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Slate Range Crossing
Slate Range Crossing is at the north end of Searles Valley. Sites of interest include China Road, various tunnels and mine sites, scenic canyons, and a trail that extends along the crest of the range through this area. This little three mile section of trail connects the highway to a point along the dirt road which accesses the radio transceivers at the top of the Slates.

(Click here for area map)






Slate Trail (March 2015)    Quick view of trip pics
  1. Mojave Aster #1 - Lots of these in bloom all along the trail.
  2. Gilia - Also quite plentiful and difficult to get a picture of on a windy day!
  3. Beavertail Cactus - Several bright magenta flowers encountered along course of hike.
  4. Yellow Tackstem - It's hard to see the tiny tacks on the stem, but they're there!
  5. Desert Pincushion #1 - Lots of these little white flowers scattered all around.
  6. Desert Pincushion #2 - This little plant is growing out of a crack in a rock.
  7. Mojave Aster #2 - More lovely lavender flowers.
  8. Desert Larkspur #1 - Plenty of these interesting little flowers blowing around in the breeze.
  9. Desert Hyacinth - These neat little flowers were also present in great quantities.
  10. Little Gold Poppy - Tiny, golden-yellow flowers and intricate, grayish-green leaves.
  11. Desert Plantain - Inconspicuous, but all over the place.
  12. Burrobush - This member of the Sunflower Family is also known as Ambrosia dumosa.
  13. Desert Larkspur #2 - This member of the Buttercup Family is also known as Delphinium parishii.
  14. Spineflower - Unusual member of the Buckwheat Family quite common in the area.
  15. Snake's Head - Interesting turban-shaped flower buds.
  16. Five Spot - The spots are actually inside the flower and visible after it opens.
  17. Purple Mat and Desert Star - Two common belly flowers hanging out together.
  18. Lupine - Seed pods forming on lupine stalk.
  19. Late Afternoon Shadows - View along portion of the Slate Range late in the day.
  20. Peace Sign - Rocks arranged on playa area to form footprint of the Great American Chicken.

Quarry Area Below China Road (March 2010)    Quick view of trip pics
  1. Quarry Area #1 - Looking northwest towards quarry.
  2. Turpentine Broom - Close look at flowers on Turpentine Broom bush.
  3. Claim Post - The corners of quarry mine claim are clearly posted.
  4. Quarry Area #2 - Another view of quarry area with Argus Range in background.
  5. Inside Old Car - Looking in the driver's side window at lush interior!
  6. Rain Puddle - Large puddle at bottom of hole at quarry.
  7. Loading Dock - Fallen railroad ties with red rock behind them.
  8. Old Car - Rusty old car near quarry.
  9. Rock Wall - Rock wall holding back tailings from quarry.
  10. Manly Peak - Manly Peak behind tailings pile.

Slate Range Crossing (January 2010)    Quick view of trip pics
  1. Blue Bird - Extremely bright blue feathers.
  2. Water Mouth #1 - Looking down on mouth of Water Canyon.
  3. Water Mouth #2 - Look for old roads on hillsides.
  4. China Road #1 - China Road snaking around with Manly Peak in background.
  5. Inside Shack - Interior of shack at Aquarius Travertine Mine.
  6. Outside Shack - Exterior view of shack above McDermott monument.
  7. Pole - Pole on hill above shack looking north into Panamint Valley.
  8. Highway - Looking down on highway dropping into Panamint Valley.
  9. Delivery Van - A delivery van taking turn on Slate Range Xing.
  10. Mine Tunnel - Entrance to mine tunnel above Weston Marker.
  11. Weston Marker - Memorial marker with top of crossing in background.
  12. Tight Turn #1 - View from Weston Marker of tight turn in highway.
  13. Tight Turn #2 - Close view of vehicle on tight turn.
  14. Truck on Highway - View of truck chugging up Slate Range Crossing.
  15. China Road #2 - Another view of China Road with Manly Peak glowing in the background.
  16. --- OLDER PICTURES ---
  17. McDermott Marker - Marker in memory of local miner.
  18. Aquarius Shack - Shack above marker next to Aquarius Travertine Mine.
  19. Lizard In Hand - Taken near the Aquarius Travertine Mine.
  20. --- LATE JANUARY 2010 ---
  21. Shallow Pond - Area west of highway flooded by recent rains.
  22. Snowy Mountains - Snow on Argus Range northwest of Slate Range Crossing.
  23. Circular Rocks #1 - Rocks arranged in circular pattern.
  24. Circular Rocks #2 - Another view of rocks placed in circle.
  25. Donkeys #1 - Small group of donkeys.
  26. Donkeys #2 - Group of probably sixteen donkeys.
  27. Donkeys #3 - Another view of group of donkeys.
  28. Donkeys #4 - Seven donkeys posing for the camera!

