Big Wash Road in the Cerbat Mountains

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This page last updated on 10/14/2018
(Fig. 01)
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Area Description: A series of peaks can be found towards the southern end of the range, including Packsaddle Mountain at 6,431 feet and Cherum Peak at 6,983 feet with the community of Chloride on the northwestern side. The northern section of the Cerbat Mountains is composed mostly of the Mount Tipton Wilderness, with Mount Tipton being its peak at 7,148 feet. The Dolan Springs community is at the base of the wilderness on the northwestern side of the Cerbat Mountains. Big Wash Road runs up the western side of the Cerbat Mountains on the southern end and across the ridge and then back down into the town of Chloride. The northern end of this road begins at mile marker 51 on US-93 and is approximately 22 miles long (Fig. 02). This well graded dirt road eventually provides you with dozens of sharp, hair-pin turns with extensive drop-offs, outstanding views and drop-dead scenery. As you drive south along the ridge-line you pass two well maintained campgrounds, Windy Point Campground and Packsaddle Campground, both with restroom facilities. The picture in (Fig. 01) is a view of the road across the top between the two campgrounds. After the campgrounds, the southern end of the road is merely a road, but more of a washed out wash and definitely requires a 4WD vehicle.

09/13/2018 Trip Notes: Today my brother Tom, visiting from South Tahoe, Jim Herring and I decided to drive the length of Big Wash Road. On a previous trip in the past, I drove this road to the trailhead for Cherum Peak (Fig. 02), but didn't attempt to go down the very rough southern portion of the road. On the way up the hillsides of the road were covered with Prickly Pear Cactus (Figs. 03 & 04). Click here to learn more ... Prickly Pear Cactus  (Opuntia phaeacantha). On the southern side of the road we spotted some water tanks and a working windmill that was feeding the tanks (center of Fig. 05) and (Fig. 06). About three quarters of the way up the crooked switched back road we stopped for a picture and noticed 7 jeeps coming up the road behind us (Fig. 07). Looking ahead (Fig. 08) the road cuts its way through the mountainsides until it reaches the ridge line at the top. The view in (Fig. 09) is looking east, while the view in (Fig. 10) is looking down on the town of Chloride to the west. (notes con't below)

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Trip Notes Continued: Next we came to the Packsaddle Campground (Fig. 11), followed a few miles further by the Windy Point Campground. From here we started our decent down the very rocky, boulder filled and washed out portion of the road. After we had let the jeeps pass us, we caught up with them again (Fig. 12) at the site of an old abandoned mine (Fig. 13). As best I can determine, this was the Lucky Boy Mine, a gold and silver mine. Before leaving the mine, Jim and I hiked around the area taking pictures (Fig. 14). As we continued down this rocky decent, a deer crossed the road right in front of us (Figs. 15 & 16). When we neared the bottom of the road, we came to the site of Roy Purcell's murals (Fig. 17). We stopped here and had a picnic lunch. When we reached the town we went to "Yesterdays" restaurant and ordered hot fudge sundaes (Fig. 18). The car in (Fig. 19) was parked in front of the restaurant.

(Fig. 11)
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