Saturday, December 12, 2009

Ride 7: Whitmore Mine Trail

On a Sunday afternoon out for a "little" drive we decided to take a look at where the Old Spanish Trail runs along the freeway for a ways. Going West on I-15 from Mesquite we exited at the first truck stop and we were there.   [For a free Google Earth file of this route see: Ride 07: Whitmore Mine Trail]

There is an exit out the fence onto a dirt road which has all the appropriate signs but it sure looks like an ordinary dirt road to me. It runs along the freeway as sort of a "frontage road" for awhile then takes off across the desert every which way.

The one heading toward Mormon Mountains looked so wide and inviting that we decided to see how far we could get... We got pretty far.

Our GPS (never leave home without one) said that we were heading up "Half-way" wash and we wondered "half-way" to what?

Before we realized what we were into, the road became a bit less maintained until we reached the Powerline Road and breathing became easier.

There is one small problem with GPS units and that's all the neat stuff it shows you around where you are. Once Gordon had seen the mine symbol we instantly had a new goal!

Auto racing, bull fighting, and mountain climbing are the only real sports… all others are games.”
Ernest Hemingway

The Whitmore Mine was directly in line of sight to Mormon Peak which is where we had been looking so there was no stopping us - or so we thought!

After a bit of being tossed about by the trail we reached the base of the canyon only to find a post and cable BLM blockade - ostensibly to "restore" the stream-bed to its "pre-mining" days sans road.

There are a couple of springs up the wash, Hackberry and Wiregrass, but unless someone is a complete mine-obsessive (pretty much like Gordon) I bet the trail is rarely visited. Lets just say that the mine hike is about "40-click's above all the way on."

The route back was much more direct, down the Carp-Elgin road to the interchange. A good drive which could be combined with a ride around Carp-Elgin into Toquop Wash and around for a very full day's adventure.


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