Silurian Valley was once filled with large lakes, and was home to paleo-Indians who lived on their shores.

The Silurian Valley stretch of the Old Spanish Trail was referred to as “el jornado del muerto”- the trail of the dead.

Silurian Valley is ringed by burbling desert springs, providing havens for wildlife and migratory birds.

The Silurian Valley is an iconic California Desert landscape, with mountain ranges towering thousands of feet above an enormous expanse of creosote bush and saltscrub. Drained by the impressive Salt Creek wash, the valley includes two dry lake playas.

Silurian Valley

A hotbed of history

This area is rich in history, with the remaining traces of the Old Spanish Trail running across the valley and evidence of numerous historic Paiute settlements found adjacent to the region’s many springs. Similarly, evidence of paleoarchaeology can be found along ancient lakeshores that appear as concentric circles around today’s dry lakebeds. Remnants of repeated gold rushes also dot the Salt Spring Hills.

A corridor of connectivity

Silurian Valley provides vital habitat and landscape connectivity among the many BLM Wilderness Areas surrounding it, as well as Death Valley National Park and the Mojave National Preserve. Its designation as part of the California Desert National Conservation Lands protects migratory pathways for bighorn sheep and desert tortoise.

Things to do in the Silurian Valley


A developed nature trail at Salt Creek Spring ACEC features interpretive signage and a shaded picnic area.


Four-wheel drive excursions up rugged roads to Kingston Spring or Old Mormon Spring provide adventurous visitors a chance to experience some of the most remote country in the California Desert.

Hike, Walk, Stroll

A walk across the pancake-flat dry lakebed at the bottom of Silurian Valley, surrounded by serrated mountain ridges provides a surreal experience in a place changed little by time or mankind.

*Please remember to follow all applicable rules and regulations, and stay on designated routes in order to protect the desert for everyone to enjoy. These Lands are for all of us. Please do your part.