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Lime Kiln Canyon to Whitney Pockets

St. George Jeepers Trail Report-February 28, 2017

Lime Kiln Canyon, Arizona, to Whitney Pockets, Nevada

On this bright, sunny Tuesday morning twenty-eight vehicles gathered in Mesquite, Nevada. The trip was led by Mardy Walker and Mike Hess. Tail gunners were Phil and Joan Hayes.

During the winter our trail ride participant numbers swell dramatically. Consequently, it has been decided that through March and until further notice there will be two trail rides offered every Tuesday. Hopefully, trails of differing length and difficulty can be offered each week to give drivers a choice of where they want to go. If you are willing and able to lead trails, please contact Joan.

After crossing the Virgin River and departing Mesquite, Nevada, we accessed BLM Road 242 and traveled southeast into Arizona. Road 242 becomes Lime Kiln Canyon Road. As the traveler leaves the spectacular Virgin River Gorge and drives down Interstate 15 in Nevada, it might be hard to imagine that there is such surprising and interesting scenery just a few miles off that major travel corridor.

Water trough in Lime Kiln Canyon

We entered the Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument.

Lime Kiln Pass sign (photo from prior visit)

LIme Kiln Pass sign after someone used it for target practice (photo from prior visit).

Descending from Lime Kiln Pass down the southeast slope of the Virgin Mountains.

The marker indicates the location of the Lime Kiln Mine.

Lime Kiln Mine Info

State: Arizona

County: Mohave

Elevation: 4,081 feet (1,244 meters)

Primary Mineral: Manganese

Lat, Long: 36.6267, -113.98360

Arizona red rocks, north of intersection of BLM 242 and 1041.

Below, Mike Hess, co-leader, enjoys the surrounding scenery

A major backcountry intersection

Views looking northwest toward the Virgin Mountains. The group passed through some impressive Joshua Tree forest. Utah juniper, Mojave yucca, single needle pinyon pine, sagebrush and various species of cholla (choiyaw) cacti were abundant.

The dark masses on the junipers are dwarf mistletoe, a parasitic plant. The parasite will also attack our pinion pine and many other conifers as well.

More impressive Joshua trees

Approaching Jacob's Ranch

Although the ranch is very remote, it appears that the Jacobs enjoyed some modern conveniences, such as indoor plumbing. There are remnants of extensive plumbing around the homestead, inside and outside. Evidence of livestock watering facilities remain. There are no residual indications of electric generation, but the plumbing system was obviously pressurized somehow.

Lunch at Jacobs Ranch

Some views of the surrounding landscape.

One of the few remaining residents.

Elden Erickson and Gary Achgill enjoying the remarkable day.

Approaching Whitney Pockets

Whitney Pockets sits at the base of the Virgin Range, or Bunkerville Mountain as known by the locals. Whitney Pockets can be found 24 winding miles off I-15 south of Mesquite Nevada. The road is oiled all the way to the red rocks but is rough and poorly maintained, if maintained at all. It will be interesting to see if there is substantial change in management and maintenance due to the recent Gold Butte National Monument designation. According to the BLM management plans are being written as of this writing in early 2017.

Once you reach these desert red rocks you can hike, take photographs, camp, picnic, explore the many caves, visit the dam built by Luke Whitney in 1886 later refurbished by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930's, or one of the many other outdoor activities.

Whitney Pockets is also the gateway to many other great back country adventures. Falling Man and 21 Sheep petroglyph panels are nearby, as is the Devil's Throat Sinkhole. Traveling onward you can explore the many access points along the east shore of Lake Mead, Gold Butte National Monument area, Devil's Cove and many other intriguing geologic and historical landmarks.

Dam built by Luke Whitney and refurbished by the Civilian Conservation Corps.

Hawk, probably red-tailed hawk, as they are more common in the area than ferruginous hawks, another possibility, that are also found in this part of the desert.

One last shot of some of the remarkable scenery in this part of the desert southwest.

Submitted by Bud Sanders


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