Turquoise Mountain Trip

Halloran Springs Road was a route maintained by AAA during the 1920’s and 30’s. As you drive along this road you will find evidence of the pavement that used to run from where we exited off the 15 freeway to Los Angeles. There are old sign posts, graves, bats, and an ancient turquoise mine that dates back to 500 AD.

We started our adventure by looking at a few Petroglyphs. If you look in the background you can see the 15 freeway. Bet this was never on your mind on the way to Vegas!

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We arrived at the old Halloran Springs Road gas station. All that is left is the foundation, some pipes, a few cars, and a bowling pin.

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A great view of Soda Dry Lake. If you look closely you can see Travelers Monument at the end of the Mojave Road.

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We found a Hippo in the sand. Perhaps an old toy from a child of the 20’s?


An old mine with a grave…not too sure who was buried here.

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Hmm…the Toltec mine is around here somewhere. Better get moving!

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Took a wrong turn down this road. We ran into a man that owns this claim. Two dogs came running  towards the convoy and he popped out of his trailer. First thing he told us was, “This is my claim.” We assured him that we were only lost and wanted directions to the mine. I didn’t take any pics. That last thing I wanted him to see was a metal object being raised towards him. He was very agitated. He told us that we need to make a left turn at the crime scene.  The story is censored for students. Sorry guys!!!

We found the caution tape to guide the emergency services to the scene…

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There is one road in and out of the mine. Don’t make a wrong turn because the other off shoots look good but end up totally washed out. You won’t be able to get out.


We arrived at the mine and decided to have lunch before exploring.
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I went into the canyon to take a look at the posts that marked old claims from the 1800’s. Despite the heat it was beautiful. I’m always at peace out here.
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We finally found the mine. Artifacts have been found here that date back to 500 AD. During the 1800’s a company moved in and mined the turquoise. It was massive. We had no idea what awaited us inside….

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It was incredibly big!

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I was the first to enter.


We were amazed at the different levels of the mine. There was an additional opening underneath the entrance level.

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I saw a baby bat fly past me. We followed it into another tunnel. It was clinging to the roof staring at us. It took flight and tried to get past our bodies. After flying in a few circles it flew past our heads. For the first time in a perhaps a century three grown men were screaming for their lives inside the mine.

We decided it was time to leave the mine. We had some time to burn so we headed to Travelers Monument at Soda Dry Lake.


I had to bring an offering to the monument. I will be back on the Mojave Road in October.



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I’ve always wanted to eat at Mad Greek so the crew headed back to Baker for dinner. I love a good Gyro.
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Sunset on the 15 southbound. What a great day!

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20 Responses to “Turquoise Mountain Trip”

  1. Hi, this is a comment.
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  2. Pam Phelan Says:

    Awesome website, Joe! You are so good with this, what an assest for your students. Looks like you had a fun little trip…and educational too! (My students might find me lounging by the pool with an iced tea…guess that’s why I don’t learn this stuff! hehe) Keep up the great work/fun!

  3. thedesertfiles Says:

    Thanks Pam. Glad you liked it. If you want to set up a blog let me know. It’s a lot of fun.

  4. Diana Usher Says:

    I enjoyed your trip via blog, I am sure your students will enjoy it too. I definitely would have added and probably surpassed you in the the yells. I’m very timid when it comes to caves and to encounter flying bats, even babies, would have made my heart race and my feet fly toward the exit. Sounds like fun though and you captured so many beautiful pictures. “)

  5. Robert Brewer Says:

    Great trip. I like what you did here. I’m going to try something like this with all my hiking trips. Have to connect it to the standards of course. I love the CRAZY Mad Greek.

  6. Hey why all the G-rated stuff? I know you better than that.

  7. re: bat in the cave…!

    Three grown men yelling for their lives? I proudly exempt myself! I didn’t yell! But I did duck when the little bugger flew over us!


    fun trip…!


  8. Great write up. I love that area. Thanks for sharing.

  9. Awesome Mr.Diaz I go through these pics every day.

  10. Mrs. Rachielles Says:

    Looks like you have a good time out there. That whole bat thing would have completely freaked me out!

    Cool site.

  11. Mrs. Andolsen Says:

    I want to go off roading and go on an adventure lol We can all go shooting!:)

  12. It was wrong to take that hippo.

    • thedesertfiles Says:

      You’re right. We forgot that ivory was illegal. We were also fairly sure it was not a native American Artifact…probably no older than 30 years. Probably leftover from a previous trail run which is the reason it was left in the middle of the road.

  13. Jeff Bond Says:

    I used to camp there circa 1973. Dug around for terquoise. Found a little. … In the tailing pile. Made some Indian Jewelery sold it at hippie markets in the San Fernando Valley. What a good time!

    • thedesertfiles Says:

      Hi Jeff. Thanks for the comment. Do you still get out there?

      I also live in the San Fernando Valley.

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