Jayhawker Spring Petroglyphs, Death Valley National Park

That's Jayhawker Spring.

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, Death Valley National Park

Some snow at Jim Macey's cabin in 2001.

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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Fort Independence Soldiers Camp, Death Valley National Park

Main 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, Death Valley National Park

Nice little 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, Death Valley National Park

View of the stamp mill from across the canyon.

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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Marble Bath, Death Valley National Park

The entrance to the real Marble Bath.

There is a place way out in the backcountry of Death Valley National Park called Marble Bath. Actually, it is two places.

Why there are two Marble Baths is a bit of a story. The real Marble Bath is a narrow marble canyon that contains some potholes (also called tinajas) that usually hold water long after it rains. These are the only semi-reliable source of water for many miles in an otherwise very arid stretch of desert. They don’t call this Death Valley for nothin’, ya’ know.
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“Panamint Valley Geoglyph #2”, Death Valley National Park

Interesting design.

I was out in Panamint Valley and wanted to hunt for a geoglyph site and Native American indian trail. I found the trail first. I walked portions of it and came across the geoglyph site. It isn’t on the trail but offset close by. The geoglyphs are complex and abstract linear (mostly) closed cell designs. It is a interesting and good-sized site.
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“Inscription Fork” of Lemoigne Canyon, Death Valley National Park

J La Moigne.  Not sure if this is really old but it looks it.

Bill leds Dan and I to a fork of Lemoigne Canyon out in Death Valley that has a few historical inscriptions. It is hard to know if they are real or not but it is a interesting and seldom seen area.
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Mule Tail Mine, Death Valley National Park

Ore car is still here.

The Mule Tail was one of Shorty Harris’ mines and started the rush to the Goldbelt District in the early 1900s. This is a small mine and only a single ore cart and lonely adit remain out in this desolate corner of Death Valley National Park.
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Ryan Mining Camp

A few years ago, I joined a Searles Valley Historical Society field trip to see the well preserved borax mining camp of Ryan in Death Valley. Having never been in the mining camp before, I jumped at the chance to visit.
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