Underground near Silverton

These are underground photos from a mine in the Silverton area that we explored. I actually didn’t have much underground time planned for this trip, but the mines we did check out turned out to be fantastic.
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San Juan Chief Mill

This scenic ruined mill site was built in the late 1890s and never saw ore from its namesake, the San Juan Chief mine. It is the second mill to be built on this site. In 1900, it had 2 roasting furnaces and 15 stamps.
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Sound Democrat Mill

The Sound Democrat Mill is an awesome find and one of the highlights of the San Juan Mountains.  The mine was first discovered in 1899. Gold and silver ore from the mine was packed on mules over a 13,000′ ridge to the Sunnyside Mill in Eureka Gulch.
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Summit Mine

High up in the spires of the Sierra Nevada there lies a hidden and seldom visited mine where a trail goes through the mountain.
To get there, you have to follow a steep trail across jagged granodiorite cliffs. A thousand feet below is the old mining camp of Lundy and the views of 13,057′ (3,979m) Mt. Dana across the canyon are quite spectacular.
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Ramshorn and Skylark Mines

I took a trip to a couple of mines high up in the Central Rocky mountains of Idaho.  I love finding old mines with tramways and these two were great.

A large silver-lead strike was made at the Ramshorn mine (and the Skylark above it) in 1877 and the rush was on. By 1882, a smelter had been blown in, charcoal kilns built and 300 people lived in the town of Bay Horse that had sprung up down in the canyon below. The smelter was closed by 1897 but mining continued until 1925.
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“Catalonia” Mine

Not too long ago, while out exploring around the Nevada backcountry, we drove over to this little abandoned mining camp. As we got closer to the mine, we discovered the old road was completely overgrown and lost in the willows so we got out of our trucks and hiked in. I was really interested to see if anything remained of the old mill that once served the mine.

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Adamson Mine

At 12,990′, the Adamson is the highest mine in the Sierra Nevada. And as you might suspect, getting there is no easy feat. It is a strenuous 8.6 mile (one-way) and 3,670 foot climb up the rugged Wheeler Ridge to reach it. This is the top of the Sierras. Altitude sickness is a real concern here so be aware of headaches and fatigue. Turn around and head down if you feel sick.

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