Fort Mohave

Fort Mohave is a historic settlement located in the southwestern region of Mohave county, Arizona, United States. Nestled along the banks of the Colorado River near Beale’s Crossing, it has played a significant role in the development and growth of the American West. Over the centuries, this area has witnessed the presence of various indigenous tribes, Spanish explorers, American pioneers, and military forces, each leaving their mark on the region’s rich history.

The history of Fort Mohave dates back thousands of years, with evidence of human habitation found in archaeological sites within the surrounding area. The Mojave people, from whom the fort derived its name, were one of the prominent Native American tribes in the region. They lived along the Colorado River, engaging in agriculture, hunting, and trade with other indigenous groups.

The first recorded European contact in the area occurred in the 16th century when Spanish explorers, including Melchor Díaz and Francisco Garcés, ventured into present-day Arizona. They encountered the Mojave people and established a limited presence in the region through the establishment of missions and trade routes. However, it wasn’t until the early 19th century that significant European-American exploration and settlement occurred.

In 1826, trapper and explorer Jedediah Smith traversed the Colorado River, reaching the vicinity of Fort Mohave. His expedition paved the way for subsequent fur trappers and traders who ventured into the area in search of beaver pelts and new trade opportunities. This influx of fur trappers and mountain men led to increased interaction between Native American tribes and Euro-Americans, often resulting in conflicts and tensions.

The establishment of Fort Mohave came about as a direct response to these conflicts. In 1858, the U.S. Army constructed the fort on the east bank of the Colorado River, near the confluence of the Mohave and Hardy rivers. Initially known as Camp Colorado, its primary purpose was to protect American settlers and travelers on their journey to the California gold fields during the height of the Gold Rush.

Fort Mohave was strategically positioned along the major transportation route that linked the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, known as the Mojave Road. It served as a critical outpost for the U.S. Army during the American Civil War, as troops were deployed to protect the mail and telegraph lines and maintain control over the region.

 Indians at Fort Mojave, Arizona, Sicihoot, War Chief of the Mojaves. - Photographer: Gardner, Alexander, 1821-1882
Indians at Fort Mojave, Arizona, Sicihoot, War Chief of the Mojaves. – Photographer: Gardner, Alexander, 1821-1882

The fort played a significant role in the military campaigns against Native American tribes, particularly the Mojave, Chemehuevi, and Navajo people, who were resisting the encroachment of settlers on their traditional lands. Numerous skirmishes and battles occurred in the area as tensions escalated between Native Americans and the expanding American population.

Following the conclusion of the Civil War, the fort gradually lost its military significance. In 1890, it was officially decommissioned, and the remaining structures were abandoned. However, the establishment of the Mohave Valley Irrigation Project in the early 20th century sparked a renewed interest in the region.

The irrigation project brought water to the arid lands surrounding Fort Mohave, facilitating the cultivation of crops and the establishment of farming communities. This development, coupled with the construction of the Davis Dam in the 1950s, which created Lake Mohave, transformed the economy and landscape of the area. The lake provided recreational opportunities, attracting tourists and supporting the growth of the local tourism industry.

The region continues to be influenced by its proximity to the Colorado River, offering a range of water-based activities such as boating, fishing, and water sports. The Fort Mojave Indian Reservation, located nearby, serves as a reminder of the area’s rich Native American heritage and provides a cultural center for the Mojave, Chemehuevi, and Navajo tribes.

Fort Mohave Trail Map


John Wesley Powell

John Wesley Powell, a remarkable American explorer, geologist, and ethnologist, was born on March 24, 1834, in Mount Morris, New York. His expeditions through the uncharted territories of the American West not only added to scientific knowledge but also provided invaluable insights into the land’s geological and cultural diversity. Powell’s legacy as a pioneer of exploration and his tireless efforts in promoting conservation measures have left an indelible mark on American history.

Powell served as the second Director of the United States Geological Survey, a post he held from 1881 to 1894. This photograph dates from early in his term of office.
Powell served as the second Director of the United States Geological Survey, a post he held from 1881 to 1894. This photograph dates from early in his term of office.

Early Life and Education

Powell grew up in rural New York, where his love for nature and the outdoors was nurtured from an early age. Although he lost his right arm in a childhood accident, Powell’s determination and thirst for adventure were undeterred. He developed a keen interest in natural sciences and geography and pursued higher education at Illinois College and later at Oberlin College, where he focused on geology.

