|Rim of the World Scenic Byway at 7,000 Feet
above Los Angeles Basin
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While driving on SR-18 from Lucerne Valley to climb up the mountain rapidly, the panoramic vistas northeast
to the vast Mojave desert are also very impressive. But there is no Sea of Clouds below the Rim of the World
on the bone dry Mojave desert.
The Rim of the World Scenic Byway also goes along the shore of beautiful Big Bear Lake.
Spectacular view of majestic snow capped Mt. Baldy in the San Gabriel Mountains between Los Angeles
Basin (洛杉磯 盆地) on the southwest side and Victor Valley in Mojave desert on the northeast side. This is
viewed from Hesperia area in the Victor Valley in Mojave Desert 15 miles (24 km) north of San Bernardino on
the morning of April 19, 2012. Mt. Baldy is also known as Mt. San Antonio.
On the late afternoon of April 18, 2012, we toured and stayed in Rainbow Basin Natural Area until sunset.
Then we drove in the dark to Hesperia and stayed overnight in a motel in Hesperia. On the next morning when
we were driving out of Hesperia area, Wow! We were happily surprised to see such a spectacular view of the
majestic snow capped mountain. We did not expect to see this, but it turns out that Mt. Baldy is one of the
most photographed beautiful natural features in Southern California. At elevation of 10,064 feet, Mt. Baldy is
the third highest peak in Southern California, behind San Gorgonio Mountain (11,499 feet) and Mount San
Jacinto (10,804 feet).
This beautiful view of snow capped Mt. Baldy dominates the landscape and is visible in a very wide area of
wide open Mojave desert when we were driving on Mojave desert from Hesperia to Trona Pinnacles National
Natural Landmark and Death Valley National Park on April 19, 2012.
(In October 2006, We got on the Palm Spring Aerial Tramway and toured the area of Mount San Jacinto, the
second highest peak in Southern California, near Palm Spring as shown on my Travelogue web page at:)
While driving in the Mojave desert from Hesperia to Trona Pinnacles National Natural Landmark and Death
Valley National Park, we got a chance to see a section of the famous California Aqueduct/Los Angeles
Aqueduct which is a system of canals, tunnels, and pipelines that conveys precious water collected from the
Sierra Nevada Mountains and valleys of Northern- and Central California to Southern California (北水南調).
This is observed at a Roadside Scenic Overlook on north bound side of Highway 14 at Palmdale in Antelope
Valley where one can see Lake Palmdale, California Aqueduct/Los Angeles Aqueduct, City of Palmdale and a
large wind turbine.
A fantastic view from the Rim of the World Scenic Byway at 7,000 feet of elevation on the crest (rim, ridge) of
the San Bernardino Mountains near Los Angeles Basin.
Rim of the World Scenic Byway is a 107-mile paved, winding, mountainous, 4-lane highway at about 7,000
feet elevation along the crest (rim) of the beautiful San Bernardino Mountains Range near Los Angeles Basin.
This Scenic Byway has frequent turnout overlook for visitors to enjoy the breathtaking panoramic views of San
Bernardino Valley, Los Angeles Basin, mountains, lakes and "Sea of Clouds (雲海)". Most of this 107-mile
route is California State Route 18 (SR-18). The road snakes along the side of the mountains. A more detailed
description of the Rim of the World Scenic Byway is available at the following website:
清雲薄霧， 層層山峰，夢幻般地構成了一幅美妙國畫的意境， 散發著無窮的魅力。
Another spectacular view from Rim of the World Scenic Byway: San Bernardino Valley floor below can be
glimpsed through the clouds. There is a beautiful thick layer of "Sea of Clouds (雲海)" below the Rim of the
World Scenic Byway and above the San Bernardino Valley.
Map: Click here for a map of Rim of the World Scenic Byway
More views from Rim of the World Scenic Byway.
On the morning of April 24, 2012, we drove from Las Vegas via Interstate I-15 to Barstow where we
turned south into Highway 247 to go south through Mojave desert until the junction of Highway 247
and SR-18 at a small town of Lucerne Valley. We had a lunch in a small restaurant at Lucerne Valley.
Then we got on SR-18 which climbs from the desert floor rapidly on winding road up to the crest (i.e.,
rim) of San Bernardino Mountain range at about 7,000 feet elevation. The scenery changed quickly
from the barren dry and wide open desert into lush green lofty pine forest.
While driving on the Rim of the World Scenic Byway along north shore of Big Bear Lake, we got these two
views of Big Bear Solar Observatory near the north shore of Big Bear Lake at the elevation of 6,742 feet
above sea level. It is an important observatory with special telescopes and instrument designed specifically for
the scientific studies of the activities and phenomena of our sun. This location was chosen for such solar
observatory for two important reasons: (1) the high elevation of 6,742 feet puts it above a significant portion of
the atmosphere to minimize the negative effects of atmosphere on the solar observations, and (2) The water
provides a cooling effect on the atmosphere surrounding the building and eliminates ground heat radiation
waves that normally would cause optical aberrations.
(In February 2006, during our tour of New Mexico, USA , we also toured the National Solar Observatory and
Apache Point Observatory on Sacramento Peak with elevation of 9,200 feet as described on my Travelogue
web page at:)
More views from Rim of the World Scenic Byway.
The high peak with snow in these two views from the Rim of the World Scenic Byway may be San Gorgonio
Mountain (11,499 feet), the highest peak in Southern California. It is also in the San Bernardino Mountains
near Los Angeles Basin.
The Rim of the World Scenic Byway also comes to a ski resort area with chairlift facilities and ski slopes.
One of several huge areas of limestone quarry at Cushenbury digging into the North Face of the San
Bernardino Mountain Range facing the Mojave desert.
While we were driving south from Barstow via Highway 247 to Lucerne Valley, we saw such extensive
switchback pattern of limestone quarry straight ahead on the North Face of San Bernardino Mountains Range
facing the Mojave desert.
A cement plant at the foothill (Cushenbury in Lucerne Valley) of the North Face of San Bernardino Mountains.
The limestones from the nearby mountains are the input material for this plant to produce cement product.
Renowned industrialist Henry J. Kaiser originally developed the Cushenbury limestone quarry to supply his
steel making operations in Fontana, California during World War II. He built the cement plant in 1957. The
facility was modernized in 1982 and Mitsubishi Cement Corp. purchased this plant in 1988.
Two more views from the Rim of the World Scenic Byway.
There is a sharp contrast in plenty of moisture in the Sea of Cloud over San Bernardino Valley and Los
Angeles Basin on the southwest side vs. bone dry clear air over Mojave desert on the northeast side of the
Rim of the World Scenic Byway.
Such beautiful scenery is consistent with the spirit of the historical origin of the Spanish name of Los Angeles
which means City of the Angels.
In October 2006, we toured Jenks Lake in San Bernardino National Forest in southern California. It is also
very beautiful and interesting as described on my Travelogue web page at:
We descended from the Rim of the World Scenic Byway at 7,000 feet elevation down to Los Angeles Basin
to attend the mini-reunion of my classmates in Los Angeles and to tour the famous Huntington Botanic
Gardens and Lacy Park in San Marino on April 25, 2012 as described on my Travelogue web page at: