Mid Hills Campground Professional Guide
Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook
"The eastern half of the Mojave Desert isn’t half as wild and woolly today as it was in 1826 when Jedediah Smith came through with a pack of angry Mojave on his trail. Ambushed crossing the Colorado River, Smith lost some of his trading party to Mojave war clubs before he forted up in a thicket of cottonwoods. With only ﬁve Kentucky riﬂes, Smith and his mountain men discouraged the Mojaves enough with pinpoint riﬂe ﬁre to escape and run for their lives across the East Mojave Desert. It was August 18 and hotter than Hades.
Tormented by thirst, the men “found some relief from chewing slips of the Cabbage Pear,” Smith wrote in his diary. Men dropped from exhaustion and could not go on until water could be found and brought back to them. “It seemed a more ﬁtting abode for ﬁends than any living thing that belongs to our world,” wrote James Ohio Pattie, another famous trapper of Smith’s day. Traveling by night, the men spent the days beside springs that Smith vaguely remembered from his trip the year before. They followed the Old Mojave Trail—a trading route used by the Mojave for hundreds of years—and passed close by present-day Mid Hills Campground on their terriﬁed ﬂight across the desert wastes toward the Cajon Pass."