The Amargosa Canyon

The Palisades - Ghosts of the TTRR

A Photographic Tour for the Desert Hiker

With particular attention to the history of the T&T RR

Photography and Text by John A. McCulloch

The Amargosa Canyon is located in Inyo and San Bernadino Counties, California, about 40 miles east of Death Valley. The canyon begins just south of Tecopa, CA and runs in a southerly direction for about 9 miles. As a preserved wilderness and an Area Of Critical Enviornmental Concern, access is restricted to hiking trails. The main trail follows (as far as possible) the old roadbed created by the construction of the Tonopah & Tidewater Railroad in 1906-7. Construction of the railroad through the canyon was so difficult that the effort took almost a year.

There are three entry points to the canyon. The most convenient is that from Tecopa, CA. Passing between the Post Office and the General Store, follow the dirt road by the site of the T&T yards and the Tecopa Consolidated Mine Mill (ruins) to a turaround. The trail entrance is marked with a sign. An alternate is the easy trail from China Ranch, about 4 miles from Tecopa by road (follow the China Ranch Date signs) and a hike down the Acme spur of the T&T of about 1 mile into the middle of the canyon. The last access requires a 4 WHD and is found by passing the Dumont Dunes Recreational Area and continuing on the dirt road marked with cairns to the T&T roadbed coming down from Dumont (site). Turning north and keeping to the eastern side of the riverbed will take you to Sperry (site) and Sperry Wash. At the junction of the old established road to the A.C.E.C. boundary in the Narrows, the BLM has now erected barriers and closed the road and roadbed. Your walk up the canyon can now begin with an extra mile of hiking.

These pages will take you on a walk through the canyon starting at Tecopa and down to the exit of Willow Creek at the foot of China Ranch. A diversion will cover the China Ranch area and the Acme Spur. The canyon walk will then continue on by the Palisades to the sites of two of the major T&T trestles crossing the Amargosa at the base of the Sperry Hills. Then on to Sperry (site) and the divergence of the T&T with the Amargosa River

Another set of pages will cover the other areas of the roadbed. Not as scenic perhaps, but showing the present state of the road for those who can't get there. These are mostly links to other T&Ter's visits to the remains of the roadbeds. Enjoy our Roamin' The Roads.

3D View


Tour Contents:
Entry at Tecopa Long Valley The Swamp The Flatlands
Entry at Tecopa Long Valley The Bowl The Meadows
Morrison (Acme) China Ranch - Saloon Ruins The Palisades and Roadbed Amargosa Canyon Trestle
Morrison (site) China Ranch The Palisades Pailsades Trestle
  China Ranch - Saloon Ruins The Palisades and Roadbed  
  Sperry Hills Sperry Area  
Mojave Desert Amargosa Valley China Ranch Railroads
The End - or just The Beginning?


As much of the material about this area is scattered, many of the descriptive 'names' I've used are my inventions. As I find out the proper naming of areas and features, I'll clarify the names used by me in the text.

Everything here is my personal view, based on walking the canyon, talking to people living in the area and from readings. Errors are solely mine.

Bookmarking is disabled on the rest of the tour to allow for expansions which will alter the numbering of the following pages. You may mark this page and use the index above, to jump to a particular section.

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