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Flight Information

Before embarking on your tour of the Desert Training Center it is imperative that you consider the meteorological, regulatory, and topographic aspects of your flight, as well as the hostile desert environment over which you will be flying.  You'll find information under the DTC Sky Trail menu item in the menu-bar above.  Consider also any, on or off-trail, stops you'd like to make en route such as the Patton Memorial Museum at Chiriaco Summit or Roy's Diner in Amboy.  Ideally, one of the DTC airstrips (such as Essex AAF, Coxcomb airstrip, Ibis airstrip, ...) adjacent to a divisional campsite could be made serviceable, so that fly-in visitors would be able to experience a ground level view as well as the aerial perspective.  While this narrative is presented from the presumption of your flight originating in the Los Angeles area and proceeding northeastward toward Laughlin or Las Vegas, of course it can also be flown in the reverse direction. 


1:  Camp Young (33º 40.4' N, 115º 47.0' W) Heading: 084°
As your flight approaches Chiriaco Summit Airport from the west, 3 nautical miles west of the airport you will see the street pattern of former Camp Young against the foothills north of Interstate 10.  An aerial photograph is provided on the Camp Young page to assist you in orienting yourself with the Camp Young location. 


2:  Shaver’s (Chiriaco) Summit Airport (33° 39.9' N, 115° 42.6' W) Heading: 062°
As your flight departs Camp Young and proceeds easterly three miles through the Chuckwalla Valley, you follow the prominent Colorado River Aqueduct and  electrical power transmission lines along the foothills of the Eagle Mountains north of Interstate Highway 10, you arrive at the former Shaver's Summit airstrip.  Landing  at Chiriaco Summit Airport (L77) and visiting the General Patton Memorial Museum (Open 0930 to 1630 daily; admission is $5.00 per person) will make your experience more complete.   Announce your position and intentions on the Common Traffic Advisory Frequency (CTAF) of 122.900 MHz.  There are no service facilities at the Chiriaco Summit Airport.  At the museum, you'll get a good feel for what life was like for the troops who trained here and have an opportunity to see tanks and other historic artifacts.  A stop here also offers an opportunity to dine at the Chiriaco Summit Cafe.   After you depart and head east,  past  the Eagle Mountains to the north, you will see the vast expanse of the Palen Valley spreading north and east ahead.   It was in this area that some of the largest maneuvers were conducted.  Entire divisions practiced in mock battle against one another, operating across hundreds of miles of desert terrain. 


3:  Desert Center (33° 44.9'N, 115° 19.4'W) Heading: 004°
Before heading north, If you look carefully to the south just north of Interstate Highway 10 where it intersects with Eagle Mountain Road, you may be able to discern the road pattern of the Desert Center Evacuation Hospital site.

As you head north up the Palen Valley, you will soon pass the Desert Center Airport (CN64), which was another DTC air facility.  Announce your position and intentions on the CTAF of 122.900 MHz.  There were also a motor pool, observer's camp, quartermaster truck company and ordnance battalion, in addition to the evacuation hospital here, but they appear to have been covered by more contemporaneous activities. 


4:  Camp Coxcomb (33° 55.05' N, 115° 15.73' W) Heading: 029°
Turning north to follow California Highway 177, climb to 1300 feet MSL (600 feet AGL) as you progress up the valley from Desert Center.  You will find Camp Coxcomb located west of the highway, along the eastern foothills of the Coxcomb Mountains.  The camp is located about five miles north of the point where the highway makes an abrupt bend to the north.  Slow down and circle the street pattern of the camp.  If you look closely, you will see the relief map and alter.  The 4200' long Coxcomb airstrip is located  on the east side of California Highway 177 across from the northern portion of the campsite. 


5:  Camp Granite (34° 03.2' N, 115° 07.23' W) Heading: 075°
Continuing to follow California Highway 177 northward brings you to Camp Granite located on the northern foothills of the Granite Mountains and south of California Highway 62  and aqueduct.  As you circle the street pattern, imagine this camp filled with tents, men, and vehicles.  Adjacent northwest is the 484th Quartermaster Battalion campsite.


6:  Rice Army Airfield (34° 3.95' N, 114° 48.93' W) Heading: 067°

Continuing eastward along California Highway 62 to the railroad siding of Rice, and Rice Army Airfield and divisional camp, located south of the highway. Be vigilant for the 300’ radio towers in the area. 


7:  Camp Rice (34° 4.41' N, 114° 46.18' W) Heading: 261°

Immediately west of Rice AAF lies Camp Rice.  This was a large divisional camp whose remains are still clearly distinct.  Be vigilant for the 300’ radio towers in the area.


