Eastern Mojave Vegetation California Highway 127  

Tom Schweich  

Home Page  CA Hwy 127 is the southern gateway to Death Valley.

Other articles:
• NV Hwy 373:   at Calfornia State Line;  

Nevada above
California below

Junction: Nevada Highway 373, north to US Highway 95 in Amargosa Valley.



Other articles:
• CA Hwy 190:   at CA Hwy 127;
• Tonopah & Tidewater:  Death Valley Junction;

Locations: Death Valley Junction.
Full Size ImageThe Amargosa Opera House at Death Valley Junction.  

Death Valley Junction

Junction: California Highway 190, west to Death Valley.

Other articles:
• Ash Meadows Road:   at CA Hwy127;  

Junction: Ash Meadows Road

Other articles:
• FAQ:   landslides;
• Field Notes:  May 24, 2004;
Full Size ImageIs this a landslide?  

Every time I drive by this canyon at the very southeastern tip of the Funeral Mountains, I wonder whether it might be a landslide. Of course, I'll also have to confess that I've not been sufficiently curious that I went to any effort to go look at it.

Other articles:
• Field Notes:  May 24, 2004;
Full Size ImageSoutheastern tip of the Funeral Mountains.  

Funeral mountains to the north.

Literature Cited:
- Bradley, Dwight, LeeAnn Munk, Hillary Jochens, Scott Hynek, and Keigh Labay, 2013.
- Pacific Imperial Mines, Inc., 2011.  

To the east is the Eagle Mountain Salina, not a name recognized by the GNIS. This salina has been prospected for lithium brines and claimed by Pacific Imperial Mines, Inc. (Pacific Imperial Mines, Inc., 2011). There is some concern that mining on this salina, specifically pumping of subsurface brines might affect the water table in Ash Meadows and further imperil the pupfish.

Locations: Eagle Mountain.
Full Size ImageEagle Mountain in the Amargosa River Valley.  

Eagle Mountain

Other articles:
• CA Hwy 178:   near Shoshone;  

Junction: California Highway 178, west over Salsberry Pass and Jubilee Pass to southern Death Valley.

Locations: Shoshone.
Full Size ImageMoonrise over Shoshone  

Moonrise over Shoshone, at the Shoshone Motel

Locations: Shoshone.
Full Size ImageNighthawks in Shoshone.  

On this warm May evening, there were nighthawks flying over the lights of the motel parking lot.



Locations: Shoshone.
Full Size ImageDowntown Shoshone in the early morning.  



Other articles:
• CA Hwy 178:   near Shoshone;  

Junction: California Highway 178, access to “Castles of Clay,” east to Pahrump Nevada.

Other articles:
• Furnace Creek Wash Road:   at CA Hwy 127;  

Junction: Furnace Creek Wash Road, northwest to Greenwater Valley.

Other articles:
• Furnace Creek Road:   at CA Hwy 127;  

Junction: Furnace Creek Road, southeast to Tecopa.
  Highway 127 skirts Tecopa Valley. To the east you can see the town of Tecopa. You can read about the geology of Tecopa Valley in Geophysical constraints on the cessation of extension and thickness of basin fill in Tecopa Valley, California.

Full Size ImageBorax Spring at Zabriskie.  

Other articles:
• Old Spanish Trail Road:  20000;  

Junction: Old Spanish Trail Road



Locations: Ibex Hills. Ibex Pass. Sperry Hills.  

Ibex Pass

Sperry Hills on the east; Ibex Hills on the west.

Literature Cited:
- Pavlik, Bruce Michael, 1985.

Locations: Dumont Dunes.  

Junction: Dumont Dunes Road

Locations: Amargosa River.
Full Size ImageLooking north toward the Ibex Hills and Ibex Pass from the Amargosa River.  




Locations: Amargosa River. Amargosa River.
Full Size ImageThe Amargosa River where it crosses California Highway 127.  

Amargosa River


Other articles:
• Harry Wade Road:  18000;  

Junction: Harry Wade Road, west turning north into Death Valley.

Locations: Dumont Dunes.
Full Size ImageDumont Dunes, as seen from California Highway 127  


Locations: Avawatz Mountains.  

Avawatz Mountains to the southwest.

Full Size ImageSalt Creek, looking downstream toward the Amargosa River
Full Size ImageLarge Athel tree at Salt Creek  



Locations: Salt Creek. Salt Spring Hills.
Full Size ImageView of Salt Creek  

Salt Creek

Water flow generated by several small desert springs, as well as winter drainage from neighboring Silurian Valley, come together at Salt Spring Hills to form a unique tributary to the Amargosa River known as Salt Creek. In an otherwise very harsh environment, this water provides the gift of life to a huge variety of desert wildlife like bighorn sheep to drink, but also food and shelter necessary for animals such as Gambels Quail to survive and raise young. The march, mesquite trees and succulent vegetative scrub this water supports, provide countless homes for animals like the ring-tail, bobcat, badger and over 150 bird species. The riparian habitat, or streamside vegetation, present at Salt Creek is virtually the only water based habitat in over fifteen square miles of desert. Ensuring continued water flow and the health of the native plant communities found here are essential to sustaining numerous wildlife species. Extensive efforts are being made by the Bureau of Land Management, California Dept. of Fish and Game, and numerous partners such as Quail Unlimited and the Los Angeles Conservation Corps, to remove exotic weeds, restore native plants and maintain this scarce water resource.

