The weird solitude, the great silence, the grim desolation, are the very things with which every desert wanderer eventually falls in love. You think that strange perhaps? Well, the beauty of the ugly was sometime a paradox, but today people admit its truth; and the grandeur of the desolate is just as paradoxical, yet the desert gives it proof.The Desert, John C. Van Dyke, 1901
The vast majority of the landscape around Goodsprings is a combination of bleak, rolling hills and flat expanses between. From far away, the hills seem small and without vegetation, but when you get closer, you can tell the peaks are exceptionally tall and dotted with brush, cacti, and once in awhile, a lone Joshua tree.
A unique part of this area, especially the range to the south which includes Colombia Pass, is that it is the most mine-dense area in the Mojave, rivaling the Mt. Potosi and Searchlight areas. This region is dotted with mines, and the remnants of such are visible from the roads.
This area is also my glorious desert home. I frequently refer to it as the Sandy Valley region. The town was a planned area for the game but was cut. It is a combination of 4 or 5 mining towns that coalesced into one. One of the towns, Ripley, is also a cut location. And one of the coolest parts of town is of course, Obsidian Avenue.
# 95 – Goodsprings cave
# 96 – Devil’s Gullet
# 97 – Yangtze Memorial
# 101 – Goodsprings source
# 103 – Lone Wolf Radio
This area looks similar to the game world as well. I can say with certainty that in summertime, it is so unbelievably hot in this place. I am not even kidding you when I say that wishing for a nuclear winter is a legitimate feeling and I get why NPCs are saying it over and over again all the time. It is not just recycled dialogue, it really does warrant being said that much.
# 95 – Goodsprings cave – A lot of the locations that are called caves in the game are really mines, and I use the two words interchangeably. The majority of them are easy to miss and blend into the side of a rock face or are obscured on the opposite side of roads.
The closest to the in game location is called Argentina Mine. It is easily accessible by a fairly sturdy road, and it is on the way to Goodsprings if coming from the Pahrump area or potentially south from I-15. The area is chock full of mines – check out the map below just to see how many mines exist just to the west!
# 96 – The Devil’s Gullet – Last year, I visited the real world equivalent, Devils Hole, on my birthday trip that you can check out by clicking here! The location is within the Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge in Nye County, Nevada – northwest of where it is situated in game. It is a cavern over 500 feet / 150 meters deep, but filled with water. It is so deep that the bottom has not been mapped. Devils Hole is the only natural habitat of the Devils Hole pupfish, a critically endangered fish. This pupfish has been described as the world’s rarest fish, with a population of less than 200. I did not see any of these amazing pupfish, but my eyes are terrible and it was dark down there.
# 97 – Yangtze Memorial – Even though it is not located in the same geographical location, the resemblance to the Mount Soledad National Veterans Memorial in La Jolla, California is unmistakable. I am very fortunate to have a good friend named Megan who lives only a few minutes from there. She offered to drive to the location and take photos for me. What luck! She even took photos at different times of day and in different weather. Very much above and beyond. Thank you Megan, for your amazing friendship and photos!
Honorable mention – In the Mojave Desert Preserve, I visited a similar location called White Cross World War One Memorial, which had a large white cross on the top of a hill. I thought I would include it here as an interesting addition.
# 101 – Goodsprings source – In Goodsprings, there is the spring from which the town is named. On the map it is called New England Mining Company spring. It is on the southeast side of town, close to the buildings I frequently trespass in during my Goodsprings adventures. When I was here in the summer, it was bone dry but when I swung by again in the winter it had a little water in it. There were no geckos to befriend, sadly. They were all likely busy killing Barton Thorn a little down the road.
# 103 – Lone Wolf Radio – This location was in-game only, based off of someone one of the game developers knew. I did look far and wide for a trailer, though. And as an aside, most structures in the wasteland tell you to “keep out” or some equivalent. In this area, there is a weird golf ball looking house instead.