In The Desert
Bradshaw Trail, California
Download Garmin GPS topo Track
Don't miss the information and map kiosks along the Trail. These are great for finding different area to explore back in the mountains. The GPS track provided below is for the main Bradshaw Trail Road and the road to the Red Cloud mine only. This trip is close to Blythe, Ca. and Palo Verde, Ca. and not far from Niland, Ca.
This is a Maps.google map of the area in this article. You can scroll around the map and change it to Terrain, or Map view, plus zoom in or out.
Here's a chuckwalla lizard found on the way into the Graham Pass area. If you follow our route; you'll go off of the Bradshaw Trail on Graham Pass Road (clearly marked) and keep going till you get through the mountains and come to Chuckwalla Springs Road. Here you'll turn West and head back toward the mountains. See next photo.
Talk about the road to nowhere! Even though this is a long, long road in the flats, we got to see quite a few birds of prey sitting on trees in the washes you have to cross. Believe me this all changes when you get to the mountains again.
You have to find the turn onto the Augustine Pass Road. It is marked but hard to find. Once you get on this road it'll drop down into the wash that goes through the mountains back to the Bradshaw Trail. There are no photos of the bad areas that you have to negotiate here - we were too busy crawling over rocks and making sharp turns in a very narrow canyon with no place to turn around and hardly any room to get out of our vehicles. This is for high clearance 4X4's only.
Once your back on the Bradshaw Trail there are other routes you can follow back to the mountains. Like this one on the Dupont Road. From here you can continue on to the Interstate. This is quite a ways off and we didn't have time to go any farther as we wanted to investigate the Gulladay Well. So we turned North at this overlook.
This is all that is left of the Well. It was probably a watering hole for cattle for a long time. We didn't see any signs of water so the well may have dried up. But this valley is greener than others we've seen in the mountains here. A sure sign of an aquifer underground.
These were taken in March 28th 09. The cactus in this valley at Gulladay Well is worth the drive into see them. You have to go a little past the well on the main road to see the area where most of the cactus are. You can tell there's more water here. We photographed a lot more cactus than what is shown here. Want to see more photos and descriptions of cactus flowers in the desert, then go to our Plants section of the web site. The other section of the site that might interest you is Photography. Here we've endevoured to a add little insight into getting better photographs in the desert. A few tricks when taking photos of cacti are included
Here's Linda standing next to a Munz Cholla. These grow in this area and get to be quite tall. There was a lot of them all along the main trail. There is quite a variety of cacti in this part of California. Also quite a variety of flowered plants in the desert here.
The Desert Tortoise. Some things you should know --- don't ever try to pick them up or move them in any way; or you could stress them. They sometimes hold their bodily fluids for up to a year (a long time to hold it) if there is no water available. If you stress them and they wet themselves --- well you could've just killed that tortoise. This is a Desert Tortoise Habitat. When driving down the Trail watch for what looks like large rocks in the road -- could be a tortoise!
Just thinking about why these old rockets were left right next to to the Bradshaw Trail? Maybe to discourage people from entering the Bombing Range in the Chocolate Mts.? Along the South side of much of the Brabshaw Trail you'll see signs for the Bombing Range.
Leaving the Bradshaw Trail and going North on Gasline Road you'll come to the Red Cloud Mine Road. Go East and head back into the mountains. There are numerous mine sites in this area in the desert and also some really neat stone buildings -- like those shown here on the right. The wooden window and door jambs are still in place. A lot of old building sites still remain in this area.
This is one of the old head frames still in a mine site. There was a lot of mines, open shafts, tunnels, and tailings piles in the area. Be careful, they were all open when we were back in there.
Linda is standing next to some large concrete ponds. This whole area has some really large mining sites. Neat artifacts still abound.
Content including photographs are Copyright © 2011 - Present - Don & Linda Gilmore
We did see quite a few other explorers in the area. A lot of people were camped out on the road into this area also.Nice trip, something worth seeing in the desert. Have fun --