Lytle Ranch: A place that tells it’s own story

I love the west desert, the land out beyond the Utah hills that opens up like an ocean between Utah and Nevada. It is a place that “feels” like the desert. With low level vegetation and a view that stretches so far it seems to bend, it’s a place you might find yourself walking in a dream.

This winter has been anything but winter. It feels like spring. The weather is perfect for getting out and hiking in places that are scorching hot in the summer. I’ve been itching to get out to the west desert, Beaver Dam Wash area. We headed out there a couple of days ago with no particular destination in mind. Since I am a trail runner, every dirt road we passed (and there were a lot) looked like a good place to stop and hike. Instead we sped on.

Finally a weathered, small sign that read Lytle Ranch Nature Preserve caught my attention. Looking out in front of us at the endless miles of rock, black brush, and Joshua trees I thought, “What kind of nature preserve?” We decided to find out. We drove through a Joshua Tree forest – in the desert, you can still see in a forest. The landscape was dry, quiet. We saw a sign for the Utah/Nevada border. Someone marked the line between the two out in what seemed to be the middle of nowhere.

We finally dropped down into a valley. Stock corals, old vehicles, and buildings could be seen. Clearly there was water because there were huge cottonwoods – a sign of Mormon settlers. We drove to a gate that said closed to the public. There was a number to call for tours and campsites. We decided to get out and look around at the area not closed off. I’ll let the pictures tell the rest.

Beaver Dam 1

Hwy 91 toward the west desert

Drifting in Joshua trees

Drifting in Joshua trees

Beaver Dam 3

Only ones home

Beaver Dam 4

Fenced out

Beaver Dam 5

Green in the desert

Beaver Dam 6

Rust never rests

Beaver Dam 7

Old ride

Beaver Dam 8

In black and white

Beaver Dam 10

Making cement

Beaver Dam 12

Lazy boy

Beaver Dam 13

Room with a view


Classic GMC

Beaver Dam 15


Beaver Dam 14

Orange truck

Beaver Dam 17


Beaver Dam 19

Corner of the world

Beaver Dam 21

The value of water

Beaver Dam 22

Essential reading

Beaver Dam 23

Valley view


Posted on February 3, 2015, in Film, Art & Photography and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Very nice article and photos. I used to buy the cattle off that place.

    Sent from my iPhone


  2. The family that settled here must have disappeared somehow.

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