On the way to Mammoth, Carol and I decided to take a detour to the old silver mining town of Cerro Gordo in the Inyo Mountains. After that, we took a 4×4 road to visit the Salt Tram Crossover Station, then drop down the mountain to the town of Swansea, on the eastern shore of Owens Lake.
The front porch of the American Hotel, which isn’t open for business, due to some silly fire code issues.
The American Hotel on the main street of Cerro Gordo (Fat Hill).
Inside the general store.
One of the rentable private residence houses in town.
Leaving town, we decided to follow the Cerro Gordo-Keeler Road, which runs along the side of the Inyo Mountains with spectacular views of the Eastern Sierras and Owens Valley. We’d eventually bump into the Crossover Station for the Salt Tram, a turn-of-the-century tram which hauled salt from the Saline Valley, over the Inyo Mountains, and down to Owens Lake (that’s the “lake” in the background). Once at Owens Lake, the salt was loaded onto ships and taken across to the railhead on the west side for shipment.
The Salt Tram Crossover Station on the spine of the Inyo Mountains at Daisy Pass (8,700′). The building on the left is the tram operator’s quarters.
Due to strict union regulations, all of the Tram’s stations were required to have an over-sized chair.
Looking east into Saline Valley – the source of the salt. Saline Valley is located in Death Valley NP.
A few of the tram’s remaining towers on the west side of the mountains, leading down to Swansea.