I went to Trinity Site on October 2, 2010.
The site is open to the public in April and October each year. You can go with the escorted caravan or on your own through Stallion Gate along highway 380 in the north part of WSMR. I went on my own so I could avoid the crowd by arriving after the caravan leaves around noon. My route was about 260 miles round trip. I went north to Carrizozo, then west to Stallion Gate, then mostly south. The caravan travels a shorter route.
Here is a panorama of land along the way to Stallion.
I thought this town was called Burgess but maps show it as Bingham. Just a few buildings and a few people far from any other town. Must be a good place.
The view from Stallion Range Center was fantastic. No pictures are allowed until you reach Trinity.
The first thing available to see was this instrument bunker. It was 800 yards from the blast. It is made of large wooden beams and concrete. The bunkers where the observers in old films were have been removed. They were 10,000 yards away.
Jumbo is near the information booth and entrance to the path to ground zero.
The path from the parking lot to the test area is about one quarter mile. It is all surrounded by fences. Here is the entrance.
At the end of the path from the parking lot, at the test area entrance, there were tables where some people would tell about radiation and there were various radioactive items to see. They had geiger counters to use on the items. Items included a banana, fake salt, clock (radium dial?), fiestaware dish, smoke alarm, and other things including a box of trinitite. The fiestaware had uranium oxide to give it its color. The trinitite got some clicks from the geiger counter and the fiestaware really set it off. On the way out he opened the trinitite box so I could get a better picture of it.
A fence enclosed the large area around ground zero open to visitors. The area had been mowed. Just inside the fence were two plaques. The Ground Zero plaque is not at ground zero. The lava rock monument is.
This monument is at ground zero. It was built 20 years after the test. It is made from lava rocks.
A bomb casing like Fat Man’s, two remnants of the tower footing, and a building that covers some of the original crater floor, and historic photographs are also there. I think the bomb casing is a historical item and not a reproduction. One tower footing is protected by rails and the other is in the open. I wanted to see the crater floor and trinitite surface but it wasn’t visible anymore.
This stack of rocks was unexplained. There were several pieces of trinitite on top. I think that people who find one put it on the rocks. Most of the trinitite was removed and the area covered with dirt except in the building but there is still some there.
Here is a panorama of the area. The dark part might be a cloud shadow or might be where the camera adjusted to the sun. If you look closely you can see that some people are shown twice. I found two groups like that. It must be because they moved between taking photos.
After seeing the test area I rode a bus to the McDonald ranch house. It is 2 miles away.
This house is where the plutonium core was assembled. The adobe house survived the blast well. Nearby are a bunk house and barn with stone walls. The barn’s roof caved in from the blast. The structures deteriorated but were later stabilized and the house restored. There are displays in the house with information and photographs.
The windmill tower is still there. The vanes are on the ground nearby. The water tank is next to the windmill.
Rooms inside of the house. The assembly room was kept clean to avoid anything getting in the core. The house has two front doors. One leads into the room with the decoration on the top of the walls and
one into the assembly room. The writing on the door, “Please use other doors – keep this room clean”, was restored along with the rest of the house.
There was rain on the way back. Since my windshield wipers don’t work I had to pull over and wait for some rain to pass. I saw rain near Carrizozo with sun to the south. I took this photo from El Malpais lava field. I was going to stop at the park there but there is an entry fee. The rocks in the foreground are lava and you can see some cracks on the right.
On the way back I saw this scenic view.