Desert Campsites

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Lippencott Lead Mine Road overlooking Saline Valley

This campsite is located on top of a small hill just a little bit of the way down the 4 wheel drive section of Lippencott Lead Mine Road. It's definitely in the middle of nowhere. You have to travel to Death Valley first. Then, go to the end of the pavement to Ubehebe Crater. 30 more miles of washboard dirt road brings you to Racetrack Valley. A few miles later is Lippencott Lead Mine, an abandoned mine. There are a few places to camp here and a chemical toilet. Large vehicles can go this far. (continued...)

A small road descends into the top of a canyon, past a large rusty metal sign which advises 4 Wheel Drive vehicles only, high clearance. The campsite is just a little way down the road at a small pullout. Past this pullout, the road gets very, very rough. I actually travelled this road in my stock Bronco II and managed not to destroy any tires, nor get stuck, but I was very lucky indeed. There were some huge pits and rocks on that road. This picture is a view of Saline Valley from the campsite on the hilltop. The nasty section of road is in the canyon in the right of the picture.

This was the sunset that happened that night. Once you descend from Lippencott Lead Mine Road, you are in the middle of Saline Valley. It's many more miles of dirt road to the north or south before you get to the first pavement.

Eureka Dunes

Eureka Dunes is about 80 miles from Lone Pine on mostly paved roads. Only the last 15 miles or so is dirt, and most of that is wide and smooth. Eureka Dunes was made a national landmark in 1985 to preserve it's unique features. There are a few sparsely placed campsites on the edges of the dunes. The dune mountain, at about 700 feet, is the highest sand dune in the United States.

The Eureka Dunes, seen a distance of a mile or two from the dirt road. This is the place where I found a Sigma 82mm lens cap which happened to be identical to the one on my 18-35mm lens. I rescued it, cleaned it up and have two of 'em now.

In the evening at Eureka Dunes, the sun shines on the stratified and broken Last Chance Range to the immediate south and east. Eureka Dunes is a very dramatic place; it is hemmed in by tall, stark mountains on all sides. The dunes plant and animal life is exceptionally rich because the dunes collect all runoff water. Sometimes, the playa next to the dunes is filled with water.

All photos Copyright © by Adam Lane. All rights reserved.