Colorock Quarry - Bitter Spring Backcountry Byway

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This page last updated on 04/14/2018

(Fig. 01)
MAP - Colorock Quarry
(Fig. 02)
Directions - Colorock Quarry
(Fig. 03)
10/22/2013 Trip Notes: The goal of today’s trip was to travel the entire length of the Bitter Spring Backcountry Byway Road (20 miles) all the way to the Lake Mead North Shore Road. Even though both Harvey and I have traveled and hiked a portion of this road on previous visits to the “Buffington Pockets” area, neither of us had been to the Colorock Quarry and Cabin area. The Colorock Quarry Road turns south off Bitter Spring Backcountry Byway Road, about four miles from the starting point. On our way to the quarry, we took a turnoff (Fig. 04) that came to a dead end (Fig. 02) over looking a large wash and the northern edge of the Muddy Mountain Wilderness Area to the south (Fig. 05). Turning around and looking north (Fig. 06) was a view of the mountains that lead into the Buffington Pockets.
(Fig. 04)
(Fig. 05)
(Fig. 06)
After driving back to Colorock Quarry Road, we continued driving southeast until we reached a marked intersection indicating that the quarry was straight ahead (Fig. 02). Before going to the quarry, we took the side road to the camping and trail area. Partially following a wash (Fig. 07), this road led to an area that contained several wilderness campsites and some hiking trails that led up and into some absolutely beautiful sandstone outcrops and ridges (Figs. 08 & 09). After coming back to the intersection, we continued on towards the quarry site.
(Fig. 07)
(Fig. 08)
(Fig. 09)
Initially, after being surprised at spotting a stone cabin (Fig. 10), we drove right by the quarry area. Not only were we amazed at the quality of this stone cabin, way out here in the middle of nowhere, we were surprised to find three more nearby cement foundations that may have originally supported wooden structures of their own. EP-P1040452It seems obvious that the beautifully colored, flat stones that make up the 5-inch this outer walls came from the nearby quarry. Even though the work here appears somewhat extensive, it also appeared short-lived. There were no “trash dumps”, outhouses, or evidence of anyone having lived there for any great length of time. The (upper right) interior picture in the collage below (Fig. 11), shows the sun shining through the roof slats. The middle left picture is looking at the ridgeline through one of the cabins rear windows. The bottom two pictures are looking north (bottom left) and south (bottom right) at the wash that runs below the front of the cabin. Exploration of the wash south of the cabin proved it to be non-drivable with the Ranger, however it appeared that it would have made a nice hike. Heading back down the wash past the cabin, a road heads northeast, to the right (Fig. 02) to the quarry site. Other than a half dozen sandstone pieces that contained the ‘drill holes’ used to split the sandstone off of the cliff (Fig. 12 & 13), and the remnants of a set of foundations (Fig. 14) that may have supported some type of crane or block hoist, there really isn’t much else to support a long standing operation here. After hiking around the quarry area, we headed back to the Bitter Spring Backcountry Byway Road, and drove southeast into the Buffington Pockets. We really enjoyed this colorful area and gave up what looked like several good hiking opportunities in order to fulfill our primary goal of reaching Lake Mead's North Shore Road.
(Fig. 10)
Colorock Cabin
(Fig. 11)
(Fig. 12)
(Fig. 13)
(Fig. 14)

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