On this section of our trip, we are not actually in Titus Canyon: We are in some unnamed wash that drains eastward into the northwest part of the Amargosa Desert. Beyond "White Pass," we will at first be in the upper reaches of Titanothere Canyon, still not in Titus Canyon.
|A close-up of the same bush, showing the silky, tent-like mass in its branches.|
|Google Earth image of the Grapevine Mountains with a few labels.|
|(No labels on this one, though.)|
|Location of White Pass and other key localities, courtesy USGS TNM 2.0 Viewer. Labeling done in MS Paint.|
Between Tan Mountain and White Pass, the road runs south of several smallish dark brown hills composed of brown volcanic rock above white to pale yellow sedimentary rocks, often tuffacaceous, with intercalated tuffs. The brown, hill-capping formation has been mapped as Tlt, Lithic Ridge Tuff and related felsic rocks, by Workman et al (2002) and as part of Tw, the newly defined Wahguyhe Formation, by Niemi (2012). So it's a little confusing, but with a little research I determined that these brownish cliffs are indeed what has been called a latite flow before (Lengner and Troxel, 2008), with Niemi saying that the latite (he included it in the Wahguyhe) correlates with the Rhyolite of Picture Rock, which is rhyodacitic to latitic. So, when you look north at the dark brown caps, think rhyodacite to latite!
|Dark brown latite flow rock caps a hill north of the road.|
|I took this zoomed-in photo mostly because of the interesting patterns in the talus coming from our dark brown latite flow on the right (and, the sky!).|
|We're looking west from White Pass. The dark rocks to the left (S) are Cambrian; the rocks to the right (north) and straight ahead (W) are Tertiary.|
|The same photo, labeled with geologic formations (the Tertiary as shown is all from Niemi, 2012).|
Before leaving White Pass, we'll look off a little to the south. These two photos were taken about 7 years apart from almost the same spot. The lighting and clouds are a bit different, the time of day is nearly the same.
|Photo taken at about 10:00 am in late February, 2016.|
|Photo taken at about 10:30 am in early May, 2009.|
Okay! Let's move along! We've got to get through this canyon before...well, you're not supposed to camp in the canyon: It's day use only!! (This is really too bad, IMO; there is way too much to see along this road in one day.)
Here's another place I always end up stopping: on the road between White Pass and an unnamed pass between the two branches of upper Titanothere Canyon. We'll turn and look south down Titanothere Canyon.
|The alluvial fan in the distance is across Death Valley, beyond Stovepipe Wells.|
|At about the same point on the road, also looking to the south,you'll see Telescope Peak.|
|Telescope Peak (11,048 ft, 3367 m) is about 45 miles distant in this shot!|
A Few References:
Lengner, K., and Troxel, B.W., 2008, Death Valley's Titus Canyon & Leadfield ghost town: Deep Enough Press, 175 p.
Niemi, N.A., 2012, Geologic Map of the Central Grapevine Mountains, Inyo County, California, and Esmeralda and Nye Counties, Nevada: Nevada, Geological Society of America Digital Maps and Charts Series, DMC12, 1:48,000, 28 p. text.
Workman, J.B., Menges, C.M., Page, W.R., Taylor, E.M., Ekren, E. B., Rowley, P.D., Dixon, G.L., Thompson, RRA., and Wright, L.A., 2002, Geologic map of the Death Valley ground-water model area, Nevada and California: U.S. Geological Survey Miscellaneous Field Studies Map MF-2381-A, Pamphlet text, Sheet 1, Sheet 2.
Beatty: Old Buildings, A Fold, and Onward toward Titus Canyon
The Approach to Titus Canyon: Amargosa Narrows, Bullfrog Pit, and the Original Bullfrog Mine
Mineral Monday: Close-Ups of Bullfrog Ore from the Original Bullfrog Mine, Nevada
The Approach to Titus Canyon: Tan Mountain