Tucked away inside a canyon of the Desert National Wildlife Refuge is the Hidden Forest Cabin. Built around 1900 by folks unknown, the rustic, single room log cabin was once used by Nevada game wardens in 1936 when the Desert NWR was established. More recently, in 2008-2010, the cabin underwent restoration work by volunteers and the Desert NWR staff. It is open for overnight use on a first come-first served basis. The cabin consists of a wood-fired stove, bed, and table and chairs. A small kitchen area is stocked with a few can goods that people bring up for emergencies. Please keep the cabin clean and in better shape than you found it.
While hiking in the backcountry of Joshua Tree over the winter, the good folks over at Peregriff and I came across this small pictograph site. There isn’t much to the site, just a simple rock shelter with a handful of red pictographs on the ceiling but it is an intriguing find. As far as I know, it was unknown to the Park Service at the time of discovery. It is in a remote and difficult to reach spot.
At 12,990′, the Adamson is the highest mine in the Sierra Nevada. And as you might suspect, getting there is no easy feat. It is a strenuous 8.6 mile (one-way) and 3,670 foot climb up the rugged Wheeler Ridge to reach it. This is the top of the Sierras. Altitude sickness is a real concern here so be aware of headaches and fatigue. Turn around and head down if you feel sick.
Last summer, we visited the fantastic little ghost town of Bannack, Montana, which has been preserved and turned into a state park. It is similar to Bodie State Historical Park but with fewer buildings and no mill tour. Still, remaining ghost towns from the gold rush days are rare and this one is worth the visit.
The Jayhawkers are famous for their harrowing journey through the unexplored lands of Death Valley in 1849 on their way to reach the fabled gold fields of California’s Mother Lode. They made it, but only after burning their wagons and ditching some of their possessions. They are likely the first white people to set foot in the vast alkali valley and are credited for giving Death Valley its name.
I was out exploring in the wild hinterlands of Utah a while back, a backcountry cabin caught my eye. There aren’t many other cabins (or mines) out here, so I definitely wanted to pay this one a visit.
Hidden a few miles into the monzogranite maze wilderness of the Joshua Tree National Park lies the “Born Again” Pictograph site. It isn’t an easy site to reach but this rock shelter was once a habitation site and is covered with faded pictographs. The rock outcrop even has a tunnel that was probably used for rites of passage rituals. It is an impressive find worth the effort to reach.