page 47


page 47
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73. Cave Springs, San Bernardino County (H-6).—Cave Springs (elevation about 6,290 feet) are a well-known stopping place on the road from Daggett to Death Valley, and the water here is the last to be had before going down into the valley. The springs are near the summit of the Avawatz Mountains, and, as their name indicates, they are found in large grottos or caves. As all travelers stop here, the majority of them camping over night, the place is clearly marked by camp litter. There are two springs, each about 5 feet across and each containing about 5 feet of water. They have been cleaned out and boarded up, but are not provided with a pump. The water is excellent. It is about 12 miles by road north from Cave Springs to Saratoga Springs in Death Valley and about 30 miles south to Garlic Spring (No. 135). 74. Saratoga Springs, San Bernardino County (H7).—Saratoga Springs (elevation 362 feet), situated about 20 miles west of Dumont, on the Tonopah and Tidewater Railroad, are well known to every traveler to Death Valley, as their site is the principal camping point each winter for prospectors who have claims in the vicinity. They are at the southwest edge of a black point of the Black Mountains that projects southward into the valley. The slope of the mountains east of this point is covered with sand and recedes to the north in a large cove, but part of the range that lies immediately back (northeast) of the springs is rugged and rocky. The springs can Hot easily be distinguished at a distance, for their location is marked mainly by the tules growing around them, and by prospectors' stone houses, which are nearly of the color of the surrounding rocks, and on approaching from the south they are hidden by a point of rocks Until one is within a few yards of them. The springs proper form a pool about 25 feet in diameter and 4 feet deep. The bottom is of white sand, which is kept in constant motion by the rising water. The overflow from the pool forms a little stream that runs northward into shallow lakes, covering 10 or 15 acres, and surrounded by tules. One might travel along the road leading from the springs northwestward to the Old Ibex mine without suspecting the existence of these lakes, as they are concealed by ridges of sand. In winter many ducks and geese may be found here, a fact appreciated by prospectors. Even in the coldest weather the water of Saratoga Springs has a temperature of 80° or 85°; hence the springs make a bathing pool that is delightfully refreshing after long days of weary travel liver the desert. It is worthy of note that the water is full of small fish, up to about 2 1/2 inches long, of a grayish-black color. Similar fish are found at Pahrump and in other desert springs.

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