Trek Date: March 25, 2016
I know what you're thinking. "Lower Ivanpah Tank? What the heck is that?"
It's a newly-named tank/dam I recently located. Well, I had help. Whilst studying Google Earth, the fabled 3D photographer, Murbachi (Joshuatree3d.com), had spotted what appeared to be a man-made dam a short distance east of Ivanpah tank. I had no idea there was another tank in the area, so we set forth to discover it.
The map above illustrates the Live Oak Picnic Area, a great place to have a bite to eat, scramble some rocks, take a nap, explore and generally have a good time.
#1 - The general location of the first dam in the area, which creates Live Oak Tank during wet weather (although I don't know if the dam will still hold water).
#2 - The general location of the second dam in the wash, which creates the large Ivanpah Tank during wet weather. This dam is in good condition, perhaps it is still maintained by the park service. I've yet to see any water in the tank, but I've seen mud and water lines, so I think there's a good chance to see water here if you time it right.
#3 - The general location of the third dam in the wash, which creates what I have named, "Lower Ivanpah Tank." The dam looks sturdy enough to hold water, however the sand behind it nearly reaches the top of the dam. Backtracking a little way up the wash, there were some low spots that still had a bit of water from whenever the last rains occurred.
Enough jibber-jabber, here are some photos.
After parking Tacoma Red in the small loop closest to Lower Ivanpah Tank, armed with nothing more than cameras, we set out to Find The Dam. This Beavertail cactus was just starting to bloom. It's amazing how you can spot these off in the distance, the purple flowers really stand out.
We were basically hiking straight from T Red to star #3 on the map. As we were nearing the wash that held the dam, I found Captain Nemo Rock, aka Submarine Rock.
Lower Ivanpah Tank. It would be amazing to see that sandy area covered with water, I wonder if it ever happens. It seems like the water would have to sink down through several feet of sand first. I guess it's possible, with enough rain.
Desert Canterbury Bells. "This plant is known to cause a skin dermatitis similar to poison oak on some people." Another reason to NOT PICK THE WILDFLOWERS.
And there's Lower Ivanpah Dam. I guess now that I should have paced it off to measure its length, but I'll hazard a guess at around 25 feet long and three feet tall. It appears to have been well built and is still in good condition.
Two sets of pipes stick out of the right half of the dam, interesting in that each set has a larger and a smaller size. The pipes most likely led to water troughs for cattle/horses and maybe a storage tank of some kind. Might be worthwhile to try a hike a little farther down the wash sometime, although it might be a bit of a scramble as just past the dam it gets pretty clogged with large boulders.
And that was the adventure of Lower Ivanpah Tank.
Here's a few pictures taken a couple years ago of the other dams in this wash.
This is a view of Live Oak Dam, it's located at Star #1 on the map. It's an easy walk down the sandy wash from the large Live Oak Tree. Click HERE to read more about it.
This is Ivanpah Tank, with the dam visible in the middle left of the image. I'm sure that this tank fills up with water occasionally, I would love to see it when it happens.
Ivanpah Dam from the other side.
As this little trek showed, you never know what you'll run across in the desert when you go out to see what you can find. And a little prior research always pays off.