The Road Less Traveled
Lee Flat - President's Day 2008
Big Dodd Springs
San Lucas Canyon
Years ago, the original south pass into Saline Valley cut through San Lucas Canyon, which can still be traveled by taking the Lee Flat road, past the turn-off for Cerro Gordo.
The road down San Lucas Canyon has recently been blocked to vehicular use by rocks. This picture is taken where we parked the truck, and is easily spotted where the road bends hard to the left to go uphill again toward the Bonham mine. The road is easy to follow on foot, and is easy walking. The scenery down the canyon for the next view miles would only interest a structural or quaternary geologist.
After a while, the road all but disappears, and I found myself wondering if I was in the right area anymore. While the road did disappear, some more interesting scenery did appear, as we came to a canyon slot that made me question if a road could indeed ever navigate through this narrow and weather-prone passage.
Turning the corner, indeed we found the infamous stretch of road carved into the carbonate cliffs of San Lucas. When mass wasting took out the road, this route was abandoned in favor of Grapevine Canyon.
In the ensuing years, a lot of mass wasting seems to have taken place. There is an ammo box bolted to the wall here, as a visitor registration box. We found a few familiar names and added our own. (If you're sharp, you can spot it in this picture)
According to legend, the last trip down this road was made in the sixties, by Colonel Rogers and Fred Story, two local miners. The trip took the bolstering of adventuresome and fearless souls, along with an unspecified amount of alcohol. The trip from our truck to this historic point was only 3.5 miles, and a hiker could continue down the canyon and come out to the valley floor, and within easy reach to the Saline Valley Road
Back to the Lee Flat launch