4WD 4x4 eastern sierra great basin swansea cerro gordo salt tramway saline valley owens valley lone pine inyo range burgess

RECONNOITERING IN THE EASTERN SIERRA NEVADA & GREAT BASIN
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4x4 Trails:
Swansea Grade to Cerro Gordo
(BLM Designation: Swansea-Cerro Gordo Road)
Inyo Range, Inyo County, California

Trail Difficulty:

Moderate to Difficult

Season:

Late spring, summer and autumn; upper elevations will likely be snow covered between November and April

Elevations:

Low: 3675 @ Swansea, 3652 @ Keeler; High: 8794 @ Cerro Gordo, 9200+ feet @ Burgess

Cell phone Signal:

Good except in canyons

Running Surface Water?:

No

Trail Travel Density:

Popular - especially weekends

Nearest Supplies/Emergency Aid:

Lone Pine


The so-called Swansea Grade tour is an off road trail allows the explorer to examine closely the rugged southern Inyo Range, Inyo County, in eastern California. The route, which is an approved BLM 4x4 trail, is steeped in history all throughout its path. The route starts at Swansea, a California historical landmark site, and ends at Cerro Gordo
, a semi-ghost town with a long and often wild history. From Cerro Gordo, one can return to the Owens Valley either by dropping off the Inyo Range westward or eastward. The route can be run Swansea to Cerro Gordo or reverse. The route generally poses no problems for experienced off roaders with trail ready 4x4s except where noted.

For this discussion, the tour will begin at Swansea; up the Inyo Range to Burgess Mine; then south along the spine of the range to Cerro Gordo. Along the way the route takes in the history at the Burgess Mine and the summit station of the Saline Valley salt tramway. Departing Cerro Gordo there are two options to return to Owens Valley or points eastward.

The start of the tour is found southeast of Lone Pine, at the ghost town of Swansea, 9.5 miles east of the Inter-Agency Center; that located at the junction of US395 and CA136 across from the Lone Pine Country Club. The route start is 11.4 miles from the signal light at the intersection of US395 and Whitney Portal Road in downtown Lone Pine. 


Swansea ghost town, view northeast. Shot taken July, 2003.



Swansea: Swansea as a location got its start in the early days of Owens Valley history as the terminus of the original alignment of the Yellow Grade road down the steep western face of the Inyo Range from Cerro Gordo.


The start of the Swansea-Cerro Gordo Road at Swansea. Taken July, 2004.

In 1869, the Owens Lake Silver-Lead Company, owned by Col. Sherman Stevens, built a smelter at the location and on the shore of Owens Lake. The company was a direct competitor to the dominant overlords of Cerro Gordo, Victor Beaudry and Mortimer Belshaw; who felt that the entire Cerro Gordo Peak belonged to them. The smelter, using two blast furnaces, was built at a cost of $25,000. Ores from the Santa Maria Mine, owned by the company and one of Cerro Gordo's largest, was smelted exclusively here. In 1870, the company was taken over by James Brady and the town of Swansea laid out around the mill. The company also began to gain interest in other important Cerro Gordo mines, which also escalated the feud between the company and Cerro Gordo's bullion kings.


Up the Swansea Grade trail about a mile from its start. The route traverses loose alluvial gravels, which tend to be erased with each flashflood that comes down the canyon. Regular use, though, reestablishes the trail quickly. This shot was taken less than a week after a third storm closed CA136 in August, 2003, note how quickly a path – though dim – was reestablished.

Swansea and the Owens Lake Silver-Lead Company was always a thorn in the side of Belshaw and Beaudry and they took several drastic actions to remove it. First, the condition of the Yellow Grade road was allowed to deteriorate to the point of impassibility. The owner of the OLS-L Co. eventually appealed to the county to take action, which helped somewhat. Nature then stepped in with an apparent sympathy for Beaudy and Belshaw, when the tremendous earthquake of March 26, 1872 hit southern Owens Valley, which was felt over much of the American West. No one was killed at Swansea, though the town was leveled. The smelter, which was running at the time, burned to the ground when the earthquake knocked over the furnaces. A tidal wave was created when the Owens Lake floor shifted, and it slowly swept back over part of Swansea's ruins. The smelter was rebuilt, but it was the beginning of the end for Swansea.

A wharf was built at Swansea when the steamship the Bessie Brady began freighting wood, supplies and silver-lead bullion between Swansea and Cartago.


