Starbuck's Exploring

Hiking and exploring backcountry locations of the Western United States.

Tag: Tramway (page 1 of 3)

Buffalo Boy Mