Hiking and exploring backcountry locations of the Western United States.

Author: Guy Starbuck (page 1 of 76)

Guy Starbuck has been hiking and exploring backcountry southwestern US for over 25 years.

“Trump” Mill

We got a tour of this mining camp in central Idaho from the caretaker who lives on-site. He was very generous with his time and was happy to show us around. I asked him why the name “Trump” was painted on the mill buildings and he said: “You never know. He might see it and like the place.” Fair enough.

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Pipes Canyon

Pipes Canyon is a pleasant and easy hike. The trail heads out from the visitor center at the Pioneertown Mountains Preserve and follows the canyon up into a riparian habitat. Some of the plants you will see along the way are willow, baccharis, white sage, and mugwort. The canyon is usually dry, but water does occasionally surface to support this isolated oasis.

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Sun Sword and Whale Rock Petroglyphs

With a tip from a friend, I went out searching for a remote set of petroglyphs in the backcountry wilderness of Joshua Tree National Park. I had a few clues in my search. I was looking for petroglyphs that were near an old campsite and hidden on the backside of a large boulder. That’s not a lot to go on in the vast wilderness of Joshua Tree but I had a couple of other hints as well.

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Canebrake Skeleton Pictographs

Hidden in a granite rock shelter near an ancient Kumeyaay village site is a set of unique pictographs. Most of these pictographs are typical of the La Rumorosa Style but what is unusual here are the skeleton figures. I have not seen them anywhere else in the Kumeyaay territory.

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