29-Nov-2013 -- Marshall and I decided to take a day to go play in the Mojave Desert and visit the 35N 116W confluence. We met at the Park-N-Ride north of Escondido at oh six hundred and headed up I-15. After a forgettable breakfast in Ludlow we headed up Crucero Road towards the confluence. It had rained recently in the Mojave and the road was damp in many places. Broadwell Lake was mud, so we took the bypass around the west side. After driving 12.55 miles we turned right onto the power-line road at 34°54.343'N 116°12.072'W. Another 12.15 miles along the power-line road brought us to our parking spot on a spur at 35°01.271'N 116°02.619'W. The power-line road has some soft sandy climbs and the last half mile is cut by small washes.
It was a beautiful day for a hike, partly cloudy with temperatures in the low 60s. The route to the confluence starts with a 1.9 mile hike south-east up the alluvial plain to 35°00.183'N 116°01.181'W where a wash comes in from the east. Hike up the wash to 35°00.289'N 116°00.531'W to where another wash enters from the right. Follow this wash a third of a mile and you get into the gullies. As per Finlayson (2007), at 35°00.113'N 116°00.102'W, take the right fork. I would add that at 35°00.032'N 116°00.045'W, take the right fork. Stay in the gully as long as possible, even a little past the confluence. The rock is broken up and loose on the slopes. We found the cairn easily and got all-zeroes about six feet north of it. We found several 9 mm casings around the area and placed them on the cairn.
The confluence is in the extreme north-east of the Bristol Mountains. The rock here is a highly fractured, dark greenish-grey, intrusive igneous rock, intruded by much lighter quartz rich rock. There is much evidence of hydrothermal action from these intrusions. The greenish color is likely from epidote, a product of the hydrothermal alteration of feldspar and hornblende. The intrusions are full of eroded out cavities plainly visible in the walls of the gullies. The Mojave Desert has very complex geology, and this area is a lovely example of it.
After hiking out, we had time for some exploring and exited the area through Afton Canyon to I-15. Along the way we visited the Bacon Strip, nearly getting stuck in the mud in the "dry" lake, and the Mojave Megaphone, a homemade steel construction emplaced on top of a granite peaklet next to Crucero Rd. This route is great fun in a Jeep. It requires driving through rocks and deep sand, and two crossings of the Mojave River, so I wouldn't recommend it unless you have 4-wheel drive and high clearance.