Arcturas Mine and Buckwheat Wash Dunes, Death Valley National Park

Down in the southern end of Death Valley, a small group of mines lies hidden in a low set of hills. First prospected for copper and silver in the 1880s, the deposits turned out to be small and the remoteness of the area made them uneconomical. Like many other mines of the era, they never amounted to very much. In later years, the mines were revived and worked briefly for talc. Those too proved to be small and unprofitable. Not much is left from those early mining days, except a few bits of rusted machinery, tin cans and a small, rustic cabin.

Along the way to the mines are a small set of wind-blown sand dunes that don’t see many people. The dunes are off-limits to vehicle traffic, but they make a fun place to relax and play.

For more photos from this trip, check out the Dzrtgrl’s trip report.


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