Wall Street Mill, Joshua Tree National Park

The Wall Street Gold Mill is a very interesting and rare example of a complete small desert gold mill. And to boot, it is only a short walk inside the backcountry of Joshua Tree National Park.
(read more…)

Dancing Man Petroglyphs

We met up with some friends to poke around a surprisingly nice petroglyph site in an empty corner of the Nevada desert. The black basalt ridge where all the petroglyphs are located doesn’t look like anything special from a distance, but that changes when you get close and hike on up. There is a small geoglyph and possible shelter nearby as well.
(read more…)

Jumbled Rock Gulch Petroglyphs

Another panel of petroglyphs.

This small canyon is almost entirely volcanic ash and tuff. The petroglyphs occur on a small hill in the canyon. You have to have a sharp eye to spot them. There are a few unusual designs here but the site isn’t really worth a trip all by itself. There are lots of other good sites in the area though.
(read more…)

Bennettville

Bennettville was a small mine camp that had that typical ghost town story of boom and bust of a big strike that never panned out.

Part of the Tioga Mining District, Bennettville was built to support one mine, the Great Sierra and its famed Sheepherder lode, a rich silver vein on top of Tioga Hill, next to Dana, that was believed to run deep into the mountain. The Great Sierra Tunnel would be driven into the mountain to intercept the vein at a lower level.
(read more…)

Lucky S Mine

View of three of the cabins.

We first visited this mining camp in 2002 not knowing what we would find there. A mining camp full of cabins was a great surprise. There are more than a half dozen buildings here.
(read more…)

Beveridge

This is the view from a little ways up on the Snowflake Trail. You can actually see my truck parked in this picture.

Beveridge… A legendary mine camp. Probably more than anything, because it is so difficult to reach. The trail is a strenuous one and because the hike is so long, time is an issue. We started hiking early in the morning one spring day. It took us 6 hours just to reach the camp. We did this as a dayhike, but it is better suited for a backpack. Even so, be sure to get an early start on the hike. The faint trail disappears quickly after the sun sets over the high mountains and it becomes very easy to get off trail and stuck on a rocky cliff.
(read more…)

Champion Spark Plug Mine

The Champion Hilton cabin.  The sign says 7,550' but I'd guess it is more around 7,250'.

The Champion Spark Plug mine is quite a place. The deposit was initially found in 1916 by a dentist, Dr. Joseph Jeffery, who was looking for better minerals to build dentures from but the minerals found fame as insulators for spark plugs. The Champion Spark Plug Company successfully worked the mine from 1919 to 1945. It is currently maintained by volunteers.
(read more…)

Cane Man Petroglyphs

This lone boulder has some very unique petroglyphs on it.  I have never seen anything like this before.  What are the circles?  Do you see a man with a cane?  Note how the figures are all in side view and in motion.

I met up with Dan, Bill and Barbara to check out some petroglyphs in western Nevada. This is a very interesting site near an ancient lakebed. The petroglyphs on one rock are known as “Cane Man” and are unique and seemingly quite out of place with the rest of the Great Basin styles I’ve seen. I would be happy to hear your thoughts on this rock. We have since returned a few times to this site and found more petroglyphs hidden in these hills. I have added those photos here.
(read more…)

La Trinidad Stamp Mill

10 stamp mill.  Stamps and some of the equipment are still in place.

Alysia and I met up with Lewis, Cat and Dan to try and find some old mills in the Sierras. Lewis led this trip and we found some great stamp mill ruins. This mill was a great find. It is tucked away deep in the forest and down a very steep trail. That is probably why so much is left at the site. The mine itself is caved. And though the mill is impressive, this was never a big operation.
(read more…)

Dana, Yosemite National Park

It had a nice view, but I can only imagine the winters here.

I did a little solo hike up to the old townsite of Dana, which is high up on Tioga Hill in Yosemite National Park. It was a great short hike along the crest of the Sierras. The views are fantasitic even if the mosquitoes were thick. Dana was the first camp for the Great Sierra mine up on top of Tioga Hill. The Great Sierra Consolidated Silver Company moved their camp to Bennettville to access the Sheepherder lode from the base of the hill and a little more out of the weather.
(read more…)