However, in 1873, Belshaw and Beaudry decided to realign the Yellow Grade to a point that later became Keeler, and moved their landing there. Swansea was now isolated by both land and water based transportation. This and lawsuits sprung on the OLS-L Co. by them caused such a money drain that by March of 1873 the company was forced to shut down the smelter. Swansea became largely abandoned. Nature again seemed to come to the side of the bullion kings in the form of a powerful cloudburst, which completely wiped out the town and smelter in July of 1873.

Today Swansea is a collection of ancient and merely old. Part of one of the furnaces can be seen nearly buried in the sand and brush near a state historical marker. A small stone hovel stands near the highway. The merely old consists of the remains of vehicles, mobile homes and other junk.

On the east side of the highway is a home belonging Mike Patterson, who is also part owner of much of Cerro Gordo [Note: Mike Patterson suddenly died in 2009 and Cerro Gordo and the home at Swansea is now owned by Mike's heirs]. On the north side of his home the Swansea Grade trail starts; look for the sign indicating the trail as you approach Mike's home on the highway.

Climbing up the grade from the route's start, the pathway runs through alluvial gravels. At some points the route is fairly dim due to repeated washing from flashfloods. In July and August of 2003, this portion of the route was hit by three consecutive floods; each large enough to close CA136 buy burying it under alluvial gravels and mud at Mike Patterson's house and other places.

A mile and a quarter from the highway the route enters a canyon. At just shy of 2.1 miles the route makes the first crossing of the historic Saline Valley salt tramway, whose Owens Valley terminus is located less than 5000 feet north of Patterson's; the terminus facilities once being located on a spur and set of sidings on the narrow gauge Southern Pacific Railroad that ran through here enroute to Keeler until 1960. At the tramway crossing, as well as at two other crossings of the tramway along this route, the impressive wooden towers in various stages of decay and collapse make for some interesting viewing and photography. I will discuss the history of the salt tram later in this discussion.


Looking up the narrow canyon 2.9 miles up from CA136. This scene was taken in October, 2003.

At about 2.9 miles from the highway, or in eight-tenths of a mile past the tramway crossing, the canyon narrows to the point of being just the width of the trail. Through here the pathway becomes a series of bedrock stairsteps with loose stones scattered about. The route is uneven enough through here to cause chassis flexing and lifted wheels. Ground clearance is not much of an issue unless your vehicle is low.

In two-tenths of a mile, or at 3.1 miles from pavement, a very sharp climb with a nearly 90° right turn allows the road to exit the canyon slot. This poses no problem for any 4x4 vehicle. Topping the hill, you will be again under the tramway and towers are seen marching up the mountainside to your left.

At 3.6 miles, you will bottom out in a canyon with a long hill climb of three-tenths of a mile ahead. Looking worst than it really is, the climb still can pose traction problems, especially after summer thundershowers.


At times, unsynchronized pocketing in the tracks can create considerable resistance to smooth climbing. A rear manually locking differential locker is of aid here, but not absolutely necessary unless the climb has been destroyed by flashflooding.

The next obstacle comes immediately after climbing the first hurdle, or at 3.9 miles. A 1300 foot long bedrock climb can create a barrier for slow slung SUVs and 4x4s. The climb consists of rugged bedrock forming what was once the base of the roadway prior to the storms of 2003. Very irregular and having some points of up to around 24”, good clearance and wheel placement is needed.

When climbing this steep section, one might see only their hood and sky at times. The road is also slightly off camber, which might cause one's vehicle to subtly slip sideways to the road's edge; although there is no danger of it sliding off the side of the roadway. At the time of the original writing of this page and after, there was also one eroded spot near the top of the climb which is encroaching on where one's wheels need to be. The erosion is large enough to catch a wheel, although there is no risk of dropping your vehicle over the side. But a low slung vehicle can drop down to its frame and may require extraction.

This section of the route is rough and steep enough that a locking differential or an automatic transmission will greatly aid you and your vehicle to climb this section. Otherwise, some hopping, lurching and wheel spin will be experienced.

At the top of the climb the road makes a sharp left turn and there is a spot of ample parking for several rigs and to look back over the path, along with a nice view of Owens Lake and the Sierra beyond.


Top of the first hill climb gives a short respite for what comes ahead. This photo taken in July, 2003, before three separate flashfloods struck during the next three weeks.


This scene taken at the top of the sharp bedrock incline. This shot taken in July, 2003. Roadway was in much better shape then, the bedrock mostly covered in dirt.


This scene was taken after all dirt and gravel was removed by rushing flashflood waters. This is indicative of the hillclimb. Note axle articulation of the truck.


