Saline Preservation Association

The voice of Saline Valley

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Posts: 7
Back in the 50's and 60's we just called the springs the "hot springs". Our spring down near Hunter was 75 degrees year round and flowed at 100 gallons a minute. Teakettle only had a couple of tea pots on it back then.

We called the springs just "hot springs" back in the 50's and 60's. Our spring near Hunter was 75 degrees year round.


Posts: 7
Manson was in Panamint but was intrigued with the warm springs and also tried to block people from flying in to the valley. A really spooky guy was camped down at the springs in the 60's and my brother and I high tailed it out of there(probably one of Manson's group). Very creepy! We never went back.

Posts: 7
Hello! Just posted my first reply(To Maj. Tom) on this forum. Our family had been visiting Saline since the early 50's. My Dad owned Saline Valley Ranch across from Hunter Canyon(he built the rock pool).We used the warm springs back in the 60's before they were updated.

Posts: 3
Here's a photo of my copy of the Updated Whole Earth Catalog, circa 1974.  I bought it in 1975 at a Army post bookstore overseas.  Still interesting to look at..... IMG_4361.JPG 

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Posts: 46
I see that the pretty lady allowed her pet baby walrus to frolic around the pool without a leash. That's damned inconsiderate, if you ask me.
Hi Desert Warrior

Posts: 209
It still dose. At least last May it did.
James Sel

Posts: 379
Nice pic, I remember when it used to snow in the Inyo's
Salt Peter

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Posts: 669
Thank you for the wonderful history.
That is saying a lot as being your favorite place. I feel the same way.

Posts: 15
Palm Spring appeared on a road map of California given out by the major oil companies at gas stations in the mid-60s and I took note of it, simply because it seemed oddly placed in a part of the state where few motorists ventured far from the pavement and the unpaved road along which it sat warned of no services for its entire length through what was labled Saline Valley.  Maybe it served as a filler -- a few words to place inside a large region with hardly any towns or highways to make it look not so empty.  Anyway, near the unpaved roads was a tiny blue circle with a  squigly tail along with the words, Palm Spring (hot).  A mind-picture of hot water bubbling up in the desert remained with me until the day in June, 1969 when I noticed a side road labled "Saline Valley Road" heading north from the highway on my way to Death Valley.  The little squigly symbol labled Palm Spring (hot) registered in my mind at once and I hit the brakes, made a U-turn and stopped at the unremarkable junction that led somewhere to hot water bubbling up in the desert.  

I sat for a few minutes in the boiling afternoon heat wondering how one might find the spring before popping the clutch and continuing on.  Six years later, I again thought of Palm Spring (hot) while shivering in the wind next to my camp fire high in the Panamints after returning from a hike to the top of Telescope Peak in late 1975.  I had detailed maps of the region that showed what looked like an easy route to Palm Spring and I couldn't imagine a place I would rather be as the wind chill went right through me.  Late the next morning, my friend and I pulled into Lower Warm Spring, which looked little different than it does today.  We couldn't believe that this isolated place had two soaking pools, a campfire ring that resembled a living room, a well provisioned kitchen area, a funky shower, and a grassy lawn featuring a large boat as a centerpiece.  Much of it was in the shade of good sized trees.  But the camp was completely deserted.  For three days not a soul showed up, which seemed odd for such a paradise.  We hiked to the peace symbol one day and up to Palm Spring the next.  Palm Spring was a nearly barren travertine mound with the same palms grouped around the holding pond and a sorry-looking screwbean mesquite next to the source.  The volcano pool sat alone across the mound with no protection from the wind that blew dust from the mound into our faces as we sat in the water that never got quite hot enough.  Nevertheless, the views were magestic.  A few campfire rings indicated the best places to camp close to the little outlet stream flowing from the pool.  