8:  Camp Iron Mountain (34° 3.95' N, 114° 48.93' W) Heading: 317°

 You will next come to Camp Iron Mountain, near the intersection of California Highway 177 and 62. It is located west of the aqueduct on the eastern foothills of the Iron Mountains.  The camp contains clear street outlines and many rock alignments.  The camp is so well-preserved that the BLM erected fencing around the majority of the camp to protect it from vehicle traffic.  The camp contains two rock and cement altars, as well as the DTC/C-AMA’s largest topographical map.  These can be spotted from the air, at the right altitude. This may require some experimentation.


9:  Cadiz (34° 31.92' N, 115° 29.05' W) Heading:  027°

Your flight now turns northwest following the railroad tracks and Cadiz Road for over 40 miles to the remains of a small camp at Cadiz RR siding.  As you approach from the south, you will see two light colored natural gas tanks and several large, dark square vineyards to the west of the road and tracks.  Just north of this point is where the railroad tracks join an east/west track. North of the railroad tracks you will find the remains of the camp at Cadiz. It consists of one rock-lined road oriented east-west, and a rectangular rock alignment adjacent to the south.  You will also notice the numerous tank tracks remaining on the desert surface.  From here, you may optionally choose to visit:

    Roy's Diner in Amboy and Airstrip: (34
° 33.6' N 115° 44.7' W) Fly-in and enjoy a reasonably good hamburger in this historic Route 66 Café
    Cadiz Dunes: (34
° 21.5' N 115° 23.5' W)
    Amboy Crater: (34
° 32.7' N 115° 47.4' W) Great black cinder-cone rises 250 feet above the desert floor


10.  Camp Essex (34° 47.8' N, 115° 17.05') Heading: 088°

To the northwest of the airfield is Camp Essex, which was bisected by the construction of I-10.  Circle the street pattern of the camp and look for the remaining features. The 50,000 gallon concrete reservoir is particularly noticeable.


11.  Camp Clipper (34° 44.43' N, 115° 16.93') Heading: 346°

Leaving Cadiz, bare right to follow the railroad tracks northeast up the valley to Camps Clipper and Essex.  The site of Camp Clipper is located southwest of Essex Road and northwest of the railroad tracks. It is very difficult to spot, however.


12.  Essex Airfield (34° 47.22' N, 115° 13.07' W) Heading: 034°

The airdrome adjacent to Camp Essex and Clipper is a stunning sight. At the end of each runway are twelve revetments, spaced widely apart. The pads at the end of the revetments were for the storage of aircraft carrying explosives.  It was used as late as 1976. Be vigilant for the 300’ radio tower south of the airdrome.


13.  Goffs (34° 56.08' N, 115° 1.75' W) Heading:  063°

Continue northeast through the Fenner Valley, following the railroad and Goffs Road.  You will soon come to the small community of Goffs. Although there was a great deal of military activity here, little is recognizable from the air today. A former airstrip is easily distinguishable to the northeast.


14.  Ibis Airstrip  (34° 58.55' N, 114° 49.35' W) Heading: 074°


15.  Camp Ibis (34° 58.2' N, 114° 49.4' W)  Heading: 038°

Follow the railroad track east from Goffs to the former Camp Ibis, which lies in the Piute Valley on the western foothills of the Dead Mountains.  The unique street pattern of the camp follows the turn made by U.S. Highway 95. This camp is fairly well-preserved, with many features remaining, including a 50,000 gallon reservoir.  An airstrip is also visible to the southeast, oriented north-south.


16.  Laughlin / Bullhead City (35° 9.36' N, 114° 33.57' W)

Leaving the railroad you will head over the Dead Mountains toward Laughlin.  The descent into the Mojave Valley toward the Colorado River reveals an impressive sky line of hotels and busy river traffic of boats and personal water craft.  Be cautious of the 504 feet stack on the west bank; its elevation is 1,219 feet MSL.  Across the Colorado River on the east bank, you will find the 7,500 feet runway of Laughlin/Bullhead International (IFP) paralleling the river.  After you contact the Bullhead Tower inbound, call Bullhead Unicom on 122.85, and request the Harrah’s Hotel shuttle meet you.  After landing, exit runway 16/34 via the mid field taxiway to the west. Descend the ramp to transient parking.  Be sure to visit the World War II museum in the Ramada Express Casino/Hotel.




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Hits: [an error occurred while processing this directive] Date of last edit: January 08, 2012 22:50:55 -0800
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