Note the scuff marks on the rocks, indicative of vehicles slamming down their skidplates or frame rails.


Beyond the hard climb, the road settles down and traverses much gentler countryside in the middle elevations of the Inyo Range. The worst is behind you and the rest of the way relaxing.

In about three-quarters of a mile, the road will drop down into a prominent canyon and forks. Keep to the downhill fork to continue the route. The roadway will soon come to a fork in the canyon and turn up the incoming fork in about eight-tenths of a mile after dropping into the canyon.

The road up this fairly wide canyon is gentle, and in about 2.2 miles you'll be crossing under the tramway again. At the same time you'll hit the first of the piñon pines standing alongside the road.


A view typical of the tramway crossings.


A scene typical of the roadway above the last crossing of the tramway.


The trail after it passes above the timberline in this section of the Inyos. Burgess Mine lays ahead about a mile from this scene.


The canyon will soon narrow and climb, but then exit onto a tableland and then climb again via another canyon. At a point 2.2 miles past the last tramway crossing, there will be a fine view out through the pines, punctuated by the tramway towers marching out to seemingly fall off the face of the earth.

The roadway will then climb in a northwest trend through the piñon forest, the tree's roots sometimes make for some stairs to climb. Eventually, at a point near 8800 feet elevation, the road will exit the piñon forest and proceed through sagebrush, grasses and occasional mountain mahogany and reach the summit of the range at Burgess Mine; situated at a perch of a bit more than 9200' and with a wonderful view, especially eastward over Saline Valley. Along this last section, water often stays puddled up within a couple of depressions for lengthy periods after the snow melts and after any heavy rainstorms.

Burgess is the site of a minor rush to the top of the Inyo Range in 1908 and resuming in the summer of 1909. Activity centered around Burgess Well and Burgess Mine, but was scattered all long the top of the range for some miles north and south. From the contemporary press:

Inyo Register, April 30, 1908
"STRIKE ON THE INYOS – ACCOUNT OF NEW GOLD STRIKE BETWEEN BEVERIDGE AND SWANSEA."
Summary:
Burgess strikes.

Inyo Independent, May 1, 1908
"RICH STRIKE IN THE INYOS."
Summary:
Burgess strike.

Inyo Register, May 7, 1908
Summary: A new camp of Burgess, a Robertson and Wells find, is assuming shape, townsite is laid out, and water company formed.

Inyo Register, May 14, 1908
"NOW IT IS BURGESS: NEW MINING CAMP EAST OF LONE PINE PROMISES MUCH."
Partial quote:
"Draw a line northerly from Keeler about ten miles, another easterly from Lone Pine about eight miles. At the point of intersection put a spot on the map. That spot is Burgess."
Further summary: Located on New York Butte, trail to Saline Valley.

Inyo Register, May 14, 1908
Summary: 40 prospectors at Burgess.

Inyo Independent, May 22, 1908
"LONE PINE NOTES."
Summary: Burgess strike. William Higgins prospecting area. Higgins founder of Telluride strike SW of Olancha later in the year.

Inyo Independent, June 12, 1908
"NOTICE TO CREDITORS."
Summary: Estate of Burgess T. Robinson.

Inyo Register, June 18, 1908
"SOMETHING OF A TRAVELER."
Summary: Joe Ward enroute to Alpine County. Recently working at Burgess.

Inyo Register, June 25, 1908
"AT KEELER AND VICINITY."
Summary: Burgess tidbits.

Big Pine Citizen, January 19, 1924
"RICH GOLD ORE FOUND."
Summary: Burgess area being worked again.


Burgess Mine, looking eastward over Saline Valley. July, 2003.


The Burgess Mine as viewed from the north, viewing down along the spine of the Inyo Range. Cerro Gordo Peak is the peak on the right side of the trio of peaks in the background. October, 2003.


Enjoying lunch with a view over Saline Valley. Burgess Mine camp, July 2003.


At Burgess is a fine view over Saline Valley. The view is obscured somewhat due to smoke from a fire burning in the southern Sierra Nevada. October, 2003.


View south along the spine of the Inyos, from the Burgess Mine camp. October, 2003.



There are some roads and trails about Burgess that invite further exploring. The maps show a road heading for quite a distance north of the camp heading to the summit of New York Butte, but this road is now closed to vehicular use; as are most other roads north of Burgess Mine camp.

To continue this byway south to Cerro Gordo, backtrack a short distance along the roadway coming in, then keep left at the junction along the road staying up on the mountain. In 4.8 miles this byway comes to the summit station of the Saline Valley salt tramway.

