Silverbow is a collection of old shacks right on the north border of TTR, near its northeast corner. The general area provides some fine views of the entire TTR property. It's high up enough to have moderate temperatures in summer, and there are actually pine trees to camp in. It's just plain scenic. The location does suffer from being some distance away from the main base, but the facility is quite visible with good optics.
There are a number of different ways to get into the Silverbow area to have a good look at TTR. The advantages of this particular one is that the route is pretty good, and you can do the whole thing without being seen from the base area. The times I've been out here, I've never seen any trace of security, nor have they commented on my presence on their security frequency (Their transmissions are usually not encrypted like their neighbor to the southeast). You will often get a good view of fairly exotic aircraft on test missions. Once I was buzzed by a B-1 about 1,000' overhead.
The route to about mile 23 is suitable for most passenger cars. I'd recommend the spot just south of mile 21.4 (Brainwash Butte) for most viewing purposes because you don't have to hike in. Unless you have a good 4wd however, don't try to drive the last 200 yards. Walk up.
For maps, the specific area is covered by the USGS Stinking Spring 7 1/2 minute quad. If you want to see the entire route from Hwy 6, you need both the Cactus Flat and Warm Springs 1:100,000 USGS maps.
These directions will take you to a view spot near the end of the road, but as mentioned it's really not necessary to go that far to get to a decent view.
|0||0||Silverbow Road junction with Hwy 6 at Milepost NY 38.7 (about 40 miles east of Tonopah) Turn south. If you travel real fast on this road, watch for one or two dip crossings that come up fast. You'll also leave a big dust plume.|
|10||10||Four way intersection...Turn left. (Don't miss this turn!)|
|12.0||2.0||Four way intersection...go straight thru.|
|12.7||0.7||Four way intersection...go straight thru.|
|12.9||0.2||Pass 4wd route on left.|
|13.8||0.9||Come to fork...go right|
|15.1||1.3||Pass poor 4wd route on right|
|16.0||0.9||Pass poor 4wd route on left.|
|17.3||1.3||Pass old mining operation on right|
|19.5||2.2||Pass road on right|
|21.4||1.9||Pass thru intersection. The very poor 4wd route to the right climbs to the top of the ridge just to the south (Brainwash Butte, 6,928') for a fine alternate view of TTR. Little cover is available however.|
|22.4||2.0||Pass poor road on left|
|23.3||0.9||Pass Stinking Spring on right. Road begins to deteriorate to 4wd status around here.|
|24.7||1.4||Come to fork...go right|
|24.8||0.1||Road Tees. Go right.|
|24.9||0.1||End of road at elv. 6,760.|
Proceed south and slightly east to the plainly visible saddle 0.45 miles away. It is a 400' elevation gain to the saddle (elv. 7,160'). From the saddle go west 0.25 miles to a very large flat area at the top. Elevation at best view is about 7,300'. This point is about 0.25 miles north of the TTR boundary. The vista is very wide, covering almost all of TTR, including far southerly areas. Main base is 16 miles away to the southwest.