Grand Canyon Expeditions

Powell’s most famous and daring expedition was his 1869 journey down the Colorado River, known as the Powell Geographic Expedition. With a team of nine men, Powell set out to explore the largely uncharted canyons and rapids of the Colorado River and gather valuable scientific data. The expedition faced numerous hardships, including treacherous rapids, scarce food supplies, and hostile encounters with Native American tribes. Miraculously, Powell and his crew successfully navigated the treacherous river and completed the journey, providing unprecedented knowledge of the Grand Canyon and its geological formations.

First camp of the John Wesley Powell expedition, in the willows, Green River, Wyoming, 1871. - E. 0. Beaman - War Department. Office of the Chief of Engineers. Powell Survey. (1869 - ca. 1874)
First camp of the John Wesley Powell expedition, in the willows, Green River, Wyoming, 1871. – E. 0. Beaman – War Department. Office of the Chief of Engineers. Powell Survey. (1869 – ca. 1874)

Powell’s subsequent expeditions further solidified his reputation as a fearless explorer. He embarked on multiple journeys across the American West, including explorations of the Green and Colorado Rivers, the Rocky Mountains, and the Uinta Mountains. Powell’s meticulous record-keeping and scientific observations greatly expanded the understanding of the region’s geology, hydrology, and ethnography.

Scientific Contributions

Powell’s expeditions were not merely adventurous endeavors but also scientific ventures aimed at advancing knowledge in various fields. He published numerous papers and reports detailing his findings, including “Exploration of the Colorado River of the West and its Tributaries” and “Canons of the Colorado.” These works significantly contributed to the geological understanding of the American West, shaping subsequent research and studies in the region.

Additionally, Powell’s expertise in ethnology led him to conduct extensive research on Native American tribes. He documented their cultures, languages, and customs, recognizing the importance of preserving their heritage. His ethnographic studies formed a crucial foundation for future anthropological research in the United States.

Conservation Advocacy

John Wesley Powell was not only a scientist and explorer but also an early advocate for conservation. Recognizing the fragile nature of the American West’s ecosystems, he became a vocal proponent of sustainable land use practices and preservation efforts. Powell believed that the arid region’s limited water resources necessitated careful management and planning.

In 1879, Powell presented his influential “Report on the Lands of the Arid Region of the United States” to Congress. This groundbreaking report emphasized the need for responsible irrigation and land development strategies, urging policymakers to consider the long-term consequences of uncontrolled resource exploitation. Powell’s report laid the groundwork for the eventual establishment of the U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Reclamation, both crucial agencies in land and water management.

Legacy and Impact

John Wesley Powell’s contributions to exploration, science, and conservation continue to resonate today. His expeditions not only unveiled the wonders of the American West but also inspired future generations of explorers and scientists. Powell’s emphasis on interdisciplinary research and his understanding of the intricate relationships between humans and their environment remain


Temple of Sinawava

Located in Zion National Park in southwestern Utah, the Temple of Sinawava is a stunning geological formation that attracts visitors from all around the world. This natural temple is the result of millions of years of geological processes, and it has been a sacred site for the indigenous people of the area for centuries. In this travel and geological report, we will explore the history, geology, and attractions of the Temple of Sinawava, as well as provide practical information for visitors.

Temple of Sinawava, Zion National Park, Utah, Medium Format Photograph: James L Rathbun
Temple of Sinawava, Zion National Park, Utah, Medium Format Photograph: James L Rathbun


The Temple of Sinawava is named after the Paiute Indian god, Sinawava, who is believed to have lived in the area. For centuries, the Paiute and other indigenous peoples have considered the area to be sacred, and they have performed various rituals and ceremonies there. The Paiute called the area “Mukuntuweap,” which means “straight canyon,” and it was later renamed Zion National Park by the Mormons who settled in the area.


The Temple of Sinawava is located at the end of the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive, and it is one of the most popular destinations in the park. The temple is a natural amphitheater that was formed by the Virgin River, which has been carving through the sandstone for millions of years. The river has eroded the sandstone in such a way that it has created a stunning array of geological features, including towering cliffs, deep canyons, and narrow slot canyons.

The Temple of Sinawava is a particularly unique geological formation because it is located at the end of Zion Canyon, where the canyon narrows dramatically. The canyon walls rise up to over 2,000 feet in height, and they are composed of various layers of sandstone that were deposited over millions of years. The layers of sandstone are different colors, ranging from red to white, and they provide a stunning contrast against the blue sky.


