Sweetwater Mountains Resurey

July 31 – August 5, 2017

This is a week of scientific survey work, attendees are volunteer botanists, students, research scientists or previous GLORIA workshop attendees. If you have high altitude experience, are a reasonably competent botanist, are familiar with GLORIA-style surveys, we would love to have you!

Camping: Basecamp for the Sweetwater  target region peaks will be at the abandoned mining camp of Belfort which is accessed via NV SR 338. A 4WD vehicle will be required for the last 2 miles of the access to our basecamp. Shuttling to the basecamp is a possibility for those traveling in vehicles not up to the task. All meals and personal camping gear will need to be provided by the participant however impromptu pot-lucks are likely. If you are short of a piece of equipment, please email and I am sure that we can find something for you.

There is no reliable water at camp, although there is a spring some walk from camp and reliable water en route to some of our sites. Bring plenty of water and containers that you can fill as we go.

Price: The good news about camping. It’s free!

General GLORIA fieldwork orientation
GLORIA Resurvey protocol
GLORIA safety briefing
Mountain and Desert Thunderstorm field forecasting

Plant Guides:
Sweetwater Range plant list

July 31 – Arrive at camp
August 1 – Lower peak
August 2 – Middle peak
August 3 – Top peak
August 4 – Depart for home
August 5 – Built in extra day
August 6 – Departure

Map/ Directions:


From Bridgeport, CA: Take the paved CA SR 182 north, which turns into NV SR 338 at the CA/NV state line. From Bridgeport, it is 19 miles to a large (red buildings) ranch complex “Sweetwater Ranch”. Just to the south of the main ranch is dirt Forest Road (FR) 191; This may not be marked, but it is the obvious main dirt road heading SSW from the paved highway. This is a very good dirt road suitable for all cars. At about 1.25 miles from the highway, you will reach a gate and 4-way intersection. Low clearance drivers, park your cars on FS land beyond the gate and out of the way here to meet those going up. For those continuing on, turn left (south) onto FR 198 (Atchison Rd on the Google map above). There will be many side roads that are about similarly used, so be careful to check FR signs at each intersection to stay on FR 198 (and not such things as FR198a…).

FR 198 is a slow, but not scary, dirt road passable with high clearance (Subarus OK with some judicious driving). At about 8-9 miles is a lovely flat and the remains (not obvious or marked other than some ore dumps) of Star City. Beyond this, the road starts to climb a side hill, and starts to get much worse. Another ¼ – ½ mile brings you to a small flat which is Upper Star City; this is usually doable without major 4WD but is about as far as Subarus ought to go. Subaru drivers can park vehicles here to wait for a ride. Beyond Upper Star City the road gets worse, with likely wash-out spots along a narrow side-hill with steep ascent.  The major problem on this part is meeting someone going in the opposite direction, as the old Belfort site has gotten rather popular. There is no capacity to turn or pass and reversing either up or down is a good challenge.

The hard part is about 1.5 miles. Achieving the flat at Belfort, once sees the remains of the mine town. Near the east end of the flat, just cresting from the sidehill route, turn right (north) and follow this track around the east edge of the flat about 1/3 mile into the trees, where we camp.

CONTACT/QUESTIONS: Brian Smithers — bsmithers@ucdavis.edu