We walked past the Hidden Valley Campground out toward a small bouldering area. While Melise was trying to solve a conundrum, my husband had walked further away from the boulders and discovered a big rock that was situated in such a way that it had somewhat formed a cave. Someone had cemented in additional rocks to create a full blown cave, and had hinged on a heavy steel door that locked from the outside. It is almost completely hidden. Creepy.
All kinds of people have tried--and failed--to live in the Mojave desert. When they go, they leave behind all kinds of stuff. You're not likely to find most of it on the main trails, but if you wander off just a bit, you're likely to run into all kinds of things you didn't expect.
Just off Park Boulevard after entering from the western side is a great off the road area to explore and check out. Without requiring any hiking or work to get to it, you can just park and stroll around. Seeing as how it is so easy to get to, it's well worth it so that you can check out the huge rock formations and the joshua trees. I was there early in the morning and found myself being the fear of all types of wildlife as they scurried away from me. I would suggest driving all the way to the end of the dirt road and parking at the last parking area. (they are slightly uphill parking stalls).
Through the life of the mine 10,000 ounces of gold and 16,000 ounces of silver were produced (that's about $5,000,000 on today's market). If you want to see a fairly well preserved example of a mountain mine from a long ago era, the Lost Horse Mine might be worth you checking out. Plainly visible as you hike the trail in, the trail goes for about two miles before you get to the mine. The terrain is moderatly strenuous, but nothing too bad. It's basically a deteriorated road that travels along hills and mountains.
If you do go, do not miss the chance to get a GREAT view by climbing to the top of the mountain. You can see the northern part of the park for miles. It is well worth just hiking up a little bit more from the mine.
If you are the adventurous type, then back country camping is for you! Forget about those built in campsites! When we went there anyway, they are all occupied. we were justa bout ready to turn back when we realized we could do back country camping. First step would be to register at a back country board. There are all around the park. Basically, it's a small post where you fill out a piece of paper stating your name, car license #, date when you went camping and the expected date of your return. (so when you get lost ans you don get back to the parking lot on the date you specified, you know the park rangers will come looking for you!). And you're all set! Don't carry a lot of stuff! Tent, sleeping bag, food, water, lantern, compass and playing cards is all you need! You can follow the path that winds around the park, then if you think you've gone deep enough, you need to walk at least a mile and a half from the path before you can choose a spot. talk about privacy! You really get the feel that you own the park.Not like on a regular campsite where you're 20 feet away from other people blowing their stereos!
I say go for it!!!
Pushawalla Plateu is an excellent hike to a high ridge that overlooks Palms Springs, the Coachella Valley and the Salton Sea and back into the National Park.
To get to the trailhead you'll need a 4-wheel drive vehicle that can take you to the southern end of the Geology Tour Road, from there you'll need a guidebook for this great 6.5 mile hike.
Back on Highway 62, turn left and the, about a mile down, look for the spur road to the left that runs north of Yucca Valley for a few miles to the tiny settlement known as Pioneertown.
Here, on Pioneertown Road, you'll come face to face with the Old West of your chilhood, a place fit for the likes of Gene Autry and John Wayne. In fact, these two legendary screen stars graced the area along with hundreds of other film actors during the 1940s and '50s, when Hollywood constructed Pioneertown as a pernanenet stging area for filming Westerns such as Gunfight at the O.K. Corral.
While in town, be sure to stop by for a cool drink at Pappy and Harriet's Pioneertown Palace, and check out the dozens of Old West artifacts that adorn the walls of this popular saloon.
Ryan's Adobe was abandoned by the Ryan family back in the 1930's. And the house was burned down in 1987.
Our friend Fritz completed his military service at the tank force. So he was highly interested in the Patton Museum at Chiriaco Summit