Old Woman Mountains
|Old Woman Mountains|
Old Woman Meteorite
|Elevation||899 m (2,949 ft)|
|District||San Bernardino County|
|Topo map||USGS Sheep Camp Spring|
The Old Woman Mountains are located south of the town of Essex, California, and north of Danby Dry Lake. The range reaches an elevation of 3,720 feet (1,130 m) at the northeastern end (Mercury Mountain), and lies in San Bernardino County in the Mojave Desert.
The mountain range is approximately 15 miles (24 km) wide east to west at the widest point, and 25 miles (40 km) in length from north to south. The mountains receive very little precipitation, with just 4-10 inches of rain falling in a normal year. The Old Woman Statue, a prominent rock formation, is found on the eastern side of the range about two miles (3 km) south of Paramount Spring.
Old Woman Mountains Wilderness Area
Flora and fauna
The lower elevations of the range are dominated by Creosote bush scrub, with juniper-pinyon woodland found in the higher elevations. The dry washes are characterized by catclaw acacia, cheesebush, desert lavender, little-leaf ratany, and desert almond.
Numerous raptor species are likely to be found in the area; including prairie falcons, red-tailed hawks, golden eagles, Cooper's hawks, American kestrels, as well as several species of owls. The washes and canyons provide good habitat for several species of songbirds, and the bird densities and diversity is further enhanced by the presence of the known 24 springs and seeps.
The mountains were the discovery site of the Old Woman Meteorite, the largest meteorite ever found in the state. The meteorite is now on display at the Desert Information Center in Barstow, California.
- Adventuring in the California Desert, Lynne Foster, Sierra Club Books, 1987 (ISBN 0-87156-721-0)
- Part of this article incorporates text from the Bureau of Land Management, which is in the Public domain.
- California Road and Recreation Atlas, 2005, pg.107
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