After our recent CA rains of a month ago, I had been anxious to see what Surprise Tank looked like. If you read last week's post, you will recall this was my second hike to the area. During my first hike, I didn't make it to Surprise Tank. But had I made it, there likely would have been a lot of water behind the dam. As it turns out, when I finally got there about a week ago, it wasn't much more than a mud puddle. But I'm getting ahead of myself...
I think most people get to this area by parking where the CA Riding Trail intersects Geology Tour Road, and hike S/SW, which eventually takes you to the front of Surprise Tank. I chose to continue further south on Geology Tour Road before parking, and then head directly west to the rocks. This requires off-trail hiking and a bit of rock scrambling and you eventually end up behind Surprise Tank. It's a fun hike and you pass through some very photogenic rock formations!
|"Window Rock" #1|
|"Window Rock" #2|
|"Weird Rock" (as you can tell, I'm running low on creative rock names!)|
|No shortage or rock formations in this area!!|
Surprise Tank!! Bigger than a mud puddle, but not by much! Still, a beautiful area and fun to see a little water in the desert.
A nice side view of the dam. It actually goes straight for some distance, then makes a sharp turn around some rocks.
The height of the dam is low, perhaps a maximum of 6-8' measured from the back. Below is what it looks like after a good rain or two.
|Photo credit Elliot Koeppel at http://cali49.com/jtnp/2014/3/6/the-dam-with-no-name|
I'll leave you with a Joshua Tree picture. I never get tired of these guys... all are unique, no two are the same! I tried to grunge it up a bit to give it that "old west" look!
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