Starbuck's Exploring

Hiking and exploring backcountry locations of the Western United States.

Category: Death Valley (page 1 of 8)

Death Valley National Park and surrounding region.

Scallywag Mine

This is a more modern mine out in Death Valley probably worked for lead or antimony. It has two tramways and a few ore buckets still on-site. Getting up to the mine is a challenge. There is one dry fall to climb up.
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Corkscrew Mine

A few years ago, I met up with some of the guys and we hiked out to visit the ruins of the old Corkscrew Mine. The mine was worked for colemanite (an ore of borax) in the 1950s by the US Borax Company.  Surprisingly, it was productive only for a few years.
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“Three Bachelor’s Camp”

We found a small prospector’s camp out in the wilderness of the Death Valley region. I call it “Three Bachelor’s Camp” because there are three cabin tent pads scattered around the site.
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Jayhawker Spring Petroglyphs

The Jayhawkers are famous for their harrowing journey through the unexplored lands of Death Valley in 1849 on their way to reach the fabled gold fields of California’s Mother Lode. They made it, but only after burning their wagons and ditching some of their possessions. They are likely the first white people to set foot in the vast alkali valley and are credited for giving Death Valley its name.
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Lee Hilton

Also known as Macey’s Cabin and the Nelson Cabin, it was built for the Cerrussite Mine which it sits next to. It is a cozy little spot we’ve been visiting since 1999.
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“Camel Track” Canyon

Friends, Larry and Janene from Moby Goes, took us on a little trip over to what I’m calling “Camel Track” Canyon out in Death Valley country. (The actual small canyon is unnamed on the map.)
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Alice Hunt Pictograph Shelter

I recently led a few friends out to search for a some rock art sites in a canyon in Death Valley. It was still pretty early in the season, so it wasn’t hot yet.
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Fort Independence Soldiers Camp

Back in 1862, Owens Valley was not quite as peaceful as it is today. White settlers were just moving in and starting up ranches. Prospectors were combing the hills in search of that elusive next big strike. The Paiute, Shoshone and Kawaiisu people who lived here didn’t appreciate being forced off their lands and losing access to water and springs because of cattle. They led raids and ambushes against the newcomers to try and force them out. People were being murdered on both sides. The situation escalated and turned into what was later called the Paiute War.
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Harrisburg Flat Cabin

Back on a cool April day, Dan and I hiked out to a little cabin ruin out near Harrisburg Flat in the Death Valley backcountry. Harrisburg Flat is on the way to the old townsite of Skidoo. These days nothing much remains of that town, or its former rival, Harrisburg, but the Skidoo stamp mill is worth a visit.
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Skidoo Stamp Mill

Much about the history of Skidoo has already been written in various books and online, so I will only give a brief summary here:

The fifteen stamp mill was quickly built in 1908 by mine developer Bob Montgomery (of Bullfrog mining and Rhyolite fame) to develop the gold ores of the Skidoo mine just behind the mill. Ore was hauled directly from the mine to the mill via tunnels in the hillside. Mr. Montgomery had significant financial backing from Charles M. Schwab (steel magnate).  A townsite sprang up a little ways to the east.
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