California Desert trips,interesting places to visit: ghost towns, old mines, lost treasure, personalities and bits of the old west


The desert is sort of my second home. The places described below are special and worth visiting provided you know the story. That's what this blog is all about. Now I have tried as best I can to be factual but sometimes you hate to let facts get in the way of a good yarn.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Jawbone-Butterbredt a place to visit

If you like four-wheeling in the desert, the Jawbone-Butterbredt area is the place to visit. Most open routes are passable without engaging four wheels. However, because of heavy motorcycle and quad activity, some stretches present deep sand that can bog-down vehicles with narrow tires.

A short time back, my son and I took Bird Springs Road from the Los Angeles Aqueduct Road to Kelso Valley. Except for a few sandy spots, I'm sure almost any vehicle could make it through. The road is rough in spots but overall well maintained and signed. And, we had the old road all to ourselves.

According to a Boy Scout sign located at the intersection of Bird Springs with Kelso Road, John C. Fremont and party took this route in their famous exploration of the West in 1844. Some knowledgeable folk claim that he crossed at a place farther south. I'll report on this controversy at a later date.

Thanks to the great the effort by the Bureau of Land Management, off-road experience here is the best in the California Desert. I should know, I've been over the region for the past 50 years, from Saline Valley on the north to the Yuha Desert on the south. The Bureau has done a good job of maintaining and signing designated routes.

To get full benefit out of this country get a copy of "Off-Highway Vehicle Riding Areas and Trails", published by Friends of Jawbone at BLM Visitor Station located at the intersection of Highway 14 and Jawbone Road.

We'll talk more about this area later.


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