Category Archives: Backpack Trip Report

Backpacking 500 miles in the Mojave Desert (part 6)

In November and December of 2000 I backpacked from my house in Palm Springs to Lake Mead and back.

Part 5 can be viewed here.

Mojave 500 mile map

DAYs 20 & 21

It had been over a week since I had a shower and day off from walking. I had planned on spending a day in Laughlin to rest and eat. Fortunately the last two days of hiking had gone according to plan, so I checked into a hotel. Two nights were only $38 plus tax.

Continue reading Backpacking 500 miles in the Mojave Desert (part 6)

Backpacking 500 miles in the Mojave Desert (part 5)

In November and December of 2000 I backpacked from my house in Palm Springs to Lake Mead and back.

Part 4 can be viewed here.

Mojave 500 mile map

I purposely had a short day as I left the shore of Lake Mead. I needed to stop at the Alan Bible Visitor Center and research the next section of the hike. I would be heading south generally following the course of the Colorado River. My conundrum was whether to walk on the west of east side. I knew the Black Canyon Wilderness Area just below Hoover Dam was rugged and access to the river for water wouldn’t be worth the effort. So I had to walk around it.

Continue reading Backpacking 500 miles in the Mojave Desert (part 5)

Backpacking 500 miles in the Mojave Desert (part 4)

In November and December of 2000 I backpacked from my house in Palm Springs to Lake Mead and back.

Part 3 can be viewed here.

Mohave 500 mile map

Rest day in Stateline, Nevada.

I checked into Whiskey Pete’s Hotel. Rooms were cheap. Buffets were cheap and all you can eat. Besides cleaning up and doing laundry, I spent a day and a half eating pizzas, steaks, ice cream and just about anything that didn’t move on its own. That is part of long distance hiking – the appetite begins to overwhelm your brain.

  Continue reading Backpacking 500 miles in the Mojave Desert (part 4)

Backpacking 500 miles in the Mojave Desert (part 3)

In November and December of 2000 I backpacked from my house in Palm Springs to Lake Mead and back.

Part 2 can be viewed here.

Mohave 500 mile map

Sheep Hole Valley lies adjacent and north of Joshua Tree National Park, with Highway 62 as its shared border. In 1994, as part of the California Desert Act, the area was designated as an official Wilderness area.

The western boundary is the Sheep Hole Mountains, which at their highest point, rise about 1,000 feet above the valley floor. The southern end of these mountains terminates at Highway 62. The eastern boundary of the Wilderness is the smaller Calumet Mountains. Sheep Hole Valley, contained by these two small mountain ranges is an alluvial plain that slowly descends to Bristol Dry Lake. For most people there are no outstanding scenic features in the area. For me it is an outstanding area that is rarely visited; remote, and desert.

Five days earlier I had hidden 3 gallons of water and food at this southern terminus of the Sheep Hole Mountains, covering, protecting, and camouflaging them under a pile of rocks. My cache consisted of two 1-gallon containers of water, four one quart plastic bottles of water, and five days of food. The food was in an empty 1-gallon water container I had cut open and then taped shut with duct tape. All food was in Ziploc bags to protect and minimize any odors that might attract animals, rodents, or insects. There are more secure and wildlife-proof containers to protect a cache, all of which weigh much, much more. I could have left any cache containers it this point, which would have required me to come back and pick them up. That wasn’t a practical solution.

  Continue reading Backpacking 500 miles in the Mojave Desert (part 3)