I’ve known about this mine for a long time but had avoided it because it was so close to town. I figured everything had already been carted off and the mine reclaimed. Over the course of the last year or so, I had multiple sources bring it up. It still was a low priority but I started thinking more about it. Finally, we were out on a trip to Nevada and driving by the area. We stopped to pay a visit.
We went hiking out into the middle of the white-hot heart of the Mojave desert in search of a modern mining site and we found it. The operation has been inactive for a number of years now and most everything is still here lying around camp just waiting for the owners to come back and pick up work again. The mill itself however is a little different from what I expected.
I had heard about a wickiup, high in the White Mountains, a while back and thought it would be an interesting find. The information I had didn’t give me the exact location and I really didn’t know if I would be even close (which is the case more often than not). But still thought I might have enough clues to track it down. This was not an area I had been to before, so after studying topo maps for a while I took a guess where it might be and planned my trip. If nothing else, it would be a nice hike in the pinyon pine forest.
After a few days of long drives in Nevada, we ended up at a remote mine that doesn’t see many visitors – my favorite kind of mine. We visited a few of the mines out there but most of them didn’t have much to offer outside of long cross-cuts and drifts. This one was a little different.
Out in the volcanic cinder cones, a few miles east of Baker in the Mojave desert, and hidden among fields of broken basalt and cinder, is the Mojave Lava Tube. Over the course of the last seven million years (during the Pleistocene and Pliocene epochs) and perhaps as recently as 10,000 years ago, basalt lava flowed in multiple eruptive events from cinder cones here.
08/17/14: Updated this trip report to some petroglyphs in the Cottonwood Mountains of Death Valley. Much longer read now: “Cottonwood” Petroglyphs.
Two years ago I re-created this site on WordPress. (The site has existed since 1997.) Overall, I have to say I still like the format. Lately though, I’ve slowed down on posting. I’m still going out often, but I’ve been taking a hiatus on posting to work on other long delayed projects.