If you are interested in prospecting east of Highway 95 on a long stretch of road, back through the El Dorado Canyon, you can find the equivalents of a few cool in-game places. I thought it was interesting to think about communities being founded by American Civil War deserters. Sometimes when I am in the Mojave in the summer, I think, it is so hot, what could be worse than this ….” and I guess that answers the question. Reminds me of those NCR deserters in Primm, Layla and her moronic mercenaries, or something along those lines.
# 122 – El Dorado Gas & Service
# 123 – Cazador nest
# 124 – Ranger station Delta
# 128 – Camp Forlorn Hope
# 299 – Malpais Legionaire camp
# 322 – Malpais
# 387 – 393 – Forlorn Hope locations
# 122 – El Dorado Gas & Service – In the real world, I am convinced that this location is the Illusionz compound, which is off of Highway 95 in approximately the same spot. It is not a gas station, but instead it looks like a sort of meet up spot for car enthusiasts. It features a series of open warehouse type outbuildings decorated with colorful graffiti and a multitude of tire tracks.
There are many locations in our world that are named “Eldorado” in this expanse of desert and in the game they are called “El Dorado” – I read that both are correct and they can be used interchangeably. I thought I would mention it in case I use the opposite spelling for in game or real world locations inadvertently. This is also where you find The Lonesome Drifter, sadly only in the game.
# 123 – Cazador nest – Thankfully for this worn out Courier, there were no massive bugs hurtling towards me during any of my visits out here. I could stretch a small amount and say this location reminds me of what originally looked like a batting cage but turned out to be a facility called Eldorado (of course) Droneport (that is a new one for me), which is owned by a school called Aerodrone that trains commercial (you guessed it) drone pilots. I guess cazadors are kind of like huge, deadly drones.
# 124 – Ranger station Delta – In my game, this was the only NCR controlled location that did not seem swayed by my “idolized” status and still told me to get lost. Ok rude. In our world, I am convinced that this location may be based on the KESX NEXRAD site. This stands for next-generation radar, the first four letters being a call sign, like used in radio. They look like big soccer balls atop a metal scaffolding, and are described as “s-band doppler weather radar” operated by the National Weather Service (NWS).
The transmission pole to the right of the big beige golf ball is what looks the most similar to the in game location. Also I helped a person online who was trying to collect photos of all of these stations, as they did not have this one yet. They did not thank me though. Ok.
The way to find this place is also a way to get to Nelson if you have a 4×4 vehicle. If you turn east off of Highway 95 on to our mystery Novac NV-164.5 road, about 11 miles south of the 95 / NV-165 intersection, and follow that road slightly southeast, in about 4 miles you will take a left on to Nelson Cutoff Road. That will take you up into the hills surrounding Nelson. This is where the vast majority of the mining operations took place. About 2.5 miles from where Nelson Cutoff intersects our mystery 164.5 road, you will take a left and wind up to the towers, which are easy to see from a ways off. There are a few other cool places around here, including a bunch of mines, including Rand, Blackhawk, Honest Miner, Quaker City, and more.
# 128 – Camp Forlorn Hope – Although there is no camp harboring refugees in the real world, the location has an equivalent in the same geographical location, north of Nelson, called Forlorn Hope Spring.
When comparing the in game to real life photos, I really do think the two are very similar. If you ignore the buildings, you can see that the ridges in the background, the peppered green plants in the foreground, and color of the ground are remarkably similar. The ground elevates with roughly the same grade as well. Very cool.
About a quarter mile away from here was the more ominous similarity. I found a graveyard complete with unmarked graves that looks nearly identical to the in game location. The developers must have come out here, or it is an incredible coincidence. There is another graveyard in Goldfield that made me do a double take, not able to believe how similar it looks.
To get to Forlorn Hope Springs is kind of a b-word. It is not dangerous, it is just takes forever since you have to drive so slowly over uneven terrain. The terrain is for the most part, flat, but really bumpy. From HELIOS One, you will take 165 like you are heading to Nelson, but instead take a left on “route D” which is approximately 3.5 miles away from Highway 95. Follow this for about 4 miles until intersecting and taking a right on “route F” which will take you to the location in about 5.5 miles. To and from took me about 2 hours and it sucked, so I would recommend either just looking at my photo or only going once to sate your curiosity.
Addendum: Now I have found quite a few graves here in the Mojave over the years, and will plan on posting them all here to keep them in one spot.
The locations that would be found here if there was a physical camp include # 387 – Forlorn Hope barracks, # 388 – Forlorn Hope command center, # 389 – Forlorn Hope jail, # 390 – Forlorn Hope medical center, # 391 – Forlorn Hope mess hall, # 392 – Forlorn Hope shack, and the # 393 Forlorn Hope shed.
# 299 / 322 – Malpais Legionaire camp / Malpais – This location was cut from the final game but appears in the real world as Malpais Flattop Mesa, overlooking the Arizona side of the Colorado River, and the aptly named Malpais wash. It is due east of Forlorn Hope, but I really should have included it alongside Camp Willow, as that is the easiest place to approach it from. There is no specific trailhead, but parking about 5 miles south of Willow Beach, along Jumbo Wash Road, and walking to the foothills anywhere along there will suffice. The entire area is considered the mesa. There is a mod that expands Arizona’s Legion assets to include the area, check it out on the Nexus here.