Welcome to Gear Grinders 4 Wheel Drive Club!

Established in 1971 and located in Ridgecrest, California, we are a family oriented group of four-wheelers dedicated to promoting responsible off-road fun and protecting our natural resources.Our club takes pride in its support of Tread Lightly on Public lands. We are comprised of outgoing, fun loving, patriotic and responsible members who share the same love of off-roading and the outdoors. Guests are always welcome, so contact us if you will be in the area.  We’ll let you know where we are going and when.

The Gear Grinders latest trail to adopt is what we call the Inyo Crest Trail, but is also know as the Salt Tram Trail or the Swansea to Cerro Gordo Trail. Swansea is the the east side of Owens Lake in the Owens Valley, 3 miles north of Keeler on Hwy 136, or 11 miles south of Lone Pine. 

Leaving Swansea, you'll want to air down to make the trail more comfortable. Along the way, as you climb the canyons up into the Inyo Mountains, you will see remnants of our past as many of the Salt Tram towers can be seen as you climb higher and higher. At the lower elevations you pass through high desert scrub, soon entering into the Pinion Forest. Once at the top, your first stop would probably be the Burgess Mine, where a miners shack still stands guard over the diggings. If you go north from here towards New York Butte, you can start the grueling hike into Beveridge Canyon and the old mining camp of Beveridge. This is not a "sissies or the faint at heart" type of hike.

Back at the Burgess Mine, head southerly along the ridge for breath-taking views of the High Sierra's and Mt. Whitney towering over the Owens Lake on your right (or to the west) and Saline Valley on your left.  About 2/3's of the way, you will finally arrive at the Salt Tram Crossover tower and the Salt Tram Tender's Cabin which has been restored.

Continue on, with caution down into and across Boiler Canyon. Be careful as you descend the switch backs, using low range/low gear. Too many have rolled on this descent. Once through Boiler Canyon, it won't be long before you get your first view of the largest silver mine in California history, Cerro Gordo. Stop and say "Hi" to the caretaker, Robert, and if you want a tour, he will be glad to share the history and the buildings for a $10 donation. It is 8 miles down the Yellow Grade Road to Keeler.

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