This is a view looking down on the Owens Dry Lake from the Cerro Gordo ghosttown (elev. 8,300 feet).
In 1868 Mortimer Belshaw arrived in Cerro Gordo, attracted by the rich deposits of galena ore. After establishing a partnership with another stakeholder in the Union Mine, he brought the first wagon load of silver from Cerro Gordo to Los Angeles. In Los Angeles he was able to secure financing to build his own smelter that was superior to all other smelters at Cerro Gordo, as well as to build the first wagon road up the mountain. This road became known as the Yellow Road from the color of the rock that it had been cut through. By operating the Yellow Road as a toll road Mortimer Belshaw was able to earn income and control the shipments of silver from the mountain.
For more on Cerro Gordo, click on the Official Cerro Gordo Webpage.
By the way, "Cerro Gordo" is Spanish for "Fat Hill."