Part 3: Ballarat to Mosaic.
The drive toward Wildrose is paved most of the way but at least itís more scenic than the highway. There is a length limit on the road and the map describes it as ďnarrow and windingĒ, neither of which is true. I donít understand the length limit at all.
The Emigrant/ Wildrose junction split.
Driving up the Emigrant Canyon Rd past Wildrose campground takes you to the Charcoal Kilns and a couple of campgrounds called Mahogany Flat and Throndike. The Charcoal Kilns are worth a look but Iíve been there. As far as campgrounds go, Wildrose is usually open year round but Mahogany and Thorndike are closed during winter due to their elevation of about 8100 feet. But we were headed the other direction toward Stovepipe Wells. From the split we still had to drive over Emigrant Pass (5318 ft) which also passes two other short drives; Augereberry Point and the Skidoo town site.
We stopped for a quick break at Skidoo but quickly headed toward the valley floor and Mosaic Canyon. Even though Mosaic Canyon is a tourist trap it is a very interesting walk. The road to it is a short spur off 190, west of Stovepipe Wells.
Jeff said he would stick with the vans while the rest of the group headed up the canyon.
The canyon is very narrow in spots, even narrower than Marble Canyon which Don and I visited the year before. We only had time to walk up a ways to get a few shots.
Tom, Craig, and Steve in the foreground. Don, Jeff, and Dave in the background.
After returning to the vehicles we talked a bit, had a beer, aired down, and left out for the store for beer and ice. For Gods sake, bring your own beer. In Death Valley they charge by the bottle for the good stuff. Over 24 bucks for a 12 packÖYIKES! We bought Mojave Red and Gold in Ridgecrest for a quarter of the price. BTW, I have to give a plug to Indian Wells Brewing Company. Fantastic brew! There located off highway 14, N/O the Inyokern junction and are open seven days a week. Iíve never been there but it would be a definite SMB group visit.
NOTE: Stovepipe Wells does not have diesel. If you need diesel fuel and youíre entering the park from the 395 area, get it at Panamint Springs on 190. Panamint Springs is about 18 miles south west of the 190/Emigrant Canyon intersection. From Stovepipe Wells, Furnace Creek is the closest place to purchase diesel but itís about 25 miles away.
(End of part 3)