Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Tungsten Hills


Horton Creek Campground has an outstanding view of Mt. Tom and Wheeler Crest in the Sierra Nevada Range on one side, and the Tungsten Hills on the other. All that climbing around on the rocks at the Buttermilks caused Jim to decide he had to get to the highest peak of the Tungsten Hills, named from the tungsten mines that operated in this area from WWl until the 1950s. It looked fairly close to our campsite, but looks can be deceiving in the desert.


Since there is no road or trail to get there from the campground, we had to first find a way across Horton Creek. We discovered a bridge and made our way through the sage and bitterbrush landscape, arriving at the base of the hills in about a mile.


Leftovers from the mining days.



Then the hard part, climbing up the steep switchback road to get to the top. We cheated in some places and cut up the hillside, not that it was any easier.


We had great views.


You can see Hwy 395 snaking its way up out of Owen’s Valley.


The dirt road ended before the highest point, so we had to do a bit of rock scrambling, but finally got to the top.



We still had to go back down and make our way back to the campground, which is behind the tree line towards the base of the mountains.


We made it back just as the sun was going down. 4.4 miles, and Jim got to check that one off his list. It was a fun hike!



  1. I would be right there cheating with you!

    It looks like a lovely, fun hike!

  2. Another great adventure and more beautiful scenery. There is so much to see in the Owens Valley and surrounding area. thanks for sharing - love it.