Due to recent storms, the Mojave Road is currenlty impassible through Paiute Range. See the image below for directions on how to go around the closure.
Mojave Road Detour over the Piute Range
The following road log provides a 14.2 mile detour or "go around" to get over the Piute Range if the old Underground Telephone Cable Road is not practicable or closed. GPS coordinates and elevations are included.
Even if the road over the Piute Range is open, this route can serve as a pleasant side trip off the Mojave Road, providing an interesting visit to Leiser Ray Mine, the Signal Mining District, Tungsten Flat, and the old Craig family home site.
0.0 N35°5.47’ W114° 57.30’ (Elevation 2,473 feet) Begin at Mile 27.0 on page 66 in the 2010 edition of the Mojave Road Guide. Instead of turning right (west) to go over the Piute Range, continue generally south on the Metropolitan Water District (MWD) service road. 2.8 miles to:
2.8 N35° 3.05’ W114°57.40’ (Elevation 2,723 feet) Turn off the MWD service road, curving right on a dirt “flyover.” Continue on this road in a southwest direction. A BLM carsonite trail sign indicates you are on route NN108. 1.0 mile to:
3.8 N35° 2.69’ W114°58.38’ (Elevation 2,861 feet) Come to a "Y." Take the road to the right (straight ahead). A BLM carsonite trail sign indicates route [NN]108 goes to the right. 0.5 mile to:
4.3 N35° 2.40’W114° 58.68’ (Elevation 2,908 feet) Turn right, up a wash. 0.0+ mile to:
4.3+ Pass a National Park Service Mojave National Preserve boundary marker. 0.8 mile to:
5.1 N35° 2.37’W114° 59.50’ (Elevation 3,012 feet) Turn hard left out of the wash, up a steep hill. 0.4 mile to:
5.5 N35° 2.19’W114° 59.78’ (Elevation 3,073 feet) A prospect tunnel is visible on the left about 100 yards off the road. 0.1 mile to:
5.6 Cross the wash. Just out of the wash, there is an old debris field of cans to the right of the road. This scenic area contains a variety of native plants; barrel, beavertail, and cottontop cactus, Mojave yucca, senna, paperflower, paperbag bush, buckwheat, and marigolds. 1.1 miles to:
6.7 N35° 2.06’ W115° 0.75’ (Elevation 3,198 feet) The prow of Signal Hill looms ahead and left. 0.2 mile to:
6.9 N35° 1.93’ W115° 0.88’ (Elevation 3,180 feet) There is a light debris field of cans on the
left. 0.6 mile to:
7.5 N35° 1.61’ W115° 1.35’ (Elevation3,128 feet) Cross the wash complex. First turn
right, up the wash, and then left out of the wash. 0.2 mile to:
7.7 N35° 1.69’ W115° 1.51’ (Elevation 3,141 feet) Go directly across the wash and continue on. 0.2 mile to:
7.9 N35° 1.75’ W115° 1.70’ (Elevation 3,167 feet) Go directly across the wash and continue on. 0.4 mile to:
8.3 N35° 1.76’ W115° 2.10’ (Elevation 3,204 feet) Intersection with a road that leads hard left and right. To continue the detour, turn to the right at the intersection and continue ahead. To visit the Leiser Ray Mine, turn left and go a few hundred yards. Also, Goffs can be reached in 8.6 miles by heading south on this road. 0.2 mile to:
Mill and main shaft of the Leiser Ray mine from the east on January 25, 1917.
USGS Denver Library Photographic Collection
8.5 N35° 1.79’ W115° 2.30’ (Elevation 3,237 feet) There is a large quartz rock outcrop on the left, about 30 feet off the road. 0.4 mile to:
8.9 N35° 2.05’ W115° 2.52’ (Elevation 3,310 feet) The road climbs to the right, up out of the wash in which you have been driving. 0.2 mile to:
9.1 N35° 2.21’ W115° 2.61’ (Elevation 3,311 feet) Heading north. From this vantage point is a 180-degree scenic view. To the west are the Providence and Hackberry Mountains. To the north are the Castle Peaks and Castle Mountains. To the east lies the Piute Range. 0.2 mile to:
9.3 N35° 2.38’ W115° 2.66’ (Elevation 3,311 feet) The bell-shaped hill ahead to the left is called Billie Mountain. 0.4 mile to:
9.7 N35° 2.71’ W115° 2.79’ (Elevation 3,303 feet) Cross a sandy wash. 0.0+ mile to:
9.7+ N35° 2.75’ W115° 2.78’ (Elevation 3,295 feet) You are now adjacent to Billie Mountain on your left. To your right is the area known as Tungsten Flat. Debris and ruins of the Craig family home site are about 100 yards off the road to the right, among the smooth
quartz monzonite boulders. The ruins are not visible from the road. 0.2 mile to:
9.9 N35° 2.88’ W115° 2.81’ (Elevation 3,297 feet) There is a mine shaft to the immediate
right of the road with a bat gate on top. Early settlers obtained water here. 0.1 mile to:
10.0 N35° 2.95’ W115° 2.84’ (Elevation 3,304 feet) There are two more mine shafts to the immediate left of the road covered with protective bat gates. These cage-type gates seal off dangerous abandoned mines while allowing free movement of bat populations roosting in the cave-like microclimates of mine shafts. 0.2 mile to:
10.2 N35° 3.14’ W115° 2.88’ (Elevation 3,285 feet) There is a "Y" in the road, adjacent to an extensive fenced-in mine area on the left. Keep to the right. 0.3 mile to:
10.5 N35° 3.35’ W115° 2.83’ (Elevation 3,280 feet) The Castle Peaks and Castle Mountains are visible on the horizon far to the north. 0.4 mile to:
10.9 N35° 3.75’ W115° 2.90’ (Elevation 3,272 feet) A road comes in from the right. This road is in the wash and easy to miss. Ignore it and continue ahead. 0.4 mile to:
N35° 3.99’ W115° 3.13’ (Elevation 3,251 feet) Cross a big wash and continue ahead, beyond the wash. This is the Sacramento Wash, which drains a large area of Lanfair Valley, eventually emptying into Piute Wash just north of Klinefelter. 0.3 mile to:
11.6 N35° 4.21’ W115° 3.23’ (Elevation 3,279 feet) This cleared area to the right was once a watering place for cattle. Beyond this point there is a water line adjacent to the road. 1.6 mile to:
13.2 N35° 5.62’ W115° 3.13’ (Elevation 3,423 feet) There are two mounds of dirt about fifty and one hundred feet off to the right. 0.7 mile to:
13.9 N35° 6.19’ W115° 3.11’ (Elevation 3,452 feet) Intersection with the Underground Telephone Cable Road. Continue across. 0.3 mile to:
14.2 N35° 6.43’ W115° 3.17’ (Elevation 3,467 feet) Intersection with the Mojave Road Recreation Trail at Mile 33.8 on page 71 in the Mojave Road Guide (2010 edition). Continue with the directions in the Mojave Road Guide.
What did you miss? The most significant landmark you missed taking the Piute Range Detour was Piute Gorge. To visit the scenic Piute Gorge overlook, head east on the Mojave Road 2.4 miles to Mile 31.4 (page 69 of the Guide). From Mile 31.4 it’s a short 0.9-mile side trip north past Piute Corral to the overlook.
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