Soon after we entered the trail system, we came across this. It's an upside-down plastic owl with real feathers. Like a bat-owl. Not sure what the purpose is to it there. Maybe some weird Voodoo thing.
4-5 miles south on the trail, you'll be entering the Spring Mountains National Recreation Area. This is as difficult as the trail got today. Aside from a few loose spots in the road, 4WD wasn't needed. This trail system webs for miles and miles. It does get more technical, just not for us today.
Davidsonlaw, you were right. It was a pipeline road. There are markers along the road where it crosses. Because it is a pipeline road, the condition of the road is maintained. No issues at all heading back towards Blue Diamond.
Here is the view looking back from the end of our day. From the descent into the valley, much of the trail is just like this picture. There is much more to see and do if you stay on the Cottonwood trail system above this valley. Todays trail ended here: 36° 1'53.28"N , 115°21'3.93"W.
All of the trails were posted as designated trails. Total travel time, with frequent stops, -4 hours.
I was able to find some references to the trail we exited. Some called it Eagle Ranch Road. The street name is Eagle Ranch, accessable from Blue Diamond road. Others referenced it as the Old Spanish Trail. I know that the Old Spanish Trail is a broken trail system throughout the area. It may be. Another referenced it as an old gypsum trucking road. There is a gypsum mine and processor nearby. It may be that too.
My recommendation would be to avoid that trail where we ended. Scenery is nice, but it's so much better above. If you enter Cottonwood at the coordinates I started with, there is more to see up there. Abandoned miners cabin, abandoned gold mines and an old place crash.
With so many trails to choose from along Cottonwood, the trail can be as easy or hard as you'd like. Keep following that point south and it'll end at Goodsprings: 35°51'27.18"N , 115°26'40.59"W
Last time I ran that trail in the daylight My wife and I saw this guy.....
There is also a mine on the west side of the trail. it is marked if your headed to Goodspring it is on the right befor the trail on the left that gose down to the Guzzler. Sorry did not make it on the GPS. it does not go all the way to the mine it is blocked but some very lage rocks and is only a very short walk to the mine
We came across that same mine a while back. If you climb above that, there is a vent shaft that is also sealed.
It's doubtful you'll see any wild horses in that area anymore. For some reason, an agency came and gathered most of them up. Not sure which agency. The local news said it was because there were more than the land could sustain. I'm up on that trail system weekly and haven't seen a single horse since.
Also, in that area in the Potosi Mine which spans several levels and several hundred yards. When it was closed, the entrance was sealed with concrete, but that barrier has since been broken. It's often explored and sadly, covered in graffiti.