Cole’s Flat Arrastra

The cowboy's line cabin.

This arrastra is located deep within the China Lake Naval Weapon Center. We had permission to be on the base.

I couldn’t find too much information on it other than the cabin was once the assay office over at Millspaugh. It had been moved to Coso Hot Springs, then in 1930, it was moved again to its present location in Cole’s Flat and used as a cowboy’s line camp there.
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“Gearwheel” Arrastra

Arrastra overview.

It is a bit of a hike to reach this old arrastra site and camp. Looks like it was used mainly during the 1930s Great Depression, but the tin cans suggest it was used earlier than that. We found a small mine nearby.
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Another look at the ore bin.

We were lucky enough to be invited on to China Lake Naval Weapon Center to do some volunteer restoration work on the historic Coso ghost town site. After work, we checked out a few other sites and spend the night here. What an awesome time we had! Everyone had a great time!
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San Antonio and Cimarron Mines

The headframe and mine building of the Cimarron mine.

Discoveries were first made here in 1863 by Mexican prospectors, possibly outfitted by Emanuel San Pedro. This camp never struck it rich even though it had a few revivals over the years. The workings here look pretty poor and I didn’t go underground. One interesting find here was the arrastra, of which I haven’t found too many of in Nevada. It was probably built by the Mexicans.
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Pinto Wye Arrastra, Joshua Tree National Park

The wagon wheel arrastra. There are only 2 known in the NPS system and this is the only one in the backcountry.

An arrastra is a simple and primitive gold milling device. Heavy stones are dragged over gold ore to crush it. Mercury and water is added to the floor of the arrastra to create an amalgam and capture the gold.
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A high desert, hidden boulder mining camp, San Bernardino County

Boulder camp.

One of my mine exploring trips got cancelled at the last minute, on a weekend a few months ago, so I suddenly had some free time on my hands. I decided to try and find a supposed arrastra and petroglyph site out in the Mojave desert. Arrastras are always fun to find because they are so rare besides being historical. Petroglyphs are more common but can be equally difficult to locate. (Not to mention they are both cool.)
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