Return from the Mojave Desert Trail 2010 | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Return from the Mojave Desert Trail 2010


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Elite In Memoriam
March 4, 2007
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City, State
anaheim hills,california
Year, Model & Trim Level
95 ranger 4x4/ 91 X 4x4
...This was kind of short notice so we didn't start a thread...

...Brian1 contacted me not to long ago to see if I was available to do a makeup run of this trail since he was involved in that accident a couple years ago and wasn't able to attend....

...I went back to the old thread and tried to contact the members who also didn't make the trip to see if they could make it too..

...Brian1 and I, met up in Bullhead City and spent Thursday in the hills above Chloride Arizona outside of Kingman...

...Pics and video to follow when Brian1 gets home...There will also be a new movie coming out in Kelso next month that Harley had a part in...:popcorn:

Gas Report...
2.99 at home
3.59 Barstow thru Needles
2.69 in Bullhead City

...and for those going to Calico and Moab, gas was 2.89 at the Calico offramp..;)

Temps on trail...
75*-95* in the warmest area and we woke up to 45*-47*



...Justsomeguy had just got back state side a week ago and had been trying to make an EF group outing before he was deployed...He recieved an EF license plate holder this trip...:salute:

...While we wait on Ritsui and Brian1 to post their pics and video's, I have some pics from the hills around Cloride Arizona....


..And in Cali, we wheel the trucks before they can get the plastic shipping wrap off of them...

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...added a couple teaser pics...:D

(dead links)

Just got back home, this was a great trip! Thanks Ted for helping me put this run together and for you guys coming out. I got over 300 pictures so I will try and sort through them tonight and post the good ones when I can.

...Thanks for contacting me and I'm glad you made the trip both ways, without any accidents this time..:p: ...and I'm sure you will have a found memory of this trip (and the water crossing), as I think we all will...Sorry your dad couldn't make it but it was really nice to meet your mom...

...Harley is still recovering a bit from her Fire ant incident...She was her old self until about noon today...I think that and all the excitement this past week have finally caught up to her...

..Looking forward to your pics and videos too...:popcorn:

I see the Raptor in the first post, must be out testing the new 6.2:D

...Someone say Raptor???

...There were four of them and they had cameras videoing on a couple of the trucks...

...There was several different jeep groups out there too and this was in the middle of one of their groups...

TBars and I spent Thursday 4/15 exploring some old ghost towns and mining areas in the Cerbat Mountains near Kingman, AZ. First we checked out the Cerbat mine which was founded in the 1860's. Gold, silver, lead and zinc were mined here and there are only a few ruins and foundations to mark the spot today.



Next was a stop in Chloride and a trail that lead into the mountains. This trail went to the Chloride Murals which were painted on the canyon's rock walls. On the other side were some petroglyphics.



The trail got much rougher from here so thinking bigger picture we turned back and headed into Laughlin, NV to prepare for the next day.

Mojave Road

Around mile 6 we passed a group stopped and they asked if we were going to see the petroglyphics...umm sure! We would have gone right past them. a short hike later we went into a canyon with a small spring and saw them on the rocks near the top.


Mile 13 we stopped at an old abandoned bar, hotel and small church. Highway 95 lies in the valley another mile away.


At mile 23 we came to Fort Piute. Traffic was heavy on the trail which took away from the remote feeling of being on this road. The fort cleared out of vehicles just after we arrived. We hiked around and talked with the Park Ranger. They were out there filming for a video to be shown at the Kelso Depot, the Mojave Road visitor center. We are now movie stars shown hiking around the area.


After signing our release forms we head out to drive up to the 3400' summit. The view back down the valley and the road we had already traveled-


From the summit we crossed a large valley where we came to some old vehicles that never made it and a nice shade spot for some late lunch.


Continuing on the Joshua Trees began getting thicker. Around mile 41 there is an airplane navigation station on the left and then the Penny Can hanging from a tree on the right. We stopped and dropped a penny in the can as is the tradition and then a mile later crossed an abandoned railroad bed.