The Temple of Sinawava offers visitors a variety of attractions, including hiking, wildlife viewing, and photography. The most popular activity at the temple is hiking the Riverside Walk, which is a 2.2-mile round-trip hike that follows the Virgin River to the entrance of the temple. Along the way, hikers will be treated to stunning views of the canyon walls, as well as a variety of wildlife, including bighorn sheep, mule deer, and numerous bird species.

Once visitors reach the entrance of the temple, they can continue hiking up the river, which leads to the beginning of the Narrows. The Narrows is a narrow slot canyon that is formed by the Virgin River, and it is one of the most popular hikes in Zion National Park. The Narrows can be hiked in two ways, either by hiking up the river or by hiking down the river. Hiking up the river requires a permit and special equipment, while hiking down the river is open to all visitors.

Another popular attraction at the Temple of Sinawava is photography. The temple is a popular destination for photographers, both amateur and professional, who come to capture the stunning beauty of the canyon walls and the river. The best time to photograph the temple is during the early morning or late afternoon, when the sun is low in the sky and the light is soft and warm.

Practical Information

The Temple of Sinawava is located in Zion National Park, which is open year-round. The park is located in southwestern Utah, and it can be accessed via State Route 9, which runs through the park. There are a variety of lodging options in the park, including campgrounds, lodges, and hotels, as well as numerous restaurants and gift shops.

Visitors to the Temple of Sinawava should come prepared with appropriate clothing and gear, as the weather can be unpredictable.

Jarbidge Nevada

Jawbidge, Nevada is a small town located in the northeastern part of the Nevada in Elko County. The discovery of gold and silver in the region brought an influx of miners and prospectors to the area, and Jawbidge quickly became a center of mining activity. “Jarbidge” is a name derived from the Shoshone language meaning “devil”. Native American Tribes believed the nearby hills were haunted.

Jarbidge, Nevada
Jarbidge, Nevada

Jarbidge, Nevada is a small town located in the northeastern part of the state with a rich mining history. The discovery of gold and silver in the region brought an influx of miners and prospectors to the area, and Jarbidge quickly became a center of mining activity.

The first miners in the area were individual prospectors who panned for gold along the Jawbidge River and its tributaries. The early miners found small deposits of gold, but it was not until the 1870s that larger deposits were discovered. These deposits were located in the hills and mountains surrounding the town.

In 1874, a group of miners discovered a rich vein of silver in the nearby Jarbidge Mountains. The discovery sparked a mining rush, and thousands of miners flocked to the area. The miners established camps and small settlements along the rivers and streams that ran through the region. The Jarbidge River, which runs through the town, was a particularly rich source of gold and silver.

The mining industry in Jawbidge was characterized by a boom-and-bust cycle. In the early days, the mining was done using simple tools like pickaxes and shovels. The miners worked long hours in dangerous conditions, and many of them died from accidents or from diseases like silicosis. Despite the dangers, the lure of gold and silver kept the miners coming.

In the 1880s, the mining industry in Jarbidge underwent a period of rapid expansion. New mines were opened, and new technologies were introduced that allowed for more efficient extraction of gold and silver. One of the most important innovations was the introduction of the stamp mill. This machine used heavy steel stamps to crush the ore, which was then separated from the waste material. The stamp mill allowed for large-scale mining operations, and it became the backbone of the mining industry in Jarbidge.

Jarbidge, Nevada photo 1909
Jarbidge, Nevada photo 1909

During this period, the town of Jarbidge grew rapidly. New businesses were established to support the mining industry, including supply stores, saloons, and boarding houses. The town’s population grew, and it became a center of commerce in the region.

In the 1890s, the mining industry in Jarbidge began to decline. Many of the mines had exhausted their deposits of gold and silver, and the cost of extracting the remaining ore became too high. The decline of the mining industry had a ripple effect on the town’s economy. Many businesses closed, and the population began to shrink.

Despite the decline of the mining industry, a few mines continued to operate in the area. In the early 1900s, a new mineral was discovered in the Jawbidge Mountains – tungsten. Tungsten was used to make steel alloys, and it became a valuable commodity during World War I. Several tungsten mines were opened in the area, and they helped to sustain the local economy.

