U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIORBUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
 
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News.bytesNews.bytes Extra, issue 375


Scouts explore rugged public lands

A group of boy scouts from Susanville Troop 159 experienced the wide-open expanse of BLM public lands in northeast California and northwest Nevada over the weekend of March 13-15.  They climbed the north face of Dry Valley Rim,a massive fault block escarpment rising 2,000 feet above the valley floor. From high atop the rim, scouts saw first hand the convergence of three geologic provinces:  the Great Basin, Sierra Nevada and the Modoc Plateau.

Below, the scouts gained an appreciation for the emigrant experience at a Trails West marker showing the route of the Nobles Emigrant Trail through the lower Smoke Creek Canyon. Wagon ruts are still visible in the distance.  They hiked along part of the trail.

 Scouts stop by a marker showing the route of the Nobles Emigrant Trail, in the lower Smoke Creek Canyon

Hiking into the Dry Valley Rim Wilderness Study Area, scout Kyle Leitaker crosses a snowfield enroute to the 6,186-foot summit.  At the ridge, the group was dwarfed by the expanse of the WSA with views toward the Smoke Creek Desert (second photo) and toward the Twin Peaks WSA (third photo).

A scout crosses a snowfield, with valley and other mountains in the background 
Looking down to the Smoke Creek Desert
Looking down toward the Twin Peaks Wilderness Study Area

During their hike, the scouts met the challenge of finding ways safely around obstacles such as a massive rock boulder plugging their route up a canyon, below.  They dubbed the route "Chockstone Canyon."

The scouts look for a safe way around a massive rock boulder plugging their route up a canyon

Below, their return hike offered stunning late winter views of the snowcapped mountains of the Great Basin.

 Scouts look out at late winter views of the snowcapped mountains of the Great Basin

The 11 scouts gained an appreciation of the rugged beauty, challenging terrain and climbing challenges offered in the high deserts.  During the hike, scout leaders, including BLM Outdoor Recreation Planner Stan Bales emphasized the geologic and human history of the region, much of which was covered by massive prehistoric Lake Lahonton.  Shoreline evidence of this ancient lake was high above their camp.

- Jeff Fontana, 3/09. Photos by Stan Bales, BLM


BLM-California News.bytes, issue 375


 
Last updated: 03-26-2009