern flank of the Dead Mountains. From there we drive up on to the east-sloping pediment of the Dead Mountains, turning northwest and more or less driving parallel the California-Nevada State Line until we come to the southern slopes of the Newberry Mountains of Nevada. From there we turn west and cross the Piute Valley to the Piute Mountains. We make a detour around the Piute Mountain Wilderness area at Fort Piute, crossing the Piute Mountains at Telephone Cable Pass to the south. From there we cross Eastern Lanfair Valley to the northern end of the Vontrigger Hills. From the Vontrigger Hills we cross Western Lanfair Valley and pass to the south of Lanfair Buttes (Eagle Mountain) and Grotto Hills which are on our right (to the north). We pass out of West Lanfair Valley at the northeastern end of Table Mountain. Then we traverse southwest of Pinto Mountain and then go up and across the Mid Hills. We cross the Mid Hills at Cedar Canyon. Exiting the Mid Hills, we cross Kelso Wash to on unnamed hill at mile 66.9 and then skirt the northern flank of the Marl Mountains. Driving west and northwest we drive along the southern edge of the Club Mountain Volcanic Field to Willow Wash. Traveling northwest we greet the north end of Seventeen Mile Point in the Old Dad Mountains. From Seventeen Mile point we go southwest across Devil’s Playground do the Little Cowhole and Cowhole Mountains. The Old Mojave Road goes between those two mountains to the eastern edge of Soda Lake. Crossing Soda Lake we come to the southeastern end of Soda Mountains. From there we skirt the southeast end of the Soda Mountains and the southeast flank of the Cave Mountains. Near the southwest end of the Cave Mountains we enter Afton Canyon on the Mojave River. For the Afton Canyon portion of our journey, the Cady Mountains are on the south and southwest of the Old Mojave Road. Afton Canyon ends at the Afton Canyon Campground. From there we are in sediments of the Lower Mojave River and Glacial Lake Manix to the end or our field trip near Camp Cady.
Desert Symposium 2019
Golden Queen Mine and Water Canyon Hydraulic Placer Mine
Explore the geology and mining history of the Standard Mining District and the Golden Queen mine, one of the few operating open pit gold mines in California. We also visit the historic placer gold diggings at Water Canyon, south of Tehachapi