I love traveling south in Nevada and seeing the change in landscape and vegetation. On of my favorites parts is when we get into Joshua Tree habitat—and join in on the dance party in the desert!
Last week we were lucky enough to get to road trip down south. We enjoyed the scenery and the Joshua trees along the way!
Last week we focused on one of our favorite desert mountains, but it’s such a favorite it warrants another post. Being so remote, we were very surprised to find a “harri mutil” (literally “stone boy” at the top. These rock cairns were built by Basque sheepherders usually to mark range boundaries but also for a variety of other reasons, including just to pass the time. I’m not sure exactly if this rock cairn was a harri mutil, but it sure seemed like it.
While the peak hike was fairly short, about 3 hours total, we have also hiked quite a bit around the base of Elephant Mountain, and once tried for the summit from the much steeper eastern slope, but turned back due to the steepness and the lateness of the day. We had also hiked out to Crowbar Spring that day.
On vacation this week and had the privilege to visit the Ancient Bristlecone National Forest. It is so humbling and invigorating to walk among them.
Elephant Mountain gets its name because it looks like the top of a charging elephant's head--see photo above. It's pretty obvious when looked at from this angle at Leonard Creek Ranch or from nearly anywhere on the Pine Forest Range. It is a distinctive part of the desert skyline along with Pinto Mountain.
Having seen and loved the view of this mountain over the years, we decided to hike up it in early spring 2017. Views of the Black Rock Desert, Black Rock Range, Jackson Range and Pine Forest Range were outstanding!
Elephant Mountain is roughly 5,931 ft in elevation and is located in the Black Rock Desert Wilderness Area. It is actually the highest point in the Black Rock Desert Wilderness Area.
Mountain, valley, mountain, valley! The very makeup of the Basin and Range region. It’s so beautiful!
Bald Mountain (9,549 ft.) the high point in the Pine Grove Hills and the high point of Lyon County, Nevada. It is in one of Nevada’s newest Wilderness Areas, the Wovoka Wilderness.
Hiking above the Truckee cliffs on the cliff edge of the Sierra looking at Verdi Peak with the corridor of I-80 between us.
The Tobin Range is located in north central Nevada and, as is typical in the Basin and Range Region, runs north/south. The range is roughly 32 miles long. The tallest peak is Mount Tobin at 9,754 feet. There is a Wilderness Study Area (WSA) in the range which is 13,107 acres in size.
The 1915 Pleasant Valley earthquake, with a magnitude of 6.8, produced large fault scarps along the western side of the range. The fault scarps are quite obvious and impressive, once you know what to look for, in some areas there was up to 20 feet of vertical displacement.
I was lucky enough to spend some time in the Tobin Range in 2015. It's a gorgeous range, well worth a visit.
Here in northern Nevada today the weather is a bit frightful, which makes me dream of snow and the amazingly beautiful days that come with the white, fluffy, cold stuff once it's on the ground.
So, for today's photo Friday, I was reminded of the day pictured above. It was one of those amazing days. There was an inversion, all gray and socked in down in the city, but once you climbed up into the mountains the sun shown bright and it was a gorgeous day. The sun and inversion led to this awesome ghostbow also known as a fogbow--a white "rainbow," where the water droplets in the fog are too small to refract the amount of light necessary to create a normal, colorful rainbow, but refracts enough light to make a white fogbow..
Such a fun and wonderful sight to see!
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The Basin and Range Project
We love the Basin and Range region and work to promote appreciation and respect for the area. We encourage all users to learn about, play in and protect this amazing resource.
We currently focus primarily on issues in the Nevada region of the Basin and Range, but are looking to expand soon.