Malpais, Conglomerate, Nelson
Malpais Mesa, Conglomerate Mesa, and the Nelson Range are north of the Darwin area and south of the Inyo Range and Saline Valley. Much of this area is outside of Death Valley National Park boundaries, but quite a bit of this land is set aside as designated wilderness. The elevation of this area ranges from about 5000 feet to nearly 8000 feet. Malpais Mesa is home to a large yucca forest. Pinyon and juniper grow in the Conglomerate Mesa area and in the Nelson Range. (Click here to view area map.)


Blackrock Well (June 2017)    Quick view of trip pics
  1. Cows and Donkeys - Hanging out at trailhead.
  2. Just Cows - A group of cows and calves about a half mile from the trailhead.
  3. Lichen - Large circle of orange lichen.
  4. Upper Canyon - Large yucca situated in the upper portion of Blackrock Well Canyon.
  5. Prince's Plume - Lots of this plant scattered throughout lower portions of the canyon.
  6. Hunting Blind - A few of these are found in narrow parts of the canyon.
  7. Circular Petroglyph - Concentric circles on a rock.
  8. Etchings - Dated 1907, but who knows if that's real or just a hoax.
  9. Large Panel - A large display of interesting petroglyphs.
  10. More Petros - Another group of interesting patterns.
  11. Small Birds - There was an abundance of small birds near the bottom of the canyon.
  12. Young Coyote - There were four, but three ran away before I could get a shot of them.
  13. Lower Canyon - Looking down on Lee Flat from bottom of canyon.
  14. Petro Sheep - Bighorn sheep were prevalent among the hundreds of petroglyphs observed on this hike.
  15. Large Etching - Interesting panel with a couple tall patterns.

Nelson Range (May 2017)    Quick view of trip pics
  1. Donkey - This guy was hanging out with some cows, but posed by himself for this picture.
  2. Mariposa Lily - Otherwise known as Calochortus kennedyi of the Lily Family.
  3. Desert Sage - Also known as Salvia dorrii of the Mint Family.
  4. Old Fire Ring - Campsite at end of road. The road is now closed.
  5. Mono Penstemon - Penstemon monoensis of the Figwort Family.
  6. Sandwort - A species of Eremogone of the Caryophyllaceae (Pink Family).
  7. Wild Cabbage - Caulanthus crassicaulis of the Mustard Family.
  8. The Racetrack - Zooming in on the Racetrack from 6800' in the Nelson Range.
  9. Western Hawksbeard - Crepis occidentalis of the Sunflower Family.
  10. Pinyons and Boulders - Typical landscape at 6800' in northern Nelson Range.
  11. French Madame Peak - Argus Range including Maturango Peak.
  12. Giant Four O'Clock - Mirabilis multiflora of the Four O'Clock Family.
  13. Sulfur Flower - Eriogonum umbellatum of the Buckwheat Family.
  14. Fishhook Cactus - Sclerocactus polyancistrus of the Cactus Family.
  15. Mountains Around Racetrack - Ubehebe Peak, Dry Mountain, and Tin Mountain.

Malpais Mesa (May 2013)    Quick view of trip pics
  1. Y Tree - Y is for yucca!
  2. Joshua Tree - Joshua tree without flower clusters.
  3. Coso View - Looking south toward Coso Range.
  4. Cluster #1 - Yucca with flower cluster on low-hanging branch.
  5. Cluster #2 - Another cluster of yucca flowers.
  6. Multi-Cluster #1 - Several clusters on this oddly-shaped Joshua tree.
  7. Cluster #3 - Close look at a cluster of flowers.
  8. Cluster #4 - Yet another cluster of Joshua tree flowers.
  9. Silver View - Looking south toward Silver Mountain.
  10. Fallen Yucca #1 - View of roots of recently toppled Joshua tree.
  11. Flower Bud #1 - Unopened flower cluster bud.
  12. Flower Bud #2 - Close look at a flower cluster bud.
  13. Flower Bud #3 - Yet another flower cluster bud looking a little dry.
  14. Multi-Cluster #2 - Another large specimen with several flower clusters.
  15. Single Cluster - Just one flower cluster showing on this yucca.
  16. Flower Bud #4 - Another unopened flower cluster bud.
  17. Fallen Yucca #2 - This one had five flower clusters!
  18. Fallen Yucca #3 - Yet another yucca down from wind or dryness?
  19. Fallen Yucca #4 - I saw over one hundred of flower clusters and about eight fallen plants.
  20. View to South - Another view looking towards the south.

Conglomerate Mesa (May 2013)    Quick view of trip pics
  1. Rock Arch - Low rock arch near end of road below mesa.
  2. Yucca #1 - Yucca near ridge south of summit.
  3. Yucca Bloom - Close look at flower cluster.
  4. Yucca #2 - Some yuccas growing near some pinyon pines.
  5. Yucca #3 - More yuccas and pines along ridge.
  6. Yucca #4 - Another look at pines and yuccas along ridge.
  7. Yucca #5 - This yucca has a couple flower clusters.
  8. Gnarled Yucca - Twisted yucca with a flower cluster.
  9. Seed Pods - Seed pods growing on yucca down at Santa Rosa Flats.
  10. More Seed Pods - Several clusters of seed pods (also at Santa Rosa Flats).