Slate Trail (May 2008)    Quick view of trip pics
  1. Lycium #1 - Lycium with berries growing near trail.
  2. Lycium #2 - More lycium. It was quite abundant.
  3. Lycium #3 - Lycium is a genus in the Nightshade Family.
  4. Lycium #4 - DeDecker lists four different species of Lycium grow in the Death Valley area.
  5. Lycium #5 - Even more lycium on trail on Panamint Valley side of the Slate Range.
  6. Lycium #6 - Lycium was abundant along this three-mile section of trail.
  7. Tomato #1 - Another member of the Lycium genus is Desert Tomato.
  8. Tomato #2 - Desert Tomato is also known as Lycium andersonii.
  9. Desert Woolly Star - This small flower was quite abundant.
  10. Trail View - Looking along the trail to the south. A tower can be barely be seen at the top of the highest point in the picture.
  11. Panamint Valley - Looking up Panamint Valley along the foot of the Argus Range.
  12. China Road - Corner of old dirt road built by Chinese immigrants is visible. Also visible is a section of the hiking trail.
  13. Spiny-Herb #1 - Spiny-Herb specimen with yellow flowers.
  14. Spiny-Herb #2 - The flowers aren't exactly spectacular or even very noticeable.
  15. Claim Marker - Claim marker along ridge with Maturango Peak in the background.
  16. Tomato #3 - More Desert Tomato. There was quite a bit of this plant!
  17. Lycium #7 - Even more Lycium growing at about 3600 feet.
  18. Lycium #8 - Another view of the berries on a Lycium plant.
  19. Slate Playa - The playa area in the middle of the Slate Trail. (picture taken 09/2008)
  20. Lycium #9 - Yet another close look at the berries of a Lycium plant.
  21. Unidentified Bush - Interesting bush. Not sure what it is!
  22. Benchmark Rocks #1 - View of six foot stack of rocks looking southeast along the Slates.
  23. Benchmark Rocks #2 - Another view of stack of rocks, this time with Manly Peak in the background.
  24. Survey Benchmark - The benchmark was apparently placed at this location in 1950. The elevation was about 3800 feet according to my GPS.
  25. Rock Quarry - View of the rock quarry near the northern end of Searles Valley looking down from the Benchmark Rocks.
  26. Benchmark Rocks #3 - This time Telescope Peak shows up behind the rocks.
  27. Benchmark Debri - It appears that a small structure may have existed here at one time.
  28. Benchmark Rocks #4 - That's Maturango Peak behind the stack of rocks in this picture.
  29. Playa - Playa area along trail about a mile and a half mostly east of Slate Range Crossing.
  30. Punctured Bract - There was lots of punctured bract scattered around the area.

Slate Trail (May 2006)    Quick view of trip pics
  1. Slate Trail - Section of the trail west of playa
  2. Slate Pond #1 - This area fills up with water following rain
  3. Slate Pond #2 - Some of the rocks by the pond area
  4. Lichen on Rock - One of the many lichen covered rocks along the trail
  5. Briggs Mine View - The Briggs Mine is just to the east, across Panamint Valley
  6. Tarantula On Trail - The only other hiker I saw that day!
  7. Slates View - View looking toward transceiver
  8. Turtle Shell in Playa - Empty shell... there were some turtle holes near by with freshly moved dirt
  9. Playa Along Trail - Large flat area cradled between hills
  10. Another View Of Trail - Another section of the trail

China Road (JULY 2006)    Quick view of trip pics
  1. Crossing #1 - Looking down top of China Road.
  2. Crossing #2 - A little further down China Road.
  3. Crossing #3 - Wall supporting road around corner.
  4. Crossing #4 - Another wall supporting road around corner.
  5. Crossing #5 - Rock wall holding up road.
  6. Crossing #6 - Looking down middle portion of road into valley.
  7. Crossing #7 - Road working its way around another corner.
  8. Lower Road #1 - Lower portion of China Road.
  9. Lower Road #2 - Another view of lower portion of China Road.
  10. Briggs/Manly - View across valley from bottom of road.
  11. Slate Highpoint - Looking south from the bottom of the road.
  12. Highway View #1 - Looking down highway from top of pass.
  13. Highway View #2 - Another view of highway dropping into valley.

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