In the 1920s, a new mining boom began in Jarbidge. This boom was fueled by the demand for copper, which was used in the construction of electrical wiring and other products. Several large copper mines were opened in the area, and they brought new jobs and prosperity to the town.

During World War II, the mining industry in Jarbidge played a critical role in the war effort. The mines produced copper, tungsten, and other minerals that were used to build weapons and other military equipment. The town’s population swelled as miners and other workers were brought in to support the war effort.

After the war, the mining industry in Jarbidge began to decline once again. The demand for copper dropped, and the mines began to close. The town’s economy shifted toward tourism and other industries.

Nevada State Historic Marker Text

As early as 10000 years ago, Native American hunting parties camped near horn to hunt game.  About a thousand years ago, Shoshone-speaking people entered the region, where they continue to live today.  The name Jarbidge comes from a Shoshone word meaning “a bad or evil spirit”.

Dave Bourne discovered gold in this isolated area in 1909 and production eventually totaled 59 million.  Population size varied, but in the early l920s, the Jarbidge district replaced fading Goldfield as the premier gold-producing area in Nevada.  The Jarbidge mines railed beginning in the tale 1920s.

On a stormy December 5, 1916, the last stagecoach robbery and murder in the history of the West took place in Jarbidge Canyon, ¼ mile south of the town.


Jarbidge Trail Map

Jarbidge Town Summary

NameJarbidge, Elko County, Nevada
Other NamesJa-ha-bich
LocationElko County, Nevada
Latitude, Longitude41.8728, -115.4446
Elevation1932 meters / 6339 feet
Nevada State Historic Marker69


Gold Hill Nevada

Gold Hill, Nevada is a small unincorporated community located in Storey County, Nevada, United States. It is situated on the eastern side of the Virginia Range, about 10 miles south of Reno. The history of Gold Hill dates back to the early 1850s when gold was discovered in the area.

Gold Hill, Nevada Circa 1867, 1868 Photographer Timothy H. O'Sullivan
Gold Hill, Nevada Circa 1867, 1868 Photographer Timothy H. O’Sullivan

The discovery of gold in Gold Hill is credited to two miners, Peter O’Riley and Patrick McLaughlin, who were working on the Comstock Lode. In 1859, O’Riley and McLaughlin found a rich vein of gold near the top of a hill. They named the hill Gold Hill and the area soon became a booming mining town.

By 1860, the population of Gold Hill had grown to over 1,000 people. The town had several saloons, a hotel, a newspaper, and a variety of other businesses. The mining companies in the area were also thriving, with the largest, the Consolidated Virginia and California Mine, producing millions of dollars worth of gold and silver.

Gold Hill was a rough and rowdy town, with gambling, drinking, and fighting being common occurrences. However, the town also had a more cultured side, with several theatrical performances and lectures taking place in the local opera house.

In 1875, tragedy struck Gold Hill when a fire destroyed much of the town. Despite the setback, the mining companies continued to operate and the town slowly began to rebuild.

Gold Hill, Nevada, View from above the Yellow Jacket. Date of photo: Late 1870s Photographer: Carleton Watkins
Gold Hill, Nevada, View from above the Yellow Jacket. Date of photo: Late 1870s Photographer: Carleton Watkins

Over time, the mining industry in the area declined and many of the mines were shut down. However, Gold Hill remained a small community and its historic buildings and landmarks have been preserved.

Today, Gold Hill is a popular tourist destination, with many of its historic buildings, including the Gold Hill Hotel and the Gold Hill Brewery, still standing. Visitors can also take a tour of the nearby mining sites and learn about the history of mining in the area.

In conclusion, Gold Hill, Nevada has a rich and storied history that dates back to the early days of the mining industry in the American West. Despite facing setbacks and challenges over the years, Gold Hill has managed to preserve its unique character and charm, making it a must-visit destination for history buffs and tourists alike.

Gold Hill Nevada Trail Map

Gold Hill Nevada Summary

NameGold Hill, Nevada
LocationStorey County, Nevada
Latitude, Longitude39.2931, -119.6566
Elevation5,980 Feet
Population8,000 Max
95 Current
NewspapersGold Hill Daily News Oct 12, 1863 – Apr 1882
Daily Morning Message June 16, 1864
People’s Tribune (The) Jan – June 1870
Post OfficeJul. 13, 1862 – Feb. 27, 1943