The salt operation removed evaporated salts from the lake area in Saline Valley, transported it via the tramway over the Inyos to Owens Lake, where the salt was transfered over to gondola cars on the narrow gauge Southern Pacific Railroad.


The narrow gauge transported it north to Owenyo, where the standard gauge SP line up from Mojave tied in, then it was transferred again to standard gauge gondola cars and taken south. The tramway operated between 1913 and 1933, though salt mining long predated the tramway and continued to operate after the tramway was abandoned.

The summit station once contained one of the large electric motors which operated the five separate sections that made up the tramway and allowed an easy arc over the sharp knife-point of the mountain range (the tramway does not consist of one length of cable making a circuit of the entire length; but rather is made up of five separate sections; at each section, the moving bucket is automatically removed from one cable and placed upon the next).

The Saline Valley salt tramway was and still is an engineering marvel. At the time of its construction, tramways had been in use for several decades. But few – if any – traversed such a drastic landscape. Consider the elevation changes involved along its route – the tramway begins at about 1020' elevation in Saline Valley, rises near vertically to about 8720' at the summit, then drops down the wester face of the Inyos to 3635' at its western terminus in Owens Valley. The length of the tramway is just over 13 miles. It required 39 lofty towers and 123 shorter and supplementary towers to carry the cables and buckets; the latter numbering close to 300, each carrying a capacity of 750 pounds of salt.

There is a cabin standing near the summit section of the tramway, which housed an operator/maintenance/repair man and his family during the operation years. The cabin had deteriorated to the point where the roof had caved in and the porch gave way, but volunteers have in recent years replaced the roof and porch.

It makes a fine campsite today. Please respect the cabin and help keep it clean and presentable for the next party to arrive.


View of the summit workings from the summit cabin. July, 2003.


View of the Sierra Nevada from the summit station at sunrise. October, 2003.


View of the summit station and cabin from a point just south. The Sierra Nevada can be seen in the background left. October, 2003.


View from the summit station of the tramway down into Saline Valley. July 2003.


Summit station, viewed from the north. View into the mountains southeast of Saline Valley. October, 2003.


Preparing to camp overnight at summit cabin. October, 2003.


Supper in the summit cabin. October, 2003.


Construction of the Saline Valley salt tram. D.A. Wright collection. Courtesy of Eastern California Museum.


Construction of the Saline Valley salt tram. D.A. Wright collection. Courtesy of Eastern California Museum.


Construction of the Saline Valley salt tram. D.A. Wright collection. Courtesy of Eastern California Museum.


Author Leslie A. Hancock – writing about his experiences of riding with his father, who was campaigning for a seat on the Inyo County Board of Supervisors in the late 1930s, and who visited Saline Valley on the campaign tour – summed up his observation of the tramway in the book SAGA OF INYO, under the column “TWO TRIPS – DEATH VALLEY AND SALINE VALLEY:”

A tramway bucket line was at the loading point, and on, over the mountains. It was a sight! I had seen it many times on the Owens Valley side. In looking back to those days of horses and mules and the Tramway; I wonder how they put this over the mountains. I know, today, with all of our powerized equipment, it would be a big task. Even the engineering would be hard, maybe survey by airplane. Surveying in that day, with a telescope, walking – it is amazing to me. Yet, an unbelievable bucket line was put over the mountains.”

The byway continues south from the summit station, keeping to its location at the ridgetop as it heads south for Cerro Gordo. In a bit less than two miles, a road heading east drops down to Mexican Spring, one of the several that coalesced into Cerro Gordo's water supply. At this side road, the gravel becomes quite dolomitic, conducive to growth of bristlecone pines. At the point where the road turns off, you will notice a hundred yards to the east against the side of the hill, several massive tree trunks that have been cut with a saw. During Cerro Gordo's early years, woodcutters would fan out all over the range in search of suitable firewood – not only for homes, but also to heat the boilers running all manner of mine and mill equipment.

About 2.7 miles from the tramway, you can look down onto one of several pumping plants that helped to pump water from Mexican and Cerro Gordo springs up to the ridgetop and thence to Cerro Gordo.


South of the tramway. Dominant peak is 9690' Pleasant Mountain. July, 2003.

At about 3.2 miles from the tramway, the route plunges down into an unnamed canyon. Some local wags call this canyon “Boiler Canyon,” due to an old boiler located a ways below the road. Descent into this canyon is very steep, dropping from 9000' to 7460' in a mile and a half.

