Afton Canyon is a beautiful spot. It was formed many, many years ago when ancient Lake Manix broke through its eastern banks and gouged out a route south of Cave Mountain. The Mojave River now follows that route, as did the Indians and the explorers that followed. The Mojave River was a life giving respite on the inhospitable trek westward from the Colorado River. These days, however, this area, including the North Cady Mountains to the south, is enjoyed by rockhounds and backroads explorers...people kinda like us! The photos that follow are from several different trips to Afton and the North Cady's and will give you a general idea of what can be seen and whether this is something that you might like to do.
To get to this general area take Interstate 15 east out of Barstow for about 45 minutes or so. As you pass north of Cave Mountain be on the lookout for the Basin Road turnoff. Take this south to the Union Pacific siding of Basin and cross the tracks there. Be sure to look both ways! Head southeast on a typical desert two track to Baxter Wash and work your way south. Following this road as it bends back to the west will take you to the Afton Canyon overlook, and south of it, as you near the overlook, will be some colorful hills that are featured in some of our photos. There are many other scenic areas, some easier than others to get to, that you will find with some diligent exploration. You might even find our fluorite deposit! If you are a rockhound you will want to be on the lookout for multi-colored agate, saginite, jasper and jasp-agate, opalite, bubbly chalcedony, calcite and of course fluorite. There are plenty of good camping areas. You might be fine with high clearance two wheel drive, but we feel better with four wheel drive. You just never know what you might encounter. Schedule this for fall, winter or spring as the summers are brutal! Click on the link below for a sampling of the area.