The Black Mountain Wilderness is by far one of our most favorite destinations in the Mojave Desert as it is both beautiful and filled with rich history. During the late 1800’s, travelers would pass through the Black Mountains and make an overnight stop at Black Canyon Well on their way to the Panamint Range carrying needed provisions or back to Los Angeles with cargo of valuable silver ore. One of these travelers left his mark on several of the black volcanic rock faces indicating that he was “J. & A. Tillman” and that he was in this area on “Sep 3, 1874 San Francisco Cal”. Of course, well before the miners, Native Americans spent a vast amount of time in this area and left a stunning array of petroglyphs into the rock faces and some of which depict a herd of big horn sheep.
When we made this particular trip out to the Black Mountain Wilderness, it was soon after a big winter storm and one that left an unusual amount of snow and water behind. While it was very cold out, it was also amazingly beautiful out that day and we made sure to make many stops along the way to take it all in. Our first stop was at the old Black Canyon Well where we looked for one of three famous Tillman signatures and played in the snow. Scouts Cove was our next stop and after checking out the home miners had carved out of a tuffa tower, we spent some time rock hounding for the same fire opals that the Tiffany Jewlery Company had sought after many years before. From there, we made our way over to Inscription Canyon to admire the intricate petroglyphs carved into the black volcanic rock by an ancient people long since gone.
Our final destination on this trip took us well out of the Black Mountains and due to the unusual amount of snow and water everywhere, required that we drive for miles through deep water and mud. While this entire trip can normally be done without the need of a 4WD, I can assure you that we were all glad to have our Jeeps. Just as the sun was about to set, we made it out to one of our favorite dry lakes in the Mojave Desert and one that is simply breathtaking to see after a big storm as you will see in this video. Of all the years we have been coming out to this dry lake, there have only been a handful of times that we’ve seen it with this much water in it and, this was the very first time we had seen it with all this snow around. Truly, it was an experience to be remembered and maybe the only time we will ever see it like this again.
To watch this video now, simply click on the screen or link below:
If you would like to see a ton of photos from our run, click on the link below:
And last but not least, if you have the opportunity to visit this amazing place, please remember to tread lightly.