Full Size ImageSalt Creek, looking upstream, to the southeast.
Full Size ImageHoney Mesquite at Salt Creek  

Literature Cited:
- Engel, Celeste G., and Robert P. Sharp, 1958.

Other articles:
• Eastern Mojave Geology:   Engel and Sharp (1958);  

In one of the early studies on desert varnish, Engel and Sharp (1958) performed wet chemical analyses on varnish, the underlying weathered rind, and fresh rock from ten locations in southeast California. One of the locations was near Salt Spring (sic), on a steep bedrock slope facing east about 300 yards west of the highway in the NW 1/4 of Sec. 32, T. 18 N., R. 7 E., at elevation 630 feet (Avawatz Pass quadrangle). Engel and Sharp found that (1) varnish on stones seated in soil or colluvium is derived largely from that material, (2) varnish on large bedrock esposures come from weathered parts of the rock, (3) air-borne material is probably a minor contributor.



Other articles:
• Kingston Wash Road:  Renoville;

Locations: Renoville.  



Locations: Silurian Valley.  


Other articles:
• Field Notes:  20060422150;
Full Size ImageSilurian Hills in the late afternoon.  



Locations: Silurian Lake.  

Silurian Lake


Full Size ImagePhotography on Silurian Lake in the late Afternoon  

Other articles:
• Field Notes:  Sunday, 16 April 2017;
Full Size ImageLower spillway, looking upstream.
Full Size ImageLower spillway, looking downstream.  

Full Size Image
Lower spillway from Silver Lake, with Avawatz Mountains in distance.
Full Size Image
Dave Miller leads field discussion of the outlet of Lake Mojave and the tectonics of the Silurian Valley and Avawatz Mountains.



Literature Cited:
- Miller, David M., 2005.
- Ore, H. Thomas, and Claude N. Warren, 1971.
- Owen, Lewis A., et al., 2007.

Locations: Silver Lake.  

Silver Lake Spillway

Lake Mojave, the name given to a large lake filling the present day Soda and Silver Lakes, overflowed at hills on the north side of Silver Lake, cascading down a narrow channel and thence to Death Valley. Full Lake Mojave and associated overflow to Death Valley occurred between 19 and 17 ka, and episodically from 14 to 9 ka. Since that time, there has been no fluvial communication between the Mojave River and points lower than Silver Lake, but episodic flow of the Mojave River from the San Bernardino Mountains to Silver Lake occurs regularly, including Winter 2005 (Miller, 2005).

Full Size ImageUpper spillway, looking upstream.
Full Size ImageUpper spillway, looking upstream.
Full Size ImageUpper spillway, looking downstream.  

Other articles:
• Power Line Road #2 (Middle):   at CA Hwy 127;  

Junction: Powerline Road



Literature Cited:
- Thompson, David G., 1929.

Other articles:
• Halloran Springs Road:   at Silver Lake;
• Field Notes:  23-Apr-06;
• Routes to Water:   at Silver Lake;   at Silver Lake;

Locations: Silver Lake (site).  

Silver Lake (site)

Full Size Image
Foundations at Silver Lake (site).
Silver Lake was once a main crossroads in the eastern Mojave desert at a time when Baker, now the major crossroads, was only a station on the Tonopah and Tidewater Railroad. Major trails from Silver Lake include:
  • Silver Lake to Goodsprings, by way of Francis Spring and Ripley (present-day Sandy).
  • Silver Lake to Nipton, by way of Halloran Spring and Valley Wells (through present-day Mountain Pass).
  • Barstow to Silver Lake.

Junction: Halloran Springs Road, east through the Halloran Hills to Halloran Springs at US Interstate 15.

Locations: Silver Lake.
Full Size ImageView west across Silver Lake from Silver Lake.  



Locations: Silver Lake.  

Silver Lake


Full Size ImageAvawatz Mountains from CA Highway 127.  
View of the Avawatz Mountains to the northwest across Silver Lake.



Other articles:
• Kelbaker Road:   in Baker;
• Interstate 15:  Baker;

Locations: Baker.  


  • Kelbaker Road, south to Kelso, U. S. Interstate 40.
  • U. S. Interstate 15, west to Los Angeles, east to Las Vegas.
If you have a question or a comment you may write to me at: tas4@schweich.com I sometimes post interesting questions in my FAQ, but I never disclose your full name or address.  

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Date and time this article was prepared: 12/8/2023 3:28:07 PM