The Swamp
aka - The Bowl

Lunch-time at the north end of the Swamp

This area is a large (0.5 mile approximate diameter) bowl. The Amargosa River enters from the far right in the picture and exits to the upper right center.

Looking back, just before the roadbed disappearsThe area is mostly flat bottomed. The Tonopah & Tidewater roadbed exits from the last cut at about 25 feet above the flood plain. By the time it exits the bowl, right beside the Amargosa, it is only a few feet above the water - in 'normal' times. All but the northern end of the embankment you see in this shot [reverse angle] and in the panorama has been washed away - or nearly so - in the 60 years since the railroad ceased operation.

The best way to navigate this area is to leave the roadbed turning to the left where you exited from the last cut and walk towards the cliffs, skirting the flood plain. Then follow the edge of the slope around until you have to enter the brush. There is a large open swath just inside that animals have used as a trail. Following that will take you to the resumption of the roadbed.

You have to go WHERE?In this section the Amargosa River only drops about 15 feet, while the Tonopah & Tidewater, maintaining a steady downward grade, drops about 40 feet.

For the more adventurous, walking out to the end of the embankment fill and then climbing down will bring you to the Amargosa River. This area is usually muddy, and when wet can be treacherous. Use extreme caution. When dry, it provides a way to follow the roadbed.

Taking a sighting along the curve of the embankment, you can find the remains of another section through the brush near the left center of the flood plain. At the end of that remnant, skirting the growth to the right will bring you back onto the roadbed. Lots of thorn trees and Salt Cedar. You're aiming for the point indicated in the third photo by way of a left bend, then a right bend!

We came through THAT?For a view back through the flood plain and the growth within, climb the mound of debris from the roadbed's exit cut. The roadbed is below and to the right in this photo. [reverse angle] The tipped dome at the far upper left, is about the same location as where the trail and the roadbed entered the Swamp. From our location, the roadbed made a line for the cream topped peak, then swung left towards the exiting cuts.

In the next shot you can just make out this location. Look at the lower center, this mound is just to the left of the hillside descending from the right.

A higher viewIn this telephoto view, taken from one of the eastern hillsides in Modeine Meadows, you can see the exit of the Amargosa River from the Swamp. Looking to the low hills across the Swamp, the central tufts of green and shadow are in the Tonopah and Tidewater's cuts. The river is a bit to the left. It's the thin green strip and well below the roadbed at that point.

Continuing on from here, the Amargosa Canyon opens up and the trail moves up against the eastern hills to avoid a snarl of undergrowth.

 

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01/25/2005