13. MEANS OF COMMUNICATION, ROUTES FOR ROADS, ETC.
The road from Independence to Desert Wells is the regular stage-route from Los Angeles to Owen's River Valley. The one from Visalia to Ivanpah is one over which but very little travel has ever passed.
Burnt Rock Cañon will have to be very much improved by lessening the grade, which can only be accomplished by blasting out the solid rock, before heavily-loaded wagons can attempt this route with any prospect of being able to get through.
The bottom of the Amargosa is impassable except after the hot weather has dried up the soft alkali mud; this limits the availability of this route to a very few months in the year. At other times the trail through the sand-hills to the south would be the only course that could be taken. From this point to Ivanpah, the heavy sand in places will always be a great drawback, but need not be considered as closing the route. Nearly every road in Southern California and Nevada may be described as very good or very bad; the former obtains when traversing the gravel mesas, and the latter when following up the sandy washes or in crossing, in wet weather, the numerous alkali flats in this region. The road from the Cottonwoods to Saint George is no exception to this rule, and the vast amount of freight that has been transported over the old Salt Lake road, from Los Angeles to interior Utah, is sufficient proof of the availability of this route.
To establish a road from Saint George south to the Ute crossing for heavy wagons would require considerable labor; first, in getting over the mountains just south of the Virgin where the grades are remarkably steep and rocky; and again to get out of the Grand Wash and into the smaller one which reaches the river two miles below the Ute crossing. The road, to be available, would have to leave the Grand Wash, as at its mouth the landing on the opposite side of the river is not practicable.
From the river to Truxton Springs there would be but little difficulty encountered, and that only in ascending the plateau beyond Tin-na-kah Springs, and in descending the mountains into the wash leading into Truxton. From here a regular road leads down to the south, striking the Mohave and Prescott road near the Cottonwoods, five miles west of old Camp Willow Grove.