page 48


page 48
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The road from Daggett by way of Cave Springs enters Death Valley about 5 miles southeast of Saratoga. The road from Johannesburg comes in from the west, crossing the west end of the niter beds that lie along the north flank of the Avawatz Mountains. The road to Resting Springs leads from Saratoga southeastward toward Cave Springs for about 1 mile, then turns eastward past a little lava knob in the bottom of the valley and continues in this direction toward a long spur of the Black Mountains that juts into the valley. The traveler may cross the south end of the sand dunes and climb the short grade through the low sandy pass just east of the dunes, or he may go around this spur to the south. It is a steep and hard pull through the sand to the top of the pass, but beyond the top the trail northeastward across the flat to Amargosa river is firm and no rougher than the rest of the valley. The right-hand road has no grades, as it passes around the southern end of the ridge. It crosses the Amargosa river where the latter passes close between the point of the ridge and a black butte that lies as a southeastern extension of the ridge. Thence the road swings northeastward and joins the other branch. When Amargosa river is reached it should be followed up to the canyon, where the roads are plainly marked, and thence past Sperry to the China ranch. Another road leads from Saratoga Springs northward to the summit of the Black Mountains, passing the Ibex mine, and then turning east to Resting Springs; but this road has steep grades, is very rocky in places, and in other places is covered with deep sand. The road up Amargosa Canyon is to be preferred. There is also a dim trail along the south flank of the Black Mountains, leading to the sink of Death Valley, but no water is to be had on it, except at Confidence Springs (No. 49), until one reaches Bennet's Wells, a distance of about 50 miles. 75. Salt Spring, San Bernardino County (H-7).—This spring of nonpotable water is in the canyon of the south branch of Amargosa river at the east end of South Death Valley, at an elevation of 300 feet, 5 miles southwest of Dumont, on the Tonopah and Tidewater Railroad. This canyon is the pass between the Kingston and Avawatz mountains, about 14 miles southeast of Saratoga Springs. On the south side of a spur of the Kingston Mountains are the ruins of the camp of the old Amargosa gold mine, in plain view of travelers approaching from the south. At the old mine there is a little canyon that descends sharply to the north, in which there are the ruins of a 20-stamp mill. Near the mill are two wells, protected by curbing and covered, from which water of fairly good quality may be had. This is an important thing to know, for the waters of Salt Spring are unsafe and several persons have perished from drinking them. They are supposed by miners to contain arsenic. An analysis shows, however, that al-

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