San Bernardino County Bound : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

I'm going to be in San Bernardino on business for about three weeks beginning April 1. All work and no LF shooting makes a dull three weeks. Does anyone have any suggestions on landscape or other subjects within a day (or two) of there?


-- John Hennessy (, March 09, 2001


If you are into nature photography then Joshua Tree is not far away. A few hours further away is Death Valley, Inyo Mountains with the Bristlecone pines, Alabama Hills, Mt. Whitney, and on the west side of the Sierras King's Canyon.

-- Åke Vinberg (, March 09, 2001.

Death Valley and the Mojave desert in general has received a good soaking in the past two months. A reasonably good wildflower season is expected late march through mid april. Your timing is good if that's your thing. Maybe I'll see out there!

Here is a nice book describing touring in this area :

Adventuring in the California Desert (Sierra Club Adventure Travel Guide) by Lynne Foster

-- Richard Ross (, March 09, 2001.

John: Death Valley, of course, email me for more suggestions on specifically where to go there. Dante's View is terrific. Agueberry Point (sp?) is almost as good and looks down on the valley from the other side. Bad Water is very interesting. Don't miss the Panamint Valley next door to Death Valley. If you go up the Goler Wash, that's where they captured Charles Manson. The house he lived in and the cupboard he was hiding in are still there. Interesting country. Amargosa Valley is in Nevada but a relatively short drive from Furnace Creek in Death Valley. Great ruins (see California and The West by Charris Weston, Edward Weston described it as the Athens of ghost towns or something like that...) also near are the Amargosa Dunes, the ghost town of Chloride Cliff, and other great spots, depending on what you like to take pictures of. The Searles Valley and especially the Trona Pinnacles are a must. Hold your nose in the Searles Valley unless you're into Sulfer. (The Pinnacles are used in the final scene of whichever Star Trek Movie Shatner directed, the one where they meet Spock's brother) Devil's Punchbowl off the Pearblossom Highway is very interesting and only about 70 minutes from San Bernardino. The Lucerne Valley is interesting, I especially like the abandoned farms on Lucerne Dry Lake. For Mountains and snow drive up to Crestline and on to Big Bear Lake. (Going over the mountains and down the back side gets you to the Lucurne Valley.) I second the Joshua Tree Monument recommendatoins, though I go there for the unique rock formations and not the flowers. Giant stacked boulders rise from the plain, absolutely amazing. In the 20's it was known as The Wonderland of Rocks. (also discussed extensively in Califoria and the West) There is much to see in the Owens Valley off US 395, I like the semi-ghost towns of Keeler and Cerro Gordo, though the later is quite a steep drive and may not be reachable this time of year. Cerro Gordo has a hotel from 1877, Keeler has a train station. Alabama Hills are a must see. Mono Lake shouldn't be missed, especially this time of year. The ghost town of Bodie is legendary and may or may not be reachable depending on snow conditions. Three weeks isn't enough.

-- Kevin Crisp (, March 09, 2001.

Ooops, I left out the name of the town in Nevada in the Amargosa Valley which has the ghost town. It's called Ryolite. Quoting from the book: "The town is set up on the slope of bare colored hills, and while Edward [Weston] worked we could sit could look down on an arm of the Amargosa Desert that was being rapidly transformed to a sea of blowing sand. Edward was fascinated with the town - Nevada's Athens, he called it..."

-- Kevin Crisp (, March 09, 2001.

San Bernardino County is huge -- I believe the biggest in the US -- so there is a lot of potential ground to cover. The suggestions so far are good. I'll add one in the next county over -- Riverside -- wander out Interstate 10 to Palm Springs and check out the "Indian Canyons," beyond the south end of the glitz of Palm Canyon Drive. These are open at certain hours, and there may be a fee to enter since Indian property, but there are some amazing sites and sights in there. For the somewhat lazy (LF photogs are permitted this given their pack loads), there is the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway that sends you most of the way up Mt. San Jacinto (11,000+ feet) for the interesting mountain shooting -- on a clear day (it happens) you can see nearly forever. If you keep going on I-10 there is also the Colorado River and its environs.

-- Donald Brewster (, March 12, 2001.

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