The road looked like this for many miles in this area


After making a steep descent into Watson Wash we came to Rock Springs, one of the few spots on the road with running water.


Shortly after another stop at Government Holes, mile 52, with a water tank and the site of a gunfight.


After a high speed road leading down to Kelso-Cima Road and a very whooped-out road leading back up the valley we came to our campsite around mile 68.


Sunrise on Saturday morning. We left before 8 and had the road to ourselves for the second half of the trip.


Mile 73 is the Mojave Road mailbox and Frog Shrine. We signed in and continued on.




Next came the lava beds to the right of a sandy wash and then more whooped out sections before seeing the large dry lake bed ahead



Travelers monument where each person places a rock on the pile. There is a plaque which only the road travelers are to know what it says.


Next up was a very sandy section which was hard to navigate but it was well marked. The rock cairns and my GPS did not agree so we followed the cairns through many twists, turns and forks in the wash. Finally we reached the mouth of Afton Canyon after exploring the Cave Canyon Iron Mine. A train had just passed over the bridge when we arrived to another shade spot.


At the end of Afton was another bridge we crossed under as well as 2 water crossings. Lastly came the water crossing just before the end of the trail at the campground and it was very deep, around 32"



We finished the trail around 1:30 so I went north up I15 and then cut across over to Searchlight, NV to go back to Laughlin. I cant resist a good dirt road so I turned onto Christmas Tree Pass, a 25-ish mile road that goes over the mountains and into Laughlin.




Thanks again everyone and I look forward to the next time!

Great trip notes, Brian :thumbsup:

Thank you Ted for remembering I wanted to take this trip and thank you Brian for the excellent trip, flawless navigation and all around good time. This is a trip every west coast trail enthusiast must take at

I've got some videos, but they aren't uploaded yet. I'll get them up soon/

I almost thought cybergasm lowered his explorer! And i didn't know where the name "ritsui" came from until that link posted above. Anyway, looks like a great trip, i can't wait to do this trail one day, it's at the top of my list.

Hey guys. I've been reading around these forums for a while but never had much to contribute. I did the mojave road with some friends in January. I had an absolute blast. Kind of a coincidence that this is the first thread I see on the California section, because I was coming here to ask a question about it. I'm thinking about going again after I get back from school at the end of the month, but I'm also kinda looking for some variety. Does anyone know of any other trails like the mojave road around southern California? Something like a long trail where you camp as you progress, rather than a bunch of trails and camping in the same general area.

Great pics and narration guys! Looks like a very nice trip indeed.

What was the high temps? How did the rigs run out there? Any concerns?

Pretty cool running into the Ford researchers out there.

Great pics and narration guys! Looks like a very nice trip indeed.

What was the high temps? How did the rigs run out there? Any concerns?

Pretty cool running into the Ford researchers out there.

...Temps are in the first post..:)...They actually have a foot relay that was taking place this weekend called the "Baker Vegas Relay" but we missed these Leo's from around the world...

...Concerns for this trail are numerous as it is long and depending on the ever changing weather...It could be snowing, raining, or over 110*...

...Concerns for the vehicles are, (as long as you are not worried about pin-striping and dust):

pumpkin busters
cut tires
radiator/hose/belt failures
hydrolocking at the water crossing
Water at the dry lake would mean taking a detour
and timing belt/chains (I lost mine in the Ranger the night before I left so I was happy it didn't happen on trail)

2wd could make most of the trail but 4wd failure could turn a fun trip into a very long trip..

...There is plenty of wildlife and critters out there...
..We ran across a rattlesnake near the bridge and as mentioned, Harley got bit by a Fire ant and Ritsui pulled that relentless booger off as I held her ...

...The trail had changed since the trip 2 years ago...The twist area was worn down and the off camber after it was worse along with the drop off to Kelso wash...The pumpkin busters didn't seem like there was as many but all it takes is one..:p:...The first third of the trail had more packed sand with a lot of water content in it and flowers all over...The last half of the trail was sandier and dryer with a lot less flowers at the end..

...Also, the whoops sections seemed to go on for miles this trip..

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