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Zinc Hill / Darwin Falls
Zinc Hill, Darwin Falls, Centennial Canyon, China Garden, and Millers Spring are the most popular destinations in this section of the Argus Range. Scattered throughout the area are mining ruins. There are also lots of donkeys in the area (so watch where you step). Zinc Hill is only 5584 feet above sea level, but it provides a great view of the northern end of Panamint Valley. Darwin Falls is sixty feet high and there are other impressive falls in the canyon as well. Also included in this section is the area around the town of Darwin, including the Viking Mine, the U2 Tree Site. (Click here for map of area)
Zinc Hill Area (May 2014)    Quick view of trip pics
  1. Coso View - Looking towards Coso Range.
  2. Clouds - Notice road in the middle of the image.
  3. Desert Tomato - Lots of this plant scattered around area.
  4. Donkey Highway - Trail heading up to pass.
  5. Foundation - Old foundation just east of pass.
  6. Whiskerbroom - Small member of the Buckwheat Family.
  7. The Pass - Over the pass and down the canyon gets you to the Osborne Cabin.
  8. Interesting Rocks - Lots of interesting geology in this area!
  9. Spineflower - Another member of the Buckwheat Family.
  10. White Cone - That's Zinc Hill up above the cone.
Coso Wilderness (May 2012)    Quick view of trip pics
  1. Sierra View - View to the northwest of mountains above Line Pine.
  2. Olancha Peak - Looking west from an elevation of about 7400 feet.
  3. Coso Peak #1 - View to the southeast from high above Centennial Canyon.
  4. Golf Ball - Interesting golf ball stuck at the top of mountain.
  5. Northerly View - View of high points above Centennial Canyon.
  6. Centenial Flat - Looking down on road to Centennial Canyon on hazy day.
  7. Coso Peak #2 - Wider view of Coso Peak from 7750 feet.
  8. East Tunnel - Tunnel just east of Pinyon Peak.
  9. Pinyon Peak - Looking directly south at Pinyon Peak covered with pinyons as one might expect.
  10. Beardtongue - This member of the Figwort Family was encountered a few times on this hike.
  11. Sand Verbena #1 - There were a couple colonies of these plants between the upper and lower spring.
  12. Sand Verbena #2 - A close look at a cluster of flowers.
  13. Lower Springs - Cottonwood, willows, and yucca found at Lower Spring.
  14. Lower Spring Cabin #1 - Side view showing chimney.
  15. Lower Spring Cabin #2 - Simple fireplace inside cabin.
  16. Lower Spring Cabin #3 - Front view of metal shack near Lower Centennial Spring.
  17. Desert Figwort - These plants were most abundant in the canyon canyon just west of the cabin.
  18. Mariposa Lily - There were a few of these up around 7000 feet.
  19. Peak 7750 - Looking more or less south towards peak on southern border of wilderness area.
  20. Summit of Peak 7750 - Boulders at top of peak. Easily climbed from the other side.
  21. Chipping Area - Lots of obsidian flakes just north of Peak 7750.
  22. Yucca - There were many Joshua trees growing at 7500 feet and higher.
  23. Old Road - This road connects Centennial Canyon to Joshua Flat.
  24. Large Trough - Cement and stone trough at upper springs.
  25. Rock Art #1 - Petroglyph near upper springs and cactus flowers.
  26. Rock Art #2 - Most of the petroglyphs featured bighorn sheep.
  27. Rock Art #3 - Panel containing several bighorn sheep depictions.
  28. Stone Cabin - Ruins of stone cabin overgrown with wildrose plants.
  29. Rock Art #4 - More bighorn sheep petroglyphs.
  30. Rock Art #5 - Another panel featuring sheep and a couple other designs.
Viking Mine (May 2012)    Quick view of trip pics
  1. Mine Camp #1 - Group of old buildings and a roof.
  2. Fireplace - Interesting fireplace construction!
  3. Windows - Windows and door lines up along length of building.
  4. Hillside Mine - Mine to east as seen from Viking Mine Camp.
  5. Railroad Ties #1 - Interesting use of building materials.
  6. Railroad Ties #2 - Cross-sectional view showing wall made of railroad ties.
  7. Side of Cabin - Side view of cabin with antenna.
  8. Mine Headframe #1 - Old wooden structure above mine shaft.
  9. Lizard - Light-colored lizard with neck bands.
  10. Mine Camp #2 - Looking down on mine camp from mine site.
  11. Tunnel - View of tunnel, headframe, and ore chute.
  12. Mine Headframe #2 - Looking at headframe from another angle.
  13. Vertical Shaft - Top of a vertical shaft.
  14. Mine Camp #3 - Looking south toward Centennial Flat.
  15. Railroad Ties #3 - Another look at interesting cabin construction.
  16. Apricot Mallow - Not a lot of flowers blooming, but there were a few of these!
  17. Rock Cabin - Cabin with walls made of rock and cement.
  18. Another Headframe - This mine is a little ways north of the Viking Mine Camp.
  19. Wider View - Wider view of mine north of Viking Mine Camp.
  20. Rugged Landscape - Scenery about a mile or so north of the Viking Mine Site.
U2 Joshua Tree (May 2012)    Quick view of trip pics
  1. GPS Coordinates - GPS sitting on monument plaque.
  2. Thank You Lads - An item left at site by U2 fans.
  3. Peace Sign - A little rock art a few feet from the plaque.
