Sunday, May 23, 2010

Silver Island Mountains May 22, 2010

After a relative wet winter in the desert, I decided to spend the day exploring the Silver Island Mountains of Western Utah. The mountain range is famous because of its location next to the Bonneville Salt Flats. The salt flats is home to yearly races which feature some of the fastest cars in the world. The mountains themselves have a unique history. Recently, they were home to a significant amount of Tungsten mining. In the 1850s, the area was made famous by the Donnor- Reed Party who traveled through here on the Hastings Cutoff on their way to California. Today, a visitor can see remnants of the wagon tracks in place.
The main route into the area is the Silver Island Mountains Scenic Byway which runs 54 miles through the desert. The road was suitable for my camery; even though, it would be treachorous for any vehicle after it rains. I started off the day looking for a geocache called Surprise Ending up a canyon. I was making good progress but it soon became obvious my tennis shoes were not made for rock climbing. However, I had fun photographing the flowers abd old mining ruins of the area. Afterwards, I drove 15 more miles on the byway exploring caves and photographing flowers in the desert.

Plaque recognizing the Hastings Cutoff

Old Mine Shaft

Looking towards cave entrance

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