Cattle guard on Excelsior Mine Rd as it passes by the Clark Mountain area

Bicycle camping in and around Mojave National Preserve 2006

Day 7: Cima Dome to Tecopa Hot Springs via Excelsior Mine Road

66.5 miles, 5:29 hrs, 28.0 mph max, 12.1 mph avg

Elevation: 5000 feet to 3300 to 5100 to 1325

Back on the road, I cross I-15 without getting on it and Cima Road becomes Excelsior Mine Road as I head away from civilization again. It's fairly flat, even a wee bit downhill for a while. I watch for the side roads that head off toward Clark Mountain, where I originally thought I might end up camping last night.

Clark Mountain, seen from Excelsior Mine Road

Clark Mountain is a big and imposing chunk of land that is officially part of Mojave National Preserve, but it's disconnected from the rest of the preserve because it's on the north side of I-15. There are a number of ruins and old mines in the area.

Passing by at a distance, it's much less inviting than I had expected, due to its proximity to the freeway and the barren character of the area. The fact that the freeway is nearby is a definite negative trait. For this reason, it might be more interesting to explore the back side of the Clark Mountain area.

I won't be stopping here on this trip after all, but it would be worth exploring during a future visit.

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