Cerro Gordo Road

Cerro Gordo Wilderness Study Area, California

Elevation Gain8,246ft
Trailhead Elevation3,630ft
Elevation Min/Max3630/8217ft
Elevation Start/End3630/3630ft

Cerro Gordo Road

Cerro Gordo Road is a hiking, biking, and horse trail in Inyo County, California. It is within Cerro Gordo Wilderness Study Area. It is 12.6 miles long and begins at 3,630 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 25.4 miles with a total elevation gain of 8,246 feet. The Omega Tunnel (elevation 8,150 feet) quarry can be seen along the trail. This trail connects with the following: White Mountain Talc Road.

Cerro Gordo Road Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

Backcountry Adventures: Southern California (Adler Publishing )
Peter Massey & Jeanne Wilson
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"Cerro Gordo Road follows close to the route of the old toll road into Death Valley. It travels up a steep canyon in the Inyo Mountains to Cerro Gordo ghost town and down the east side to Saline Valley Road in Lee Flat. The road leaves from Keeler, a small settlement on California 136. The route is well graded, but surprisingly steep as it travels into the Inyo Mountains. Vehicles traveling the route in the reverse direction will need to watch their brakes. There are some mining remains visible along the length of the route. The upper sections of the trail approaching Cerro Gordo travel a narrow shelf road. The ghost town of Cerro Gordo is privately owned. Please remain on the through-routes while on private property. Special Attractions: Lee Flat Joshua tree forest; Cerro Gordo ghost town; Alternate entry point to Saline Valley Road and Death Valley National Park; Views of the Sierra Nevada, Saline Valley, and Panamint Range. High-clearance vehicles are preferred, but not necessary. This trail is dirt roads, but may have rocks, grades, water crossings, or ruts that make clearance a concern in a normal passenger vehicle. The trail is fairly wide, so that passing is possible at almost any point along the trail. Mud is not a concern under normal weather conditions."
California Desert Byways (Wilderness Press)
Tony Huegel
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"Prepare for 7.7 of the most beautiful miles you will ever drive. Climbing 4,400 feet to the semioccupied and privately owned ghost town of Cerro Gordo [N36°32.271' W117°47.712'] provides grand views across the Owens Valley to the Sierra. The descent from Cerro Gordo to Death Valley National Park, where you will link up with Saline Valley Road, offers terrific views as well. Cerro Gordo (Spanish for “Fat Hill”) is the name of the nearby 9,184-foot peak, the 19th-century town, and mines that produced silver, lead and zinc. Silver was discovered here in 1865. By 1871, the town had nearly 2,000 people. The boom ended by 1879, but in the early 1900s the town became the nation’s foremost producer of highgrade zinc. The mines produced intermittently until 1936."

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Trail Information

Cerro Gordo Wilderness Study Area
Nearby City
Cerro Gordo Wilderness Study Area
Inyo National Forest’s Mt. Whitney Ranger Station
Local Contacts
National Geographic/Trails Illustrated’s Death Valley National Park, ACSC Death Valley National Park, CRRA
Local Maps

Trail Log