King Midas Mine, Death Valley National Park

I meet up with Dan and Sharon to hike up to the seldom visited King Midas mine. It was mainly worked around WWII era, which is a bit later than many of the others in the region. The tramway was a highlight of the hike for me. It is 3,000′ long and over 1,000′ in vertical height. Some of this double rope tram is still here, but at least the power cable is missing. (We saw pieces of a buried cable in the canyon bottom.)

The mine and canyon cut into some beautiful marbles of the complex Crystal Springs geologic formation. The area is stark, harsh and wonderfully desolate in that Death Valley kind of way.

The King Midas Mine area is currently closed. Check the NPS website for when it will be re-opened.

Check out my friend Dan’s excellent page on the King Midas Mine.

Before we get to the mine, we take a little side trip where Dan shows me a car long ruined in a wash. Before we get to the...
Wonder how long this car has been here? Wonder how long this...
Car and flowers. Car and flowers.
Old 55 gallon barrel of Zerolene Motor Oil in the wash. Old 55 gallon barrel...
We discover an outhouse along the trail.  It seems to be all by itself though. We discover an outho...
Dan at the comfort station. Dan at the comfort s...
Prospect Prospect
Cable spool in the wash. Cable spool in the w...
Heading up. Heading up.
This is a fairly scenic canyon.  The marble here is beautiful. This is a fairly sce...
Another ruined old auto. Another ruined old a...
Model? Model?
This looks to be some sort of tram car bucket. This looks to be som...
Has a large latch. Has a large latch.
Impressive geologic folding. Impressive geologic ...
We find the lower tram terminal.  There would have been an ore bin on those wooden beams in the canyon bottom.  It is since washed away or been removed. We find the lower tr...
At the top of the ore bin area. At the top of the or...
Dan on the supports. Dan on the supports.
Looking up the double rope tram system.  Only the anchor line remains. Looking up the doubl...
A little fishhook cactus tries to grab me and gets my attention. A little fishhook ca...
Anchor. Anchor.
The trail leaves the wash and heads through an old barbed wire gate. The trail leaves the...
Looking back down into Death Valley. Looking back down in...
Hiking along the trail. Hiking along the trail.
The first tram tower. The first tram tower.
A gentle Mojave breeze is starting to blow in the valley.  If you've been to this corner of the desert, you know what I mean. A gentle Mojave bree...
The canyon floor below us. The canyon floor bel...
Tram tower steel post. Tram tower steel post.
Geologic layers of the Crystal Springs formation. Geologic layers of t...
Tram tower. Tram tower.
Another tower. Another tower.
There were a few large rock cairns around.  Possibly used to mark claim boundaries. There were a few lar...
Dan gets closer to a tram station. Dan gets closer to a...
The tramway changes direction here.  Tram cars would ride the cable, then change to a curved rail, then back on the cable.  Much of the station is missing though. The tramway changes ...
A second tramway cable went down to the bottom of the canyon and another small working. A second tramway cab...
Explorer Dan! Explorer Dan!
A look at the mine across the canyon. A look at the mine a...
Dan and Sharon head over to the mine along a very narrow trail. Dan and Sharon head ...
Dan finds a bedspring in an adit. Dan finds a bedsprin...
There is a sign in one of the workings. Note the blower and air tank as well. There is a sign in o...
Pry bar and drill steel Pry bar and drill steel
Old gauge tucked in the rocks. Old gauge tucked in ...
A bit of family history on the mine.  Very nice to see. A bit of family hist...
Dan climbs up to the upper working and tram terminal. Dan climbs up to the...
This entrance has seen better days. This entrance has se...
Dan tries out first gear.  This motor must have run the winch for the mine and possibly the tramway?  All of this equipment had to be hauled up on a mule or the miner's backs! Dan tries out first ...
A small Prickly poppy seems out of place here. A small Prickly popp...
A straight 4 banger. A straight 4 banger.
A look inside the incline shaft.  It is caved in and pretty rotten.  Needless to say, we didn't go in. A look inside the in...
Rock wall in the wash below. Rock wall in the was...
Trail along the cliffs. Trail along the cliffs.
Another look in this adit. Another look in this...
The switchback trail comes down this slope. The switchback trail...
We have fun on some short dry falls in the canyon. We have fun on some ...
Precambrian marble of the Crystal Springs formation. Precambrian marble o...
The end to another nice hike. The end to another n...


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