  4. Dead Joshua Tree #1 - Remains of the famous Joshua tree.
  5. Dead Joshua Tree #2 - Another view of the deceased giant.
  6. Dead Joshua Tree #3 - Yet another glimpse at this once magnificent specimen.
  7. U2 Plaque - Have you found what you're looking for?
  8. More Stuff - More rock art and mountains in background.
  9. Young Joshua Tree - Small Joshua tree near site.
  10. Sierra View - Road to Cottonwood clearly visible beneath snow-capped peaks.
Darwin Area (May 2010)    Quick view of trip pics
  1. Crowley Monument - Information about Father John J. Crowley.
  2. Argus Range - Looking south towards Argus Range from Crowley Point.
  3. Lake Hill - Northern Panamint Valley as seen from Crowley Point.
  4. Windy Road - Road winding up from Panamint Springs.
  5. Military Jet #1 - Fighter flying through gorge below Crowley Point.
  6. Military Jet #2 - Another view of military fighter plane.
  7. Military Jet #3 - Uncropped image containing military jet.
  8. Mono Penstemon #1 - Lots of these blooming in the Darwin Area.
  9. Mono Penstemon #2 - Close up views of flowers in DV Plants section of this website.
  10. Darwin Monument - Information about history of the town of Darwin.
  11. Darwin Intersection - Stop sign and snow-covered Sierra Nevada peaks.
  12. Snowy Peaks - Looking west from just north of Ophir Mountain.
  13. Darwin #1 - Looking down on Darwin from Ophir Mountain.
  14. Darwin #2 - Old buildings including Quonset hut.
  15. Telescope - Argus Range in foreground and Panamint Range in background.
  16. Sierra Nevadas - More snowy peaks over Owens Valley.
  17. Ophir Mountain - The peak with Argus Range in the background.
  18. Mine Cabin #1 - Cabin north of Ophir Mountain.
  19. Mine Cabin #2 - Another view of cabin.
  20. Headframe - Headframe above vertical shaft.
  21. Tailings Pile - Large tailings pile at bottom of wash.
  22. Ruins - Three vertical shafts, two headframes, and one stone cabin.
  23. Mine Cabin #3 - Another view of cabin and headframe.
  24. Lupine - Group of lupine plants.
  25. Desert Pincushion - Group of desert pincushion plants.
  26. Pack Rat - Small rodent hiding under rusty scrap metal.
  27. Darwin #3 - Old abandoned buildings.
  28. Darwin #4 - Another look at abandoned portion of town.
  29. Darwin Dance Hall - Main intersection in middle of inhabited part of town.
  30. Yellow Truck - Old water truck parked in Darwin.
  31. Pumping Station - Darwin Wash pumping station.
  32. Yerba Mansa - Attractive plants growing at Millers Spring.
  33. Prince's Plume - Another group of interesting plants at Millers Spring.
  34. Desert Five Spot - Close look at interior of flower.
  35. Zinc Hill - View of the west side of Zinc Hill.
  36. Dusty Maidens - Close look at flowers of the dusty maiden.
  37. Rosy Boa #1 - Rosy Boa in canyon near foot of Argus Range.
  38. Rosy Boa #2 - Closer look at Rosy Boa.
  39. Lilac Sunbonnet - Close look at dot patterns of petals of a lilac sunbonnet.
  40. Circular Etching - Was this caused by lichen or what?
  41. Rosy Boa Video - This guy was nice enough to appear in a video for one of my silly songs!
Zinc Hill (May 2009)    Quick view of trip pics
  1. Ore Loader - Ore loader on road to Darwin.
  2. Yerba Mansa #1 - Yerba Mansa plants at Millers Spring.
  3. Water Cress - Water Cress at Millers Spring.
  4. Yerba Mansa #2 - Anemopsis californica in the Lizard's-Tail Family!
  5. Yerba Mansa #3 - The roots are said to have a peppery taste!
  6. Millers Spring - Well and lots of Yerba Mansa!
  7. China Garden #1 - Fish in pond at China Garden Spring.
  8. China Garden #2 - Closer look at fish!
  9. Mine Building - Someone covered up the graffiti!
  10. Old Car - Rusty remains of some old gelapi.
  11. China Garden #3 - Cottonwood trees, brick wall, and vegetation.
  12. Mine Structure - Mine structure and road at foot of Zinc Hill.
  13. Ore Shute #1 - Ore shute at end of upper road.
  14. Ore Shute #2 - Another view of upper ore shute.
  15. Ground Cherry #1 - Interesting seed pods.
  16. Ground Cherry #2 - Another view of seed pods.
  17. Ore Shute #3 - Looking down ore shute.
  18. Blazing Star - Flower of Argus Blazing Star plant.
  19. Zinc Hill View #1 - Looking south towards French Madam.
  20. Lichen - I like lichen!!!
  21. Zinc Hill View #2 - Darwin is lost in the distance and the haze.
  22. Winter Fat - Fuzzy little plant!
  23. Hedgehog Cactus - Magenta blooms at top of Zinc Hill.
  24. Horny Toad - Horny toad near top of Zinc Hill.
Darwin Falls (2002)    Quick view of trip pics
  1. Donkey - A lone donkey along the road about half way between Darwin Falls and the town of Darwin.
  2. Eggs - Some toad eggs which squirted out of a toad when it was picked up. (Don't let anyone tell you it's caviar!)
  3. Under the Falls - A couple kids swam out under the falls. The pool is usually about six feet deep right beneath the falls.
  4. Toad - A closeup of a toad being held in someone's hands.
  5. Climbing Rocks - Getting to the main falls, from the top or the bottom, is pretty easy, but may require a little easy rock climbing.
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