A year later, a week or so before Christmas, I was back at the lower springs with some friends who marveled at the setup just as I had the year before.  Again we had the camp to ourselves with no others to share that amazing place.  At one point, a guy on a motorcycle stopped for a short time, then was on his way.  I couldn't make it the next year because of my work load at UC Davis but in February, 1979 I spent a week with my fiancĂ© at Palm Spring, using the solitude to study for my comprehensive exams in March.  I chose to camp at Palm Spring after taking a walk there and discovering the Wizard Pool shining brand new on an edge of the mound.  With the incredible view from the Wizard Pool, I knew it was the place for me to be.  We pulled my VW bug to the side of the mound below the pool and hardly budged.  I recall having a conversation with a guy who walked up to Palm Spring from the lower spring, so three years after my first visit, another human was camped at the lower spring.  

I was out of the country for a year but on my return to Saline Valley in 1980, the groups I became familiar with for many years after were camped here and there.  Within a short time, both springs were well-populated on my annual visits to the springs from the Bay Area.  The Wizard was in his camp behind the holding pond much of the time, working on projects that benefitted everyone during the days (fixing pipes, changing the locations of "the crappers" every year or two and holding marathon poker games long into the nights in his enormous Army surplus tent.  It was a community of regulars (it seemed to me) from various parts of California, but particularly from the south and the corridor from Olancha north to Lake Tahoe.  It was a long way to drive from the Bay Area so there were correspondingly fewer folks from there (but of course they are to be counted).  There were always a fair number of colorful characters who seemed to be there each time I showed up.  I wonder what became of Hardware Dave, who carried a load of stainless steel on him at all times, particularly at the Washington's Birthday softball games.  I also recall the memorial celebration for the Wizard which always reminded me of Burning Man in many ways.  

I only ever made it once a year because of time constraints and responsibilities but aside from years when I did not show up for one reason or another, I have been fairly regular since my first visit in 1975 (that makes it 41 years this year).  I don't see too many of the original regulars but it may be that I just don't show up at the right time.  However, now that I am retired, I am working on it.  The photo is from Feb, 1979 shortly after the Wizard Pool was built.  No bench, less stonework around the pool and no other people.  The two large volacanic boulders that are there now were in place just out of the picture and several tiny palms had been planted below the outlet.  They were not to survive, nor were others that were planted later on.  Eventually of course, some of them caught on and grew tall, as did many others over time giving Wizard Pool the setting it has today.  Palm Spring is still my favorite place in the world and that is saying a lot for a geographer.

Posts: 15
Scan 3.jpeg 

Posts: 9
Amazing video...
The names of the "cast" are at the bottom of the comments by Kevin Kelley, who posted the YouTube video. He is quoting Stewart Brand himself, who also owned the Airstream trailer.

Cast: Hal Hershey, Barbara and Bud DeZonia, Fred Richardson, Stewart and Lois Brand; from Ant Farm: Andy Shapiro, Joe Hall, Curtis Schreier.

Posts: 29
It appears to me in the movie that the staff of the Whole Earth Catalogue magazine went to Saline and set up a temporary office and did the layout for the magazine winter/spring issue. Quite an endevor! If one could find the issue might be able to find out the folks names.

Posts: 5
Not weird at all,actually foward  thinking  looking hippies, so,if they were 25 (we didnt trust anyone over 30)in 1970,they are @70 now,hello,"what they were doing" getting naked,smoking weed,doing acid,sleeping together,most likely not cold at night.The desert was not popular in the 70's,most hippies would "go north" to the forests,much more acceptable at the time.the desert was mainly BLM or National monuments,where you could stay for as long as you wanted and for free. the whole earth catalog was cool,all about alternitive lifestyles ,buying land with no facilities and making everything yourself,Domes,tepees,recycling,solar,wind, natural foods.alot of the freedoms,lifestyles,we take for granted were founded around these hippies.
retired 1

Posts: 1
 To find out about the rest of the story, person that filmed Days Gone by at the Springs, it is on you
 UTUBE " Saline Valley Production 1971" Very interesting !

Posts: 39
when I talked to Chili he had met them and he said "they're a weird bunch"  I wish I was there!! I had thought the wizard was first, but the volcano was first!  They dug it out! Set up that dome on where we have the best pot-lucks ever!!!!!!
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