California Travel Articles
Surprise Valley/Barrel Springs Back Country BywayFrom prehistoric stories to revisiting the Old West, this Back Country Byway Loop reveals some of the secrets of the Great Basin Desert. This distinctive 93-mile driving tour takes the traveler through a wide variety of natural settings and points of interest. The Byway forms a loop that begins and ends in Cedarville, California and takes a minimum of three hours without stops. But travelers will be tempted to stop, particularly if they are using the 32-page BLM Byway Tour Guide which tells the historic and prehistoric stories of the Surprise Valley, points out the myriad of attractions in the state line mountains (from fossils and a pictograph site to wildlife) and reveals some of the secrets here in the silent Great Basin dessert. Be sure to take your camera, especially if you're crossing the highway causeway across Surprise Valley's Middle Lake at sunset. All of the Byway is paved in California and an improved gravel road in Nevada. The Nevada segment can be driven by all types of vehicles when the route is dry. Ask in Cedarville. For further information contact the Bureau of Land Management's Surprise Field Office in Cedarville at (530) 279-6101.
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