Much of that roadway is off camber and in loose shale and other rocks, resulting in what is best termed a “controlled slide” for about the upper two-thirds of its descent to the bottom of the canyon. To explain a controlled slide: During the descent, it is best to keep one's vehicle in 4-Lo, 1st gear (and automatic transmission equipped vehicles locked into low gear). The engine and wheels turn at a pace that would allow decent at about 2-4 miles per hour against engine compression and off the brakes, but the vehicle will be sliding downwards at about double that speed and sometimes a bit more. It's not dangerous, as the sides of the roadway has plenty of brush and somewhat of a berm to keep one from going off the road; but the descent might be unnerving for one not used to this type of driving.


Looking down onto the pumping plant at Cerro Gordo Spring. Saline Valley is beyond. July, 2003.

For those who are driving this route from Cerro Gordo to Swansea, this section may pose some traction problems, especially at the start of the steepest climb out of the canyon.

The southbound climb back out of Boiler Canyon has some steep stretches, but nothing like the descent from the north. Looking up the slope of Pleasant Mountain, one might notice a structure. This is one of the pumping plants on the water line to Cerro Gordo. The route junctions with the pipeline at a saddle in a tick more than a mile.


The beginning of the drop into “Boiler Canyon.” July, 2003.

After climbing out of “Boiler Canyon,” the route crosses a saddle then clings to the side of the steep mountainside as it contours southward at an elevation of about 8280'. It almost appears as though one is flying: the wide expanse of southern Owens Valley appears outside of the passenger side windows; one's vehicle appear to have no visible means of support, as though one is piloting an airplane. The route has some off camber places where erosional gravels has washed down from above, but is not dangerous. Views are stunning.

After contouring along the face of the mountain for about 1.1 miles, one will get their first view of Cerro Gordo, it's buildings now only about 1700' away.


Contouring along the face of the Inyo Range just north of Cerro Gordo. July, 2003.


There is enough history in
Cerro Gordo to pack many books – indeed there are many to be found – so it is not necessary to go into a detailed look at it. There will be further information below on books that will give one a more detailed look at the rich history to be found here. But a basic rundown is:

In 1969, the late Jody Stewart first drove to town in her Porsche to see her uncle, a caretaker of Cerro Gordo. Her uncle needed money, she decided to take a look at seeing what she could do to help. Jody, a Big Pine native and whose family roots span back to the earliest days of Caucasian citizenship in Owens Valley, had often heard of Cerro Gordo, but never went up to see for herself what all the fuss was about. That meeting lead to Jody's instant and enduring love for the old town, which she eventually moved to permanently and began a personal commitment to the restoration of Cerro Gordo's primary buildings.

Jody died long before her time in December of 2001 and is buried in Cerro Gordo's old cemetery. Her dream is continued by her husband, Mike Patterson.

A tour of Cerro Gordo can be arranged by calling Mike Patterson at (760) 876-5030 before you head up to Cerro Gordo. It is a local call from Lone Pine. Or visit Mike's Cerro Gordo website.

NOTE 9/24/2009: Sad news just in is the untimely death of Mike Patterson. For more information on touring Cerro Gordo, contact Cecile and Roger Vargo.


First glimpse of Cerro Gordo. July, 2003.


Cerro Gordo, October, 2003.


The American Hotel (two story building with porch), built during Cerro Gordo's early boom period. July, 2004.


The large house on the hill behind this old building was built during the zinc era of Cerro Gordo and was restored and occupied by the late Jody Stewart. After Jody's death, her husband, Mike Patterson, continued to live in this house until his own death.


Inside the old kitchen in the American Hotel. July 2003.


Miss Priss, one of Cerro Gordo's resident felines, resides permanently inside the American Hotel. July, 2003.


The grave of Jody Stewart, overlooking her beautiful home and the American Hotel, both of which she lovingly restored.


This photograph of Jody Stewart hangs in the American Hotel. July, 2004.


The view down the Yellow Grade into Owens Valley from a point two miles below Cerro Gordo. July 2004.

After touring Cerro Gordo, there are two options to coming down off the mountain. If you wish to quickly return to Owens Valley, follow the well maintained but steep Yellow Grade down to Keeler. It is about 7.5 miles between the two points, with stunning views and interesting historical tidbits along the entire distance. It's also quite steep; so even though it's well bladed (and can be navigated by standard sedans) you might wish to leave your vehicle in 4x4 low range to keep your speed under control and your brakes from cooking or fading completely. It is 12.7 miles from Keeler to US395 just south of Lone Pine.