Conglomerate Mesa (May 2012)    Quick view of trip pics
  1. Pinyon, Juniper, Yucca #1 - Slopes north of top of canyon north of the mesa.
  2. Double Peaks - Peaks between top of canyon and Conglomerate.
  3. Swirls - Interesting patterns on mountainside south of Cerro Gordo.
  4. Joshua Trees - Looking towards Owens Lake at large basin populated with Joshua trees.
  5. Desert Paintbrush - Not a lot blooming, but there was plenty of this plant!
  6. Multi-Branched Joshua - Large specimen with lots of branches!
  7. Claim Stakes - Pile of wooden mine claim stakes left at top of canyon.
  8. Looking Down Canyon - The road heading towards the Belmont Mine and Cerro Gordo Peak is visible in this picture.
  9. Flat Below Conglomerate #1 - This large flat area is at about 7400' and just below the peak.
  10. Milkvetch - Another plant producing flowers.
  11. Peak Register - Inside cover of the Conglomerate Mesa register.
  12. Cerro Gordo Peak - Looking northwest from peak.
  13. Flat Below Conglomerate #2 - View of large flat area from peak.
  14. Rock Sample - Typical rock found around Conglomerate Mesa.
  15. Rock Shelter - Remains of a rock shelter or windbreak.
  16. Wild Cabbage - Several of these plants just about ready to bloom were encountered during the hike.
  17. Malpais - View to south looking towards Malpais Mesa.
  18. Joshua Tree Flowers #1 - There were only a few of these plants producing flowers.
  19. Joshua Tree Flowers #2 - Another look at a Joshua tree in bloom.
  20. Campfire Ring - Large campfire ring located by road up canyon.
  21. Yuccas! - Video shot while hiking around Conglomerate Meas.

Anton and Pobst (April 2012)    Quick view of trip pics
  1. Nelson Cabin - The cabin was in about the same shape it was a year ago.
  2. Inside Cabin - Neat and clean for a cabin.
  3. Nelson Outhouse - Rodents had made quite a mess with the toilet paper!
  4. Saline Valley - View from end of road near Anton and Pobst Mine.
  5. Ubehebe Peak - Looking across Saline Valley towards Racetrack and various other landmarks.
  6. South Pass - The road dropping down into Grapevine Canyon and climbing up towards Hunter Mountain.
  7. Dry Mountain - From this angle Dry Mountain appears to have two equally high peaks.
  8. Milkvetch - Small milkvetch plants blooming near Anton and Pobst Mine.
  9. More Milkvetch - Another look at this small, but attractive plant.
  10. Nelson Range - West end of the Nelson Range.

Nelson Cabin (June 2011)    Quick view of trip pics
  1. Cows - A few cows hanging out at Lee Flat within sight of Nelson Mountain.
  2. Nelson Range #1 - Yucca tree forest and 7696 foot Galena Peak.
  3. Nelson Range #2 - The cabin is located at the bottom of one of the canyons to the left of the peak.
  4. Passage Way - Looking down the road leading to the cabin at a little passage through a rock formation.
  5. Outhouse - Nelson Outhouse and some yucca.
  6. Nelson Cabin #1 - The elevation here is about 6500 feet.
  7. Outhouse Window - View looking out the outhouse window.
  8. Nelson Cabin #2 - Zdon in his book about desert summits lists the cabin at 5500 feet.
  9. Cabin Roof - Corrugated metal roof and tall chimney (smokestack).
  10. Fireplace - This is the fireplace at the bottom of the smokestack.
  11. Nelson Cabin #3 - Looking at the cabin from the road leading to it.
  12. Nelson Cabin #4 - Another view of the door side of the cabin.
  13. Wood Burning Stove - There's a fireplace and a stove in this small cabin.
  14. Wood Structure - This used to be a rig with a pulley at the top of a vertical shaft.
  15. Cabin View #1 - Looking down on cabin from about the fifth mine level up.
  16. Cabin View #2 - Another look at the cabin and outhouse from above.
  17. Rock Structure #1 - Old rock structure more or less northwest of cabin.
  18. Rock Structure #2 - Another view of rock structure over small hill from cabin.
  19. Giant Four O'Clock - Mirabilis multiflora of the Nyctaginaceae (Four O'Clock Family).
  20. Gold Buttons - Erigeron aphanactis of the Sunflower Family. Also known as Fleabane or Rayless Daisy.

Malpais Mesa (June 2010)    Quick view of trip pics
  1. Mine Area - Ruins at end of the road.
  2. Yuccas and Peaks #1 - Peaks with snow and mesa dotted with yuccas.
  3. Fishhook Cactus - Large, colorful cactus flowers.
  4. Mine Claim - Wooden post marking corner of mine claim.
  5. Yuccas and Posts - Lots of yuccas and three wooden posts.
  6. Yuccas and Peaks #2 - Another view of Sierras Nevadas.
  7. Gold Buttons - This plant was abundantly in bloom.
  8. Yuccas and Peaks #3 - Large yucca in foreground.
  9. Mariposa Lily - Bright orange flowers scattered around the mesa.
  10. Larkspur #1 - Close look at larkspur flowers.
  11. Yuccas and Peaks #4 - Looks like Alabama Hills at the base of the mountains.
  12. Larkspur #2 - Another close look at larkspur flowers.
  13. Owens Valley - View from top of peak looking down at Owens Lake.
  14. Rosa Benchmark - One of the markers at top of Rosa Peak.
  15. Lizard - Dark lizard on rock near peak.
  16. Inyo Onion - Stalk and flowers sticking out from under rock.
  17. Old Man Cactus - Hairy cactus and Inyo onion flowers.
  18. Punctured Bract #1 - Lower leaves of punctured bract plant.
  19. Punctured Bract #2 - Upper leaves of punctured bract plant.
  20. Desert Dandelion - More colorful flowers up on the mesa!
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