Starbuck's Exploring

Hiking and exploring backcountry locations of the Western United States.

Page 34 of 36

Wall Street Mill

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.
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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.
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Jumbled Rock Gulch 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.
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King Midas Mine

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.)
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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.
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Lucky S Mine

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.
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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.
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Champion Spark Plug Mine

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.
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Cane Man Petroglyphs

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.
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La Trinidad Stamp Mill

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.
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