View east from the crest of the Inyos just above Cerro Gordo. This canyon leads down to San Lucas Canyon and adventures beyond. October, 2003.

If time is no consideration or you wish to head off eastward for more exploring or camping, then drive uphill at Cerro Gordo's main cluster of buildings to crest over the Inyos, then down an unnamed canyon that drains down into San Lucas Canyon. This road is semi-maintained and does have some erosion, but otherwise normally poses no problem for all vehicles for any off road capable 4WD vehicle.


Driving through Lee Flat. July, 2003.

When the road enters San Lucas Canyon, turn right (south) and continue along the canyon's bottom. The road will eventually exit the canyon, cross Joshua tree forested Lee Flat and meet up with the road that runs from CA190 to Saline Valley. It is about 16.7 miles from Cerro Gordo to the Saline Valley road, or 25.0 miles to the junction with CA190 east of Darwin Road and just west of the boundary of Death Valley National park. If you are heading to Lone Pine, it is about 34.5 miles from the junction of the Saline Valley road and CA190 back to the junction of CA136 and US395. Allow at least three hours to drive between Cerro Gordo and Lone Pine via San Lucas Canyon.


The Inyo Range east of Cerro Gordo has all manner of 4x4 roads that lead back to mines and invite exploration. The route also ties in with the road to Saline Valley to allow exploration or a soak in the hot springs and a camping spot for the night.

The entire route from Lone Pine and back – via the Yellow Grade or via San Lucas Canyon on the return leg – can be done in one day. However, there are many opportunities to explore and camp along the way and invite an extended stay.

Update 8/5/09: For more photos taken from numerous travels over the trail, see the companion page Swansea to Cerro Gordo Photo Essay

Further Information:

Maps: USGS 7.5” Topographic


For Swansea to Cerro Gordo to Keeler run:
Dolomite, New York Butte, Cerro Gordo Peak, Keeler quads.

To exit Cerro Gordo via San Lucas Canyon: Nelson Range, Santa Rosa Flat quads (Cerro Gordo to Saline Valley road).

Books for Further Reading:

 


Swansea Grade:
INYO-MONO SUV TRAILS: A GUIDE TO 40 INTERESTING AND SCENIC FOUR-WHEELING EXCURSIONS IN INYO & MONO,” by Roger Mitchell – Mitchell describes the entire Swansea Grade point by point, rock by rock, tree by tree, historical item by historical item, view by view. Available in the entire eastern Sierra and online.


Swansea Grade:
“ADVENTURING IN THE CALIFORNIA DESERT: THE SIERRA CLUB TRAVEL GUIDE TO THE GREAT BASIN, MOJAVE, AND COLORADO DESERT REGIONS OF CALIFORNIA,” by Lynne Foster – Including much of the southern Inyo Range and Cerro Gordo. Available in some of the region's bookstores and online.

No photo Available


Saline Valley Salt Tramway:

“WHITE SMITH'S FABULOUS SALT TRAM,” by Mary DeDecker – In depth history of the construction and operation of the Saline Valley salt tramway.


Cerro Gordo:
“SKINNY, GHOST BAG KITTY OF CERRO GORDO,” by Cecile Page Vargo – A fun little story about one of Cerro Gordo's cats. Available only at Cerro Gordo.


Cerro Gordo:
THE SILVER SEEKERS,” by Remi Nadeau – All eastern California silver camps, including Cerro Gordo. Available at most eastern Sierra and Death Valley book outlets and online.


Cerro Gordo/Swansea:
“FROM THIS MOUNTAIN – CERRO GORDO,” by Robert C. Likes and Glenn R. Day – Probably the best all around complete history of Cerro Gordo and Swansea. Unsure of availability, but likely can be found on the Internet.


Cerro Gordo & Vicinity:
“CITY MAKERS: THE STORY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA'S FIRST BOOM,” by Remi Nadeau – Comprehensive guide to the impact of Los Angeles by Cerro Gordo's wealth. Likely available online.


Cerro Gordo's teaming/freighting history:
“PROCEEDINGS FOURTH DEATH VALLEY CONFERENCE ON HISTORY AND PREHISTORY: MARCH 2-4 1999,” article “NADEAU'S FREIGHTING TEAMS IN THE MOJAVE,” by Remi Nadeau – Good companion to “CITY MAKERS.” Available at the Visitor Center at Furnace Creek in Death Valley.



Create Date: 2005

Page Revised: 08/26/2010