New edition 2014 includes Kindle and epub.
San Bernardino County is a treasure trove of secret places waiting to be explored–dark winding canyons, lofty mountain peaks, deep washes, and ghost towns–all remnants of the Old WestÕs colorful past. And what a past it was, from the dawn of the planet’s creation when volcanic upheavals formed Cima Dome, Amboy Crater and what is now the Cinder Cone National Natural Landmark, a valley of thirty-two volcanic cones south of Baker and Mitchell Caverns to more recent times when prehistoric artists, ancient ancestors of the Mohaves, Chemehuevis, Paiutes and Shoshone left their marks on the hard rock fascia of lava flows. Thousands of years passed before the Spanish came, followed by settlers of European descent–over the Spanish Trail and the Old Government Road, leaving settlements and camps, an Army outpost at Camp Cady and the redoubts of Marl Springs. Prospectors and miners left their marks on the land and mountains, with mine shafts and yawning glory holes. Some went out with pockets full of gold, while many others lost everything. Even their lives.
Today the county of San Bernardino boasts territory in the Mojave Desert that remains comparatively untouched, in sharp contrast the sprawling cities of Southern California that border the region. The outlying area of San Bernardino County is a hermit kingdom, with salty dry lakes, tall swaying conifers and more stories than a single volume on this expanse of desert can hope to record.
The trips in this book are but a few of my favorite places. The maps and directions are as accurate as we could make them, but roads do change with each rainfall and/or windstorm, so sometimes yesterday’s trail is completely obliterated by tomorrow. But with patience and persistence, you will find many of them.
All trips in this guide are made over paved roads, county graded roads, or routes which have stood the passage of time in their usage, such as old mining tracks, some dating as far back as the Old Government Road.