Sunday, April 24, 2016

Rainbow Basin Natural Area, 4/21/2016

The primary attraction for us here in Barstow is the Rainbow Basin. Just 8 miles north of the town, the geological formations in the Calico Peaks mountain range are amazing. 

It is designated as an "Area of Critical Environmental Concern" due to the landscape features and paleontological resources. Taking Fossil Bed Road in the area is a one-way, narrow, rocky dirt road. High-clearance vehicles are recommended but we had no issues driving our MINI Countryman here (taking it slowly, of course). There are lots of pull outs where you can park your vehicle and do some hiking. A short distance on the Loop Road we made our first stop.

As we climbed higher the views were fabulous with hills, canyons, washes and lots of unusual rock formations.

This beautiful hawk circled around the area and perched on a rock high above us. I attempted to catch him in flight, but was only able to him at a great distance. 

We continued along the loop road making a second stop to see these green rock formations up close. The brilliance of the multi-colored rocks are pretty amazing to see.

Our car in the background gives you an idea of the scale of the rocks here.

Be sure to pull over at an overlook (marked with a sign of binoculars) and climb the small hill for fabulous views of this area.

The road became narrow and rocky but the rock formations had us mesmerized.  

At the end of the loop road we took a right onto Fossil Bed Road towards Owl Canyon pulling over to do some hiking in the Mojave Desert here. The flowering creosote bush and Mojave Indigo Bush were so colorful after being along the Loop Road where there was very little vegetation. 

Sadie found a mouse under this bush. We pulled her away to give the little guy a chance to escape to the next bush (which he did!) 

If you are in the area of Barstow, CA, do not miss the opportunity to see this place. The stark beauty is definitely worth a visit. Camping is permitted here only at Owl Canyon Campground. Additional information about Rainbow Basin Natural Area can be found online. 


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