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Colosseum Gorge Trail, Ivanpah Mountains Trail and Cima Dome Trail

March 31 - April 1, 2007

We ran some easier trails mostly in the Mojave Preserve for a relaxing weekend in the desert. With little rain this
 winter,  spring is a dry time in the desert this year with few flowers but still plenty to see and do. So we loaded up
for an easy exploratory trip.

The Colosseum Gorge Trail provides a  great view of the  Colosseum Open Pit Mine (gold) as well as assorted
 old  mining cabins. It starts just north west of the the Prim Golf Club that is often seen on the way to Las Vegas
on I-15  and heads west just north of Clark Mountain. 

The Ivanpah Mountains Trail runs south along the west face of the Ivanpah Mountains, starting east of Cima Road
 and the I15 at Mountain Pass. It has many beautiful views and some old mining ruins, the most impressive of
 which is the 60 foot headframe of the Evening Star Mine which produced tungsten and tin from about 1939 to 1944.
 The area around Riley's Camp is very impressive. We camped off this trail and had a great place for our evening
 meal, camp fire and rest.

The Cima Dome Trail runs west from just north of Surprise Rock along the north side of the Cima Dome. Cima
 means summit in Spanish and the Cima Dome is a batholith, a volcanic mass of quarts monzonite that is lava that
never  completely surfaced. It forms a nearly round 1,500 foot tall bump that is about ten miles across on the
 desert  floor. It is so huge it is hard to tell you are on it! After that the trail descends to an area of cinder cones and
 lava  flows. Some eruptions in the area were up to 7 million years ago and some as recent as 10,000 yeas ago.
 We visited one of the closed cinder mines in the area and then exited the dirt!

We stopped at Kelso, a nearly empty town now but in its day key to the rail lines
in and out of Barstow and through this part of the desert. The Kelso Depot has been wonderfully restored. Its
 original purpose was to supply trains with water and helper engines to help them over Cima Grade. Today it is
the a museum and provides offices for the Mohave Preserve. Well worth the stop!!!

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