Monday, May 3, 2010

Berlin Ichthyosaur State Park Nevada – May 2010

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We headed east on Highway 50 early Saturday morning. First stop was Fairview Peak earthquake fault scarp. In Dec 1954 a 7.3 earthquake ripped through the Dixie Valley area and offset this fault by up to 20 feet in height. We love geology, this is an impressive sight.

Our main destination was Berlin Ichthyosaur State Park - fossils and an old mining town on the western side of the Shoshone Mountains, a really nice spot in the middle of Nevada. Robin is the park ranger who has been doing the tours of the fossil shelter for 11 years now. If you visit, be sure and take the tour and talk with this guy. The fossil shelter houses the main dig and contains several Ichthyosaurs.

We loved reading Dr. Camp's field notes in a wall display in the shelter.

The Richmond Canyon Trail took us over the ridge east from the shelter and down to the Richmond mine.

The ore bin is an interesting structure in the canyon.

We spent the night in the nice small state park campground among junipers and pinyon pine. Robin asked if we had brought a telescope, saying this is a great place for stargazing, "We have zero light pollution here!" No telescope, we settled for a great sunset and then the night sky coming alive with stars.

We spent several hours Sunday morning walking around the mining ghost town of Berlin.

The tramway down into the mine with the hoist house.

The mine privy.

The stage station.

The cemetery is small and down slope from the town.

Many of the sites in Berlin are marked with signs bearing notes from a former town resident. These are very well done.

We really enjoyed this cold spring weekend visiting Berlin. The large mill is great to see.

Before heading back home we visited Ione, just a few miles to the north. This was great short adventure for us. If you are in the area, Berlin and Ione are well worth visiting!

1 comment:

  1. Back in the winter of 1983/1984, when I lived in June Lake, a friend and I took a snowy camping trip out that way. We took my trusty Ford F250 4x4 pickup, our dogs, camping gear and a weekend’s worth of food. We camped the first night just up the canyon from Ione, in front of an old Cousin Jack. Sleepless night in a KMart dome tent, a cheap, lightweight sleeping bag. Plus got woke up at 2AM by a curious local who wondered what a couple of “California idiots” were doing camping in the snow. Breakfast time found us down at what is now the Ore House, which back then served food. I remember the thermometer read below zero. Got a private tour of Berlin, Union ghost town and the fossil house by the bored and lonely ranger. Camped the next night at Grantsville.

    I last camped at Grantsville in 2006 during the Memorial Day weekend, it snowed. Tried to find the Cousin Jack above Ione in a full on blizzard, unsuccessful. A couple months later my wife and I passed through again on a trip to Jarbidge and found the Cousin Jack. Comparing images from 1983/1984 and 2006 show no appreciable degridation to it.