Starbuck's Exploring

Hiking and exploring backcountry locations of the Western United States.

Category: Southern Nevada (page 1 of 6)

Southern Nevada, Basin and Range, and Tonopah Basin

“Palmetto Wash” Petroglyphs

Over the years, I have visited this small petroglyph site many times. It is not too far from the road, so it makes for a nice spot to take a break.

During a recent visit with my family, we were saddened to find some drill holes have been made into the volcanic rock adjacent to some of the ancient petroglyph panels. What a shame! I’m not sure if someone was attempting to steal the petroglyphs or if someone was taking core samples to study the volcanic rock. Either way, it was careless and a federal crime. I hope whoever caused the damage faces some punishment and restitution so repair work can be done.
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Hidden Forest Cabin

Tucked away inside a canyon of the Desert National Wildlife Refuge is the Hidden Forest Cabin. Built around 1900 by folks unknown, the rustic, single room log cabin was once used by Nevada game wardens in 1936 when the Desert NWR was established. More recently, in 2008-2010, the cabin underwent restoration work by volunteers and the Desert NWR staff. It is open for overnight use on a first come-first served basis. The cabin consists of a wood-fired stove, bed, and table and chairs. A small kitchen area is stocked with a few can goods that people bring up for emergencies. Please keep the cabin clean and in better shape than you found it.
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“Cupule Cave”

While out on a trip with Roger Mitchell, we stopped to visit a little boulder cave out in the Mojave Desert. The cave is only a few feet long, but in the center is a large, flat granite boulder. Its surface is covered with cupules and edges polished smooth by touch of many hands over a long period of time. It is amazing to think of how many hands must have touched this rock to get it this smooth.
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New Year Mine

The mine was a minor producer of zinc, lead, silver, and gold. It was first located in 1913 but wasn’t worked until 1915. It was active only for a few short years and idle by 1918.
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Poinsettia Ghost Town

Poinsettia was once a cinnabar mine. Reportedly, the mine was worked from 1929 to WWII, but information is hard to find on it and no production was recorded. It is doubtful much cinnabar was ever mined here. Cinnabar is a primary ore for mercury, which is important in the gold recovery process.
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“Zinc Tram” Mine

Ed and I took a small trip over to Nevada to check out an interesting little mine I had passed up before. I have visited some of the other mines in the district but overlooked this one in a small side canyon.
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“Bernanke Mine”

This site was an amazing find for us and a place I had really been looking forward to explore. I had known about the mine for some time and, as is the usual case lately, and I just needed the time and some people to come with me underground. I was able to talk Bill and Dan into a side trip scouting the area at the end of another long trip in Nevada. Since it was the end of the trip, we didn’t have enough time to explore the whole mine but it looked promising. We also looked at a few other nearby sites on our list that were too close to pass up. I tried to put a return trip together but it took a few months before I could get the guys to come back with me for a full exploration of the mine. I’m glad we did.
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“Old English” Tramway

Part of the “Old English” Mine, the tramway hauled ore over the mountain from the mine to the railhead. Only a few tramways still stand and this double rope one is quite impressive.
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“Old English” Mine Camp

This was a huge mine camp with a long history of operation that we were able to get a private tour of in 2003. At the time, the camp was guarded full-time by caretakers. They showed us around and gave a great tour, even allowing us to go underground and look around, something many mine operators are afraid of.
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Jackrabbit Mine

This mine was worked as early as the 1880s and produced $2.5M dollars before 1906. It continued to be active until 1959. That is a long time and total production could be as high as $10M but some of the recorded production is lost to history. That’s a lot of money over its lifespan.
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