This cache is not for those seeking a physically beautiful place. It is dusty and hot in summer and snow-covered in winter. However, if you want to experience a meaningful and important historic site, you should definitely make this trip.
We almost flew past this site on our way north on the 395 between Lone Pine and Independence. All you can see is the brick guardhouse and large auditorium amid the 800 acres of desert shrub and a few trees. All that remains of the buildings are numerous concrete slabs. It is hard to believe that 10,000 American citizens were forcibly relocated here during World War II. Almost as tragic is how shamelessly the site was demolished as if to wipe the entire incident from our national memory.
Once you drive through the gate at the guardhouse and start to look around, you can make some small but touching discoveries: ballfields, gardens, a pet cemetary. The coordinates for this virtual cache will lead you to the remains of a Japanese water garden. All that's left is a concrete basin with some rock around it. You can try to imagine water pouring down a waterfall through green plants as parents sat on the rocks enjoying relief from the desert heat while children played nearby.
Clearly visible to the southwest of this spot at 36'43.520N 118'09.765W is the tall white marker for the Manzanar cemetary where up to 80 internees were buried. When the relocation center closed in 1945, the remains of all but six were reburied elsewhere. Those six graves remain covered with a few small mementos and tokens of respect. The cemetary fence is decorated with colorful origami birds fading in the hot desert sun.
When we visited there was a WWII veteran at the entry guardhouse. Be sure to thank him when you leave.
NOTE: Since creating this virtual cache, there have been some really great additions/improvements to the site which include is a very informative visitor's center and other enhancements made to the facility.
You can find more information about Manzanar by visiting the following sites:
Manzanar National Historic Site-Official NPS Page
"Farewell to Manzanar"-Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston's Book
Manzanar-America's Concentration Camp
Ansel Adams' Manzanar War Relocation Photographs