29-Nov-2003 -- After a three day failed attempt for a first visit to a confluence in the sand dunes of the Sonorran Desert, we decided to try something easier. The 35N 117W confluence is in the Mojave Desert, only about an hour drive from where we live.
As the previous visitors have stated, the confluence is north of Barstow on the road to Fort Irwin. About 7 miles north of town, you will find a well maintained dirt road with a sign pointing to the "Rainbow Basin Natural Area". A short distance up the dirt road, high voltage power lines cross the road.
A vehicle trail runs beneath the power lines. Most two wheel drive vehicles should be able manage the trail. However, a small drainage ditch which parallels the road must first be crossed. The soft sand and the ditch could cause some problems.
In any event, the confluence is not far from the dirt road. Whether walking or driving, it's best to stay on the trail until in the vicinity of the third transmission tower north of the road. You will then be almost due west of the confluence. A pleasant 5 minute walk will take you the .2 mile from the trail to the confluence. The confluence is marked with a stake and a geo-cache.
Indicated Elevation: 2727 Ft.
My GPS Error: 19 Ft.
Please don't drive from the trail to confluence even if you have a 4 wheel drive vehicle. The desert here is fragile and home to the threatened desert tortise. You can see your vehicle quite easily from the confluence and I can't think of a much safer place to leave your vehicle.
Since the confluence is also a geo-cache, traffic to the site is heavy. More than 40 groups have already visited the geo-cache and we need to tread lightly to preserve the beauty of the site.
This confluence wasn't much a challenge, but it was a great reason to get out into the Mojave Desert on a pleasant day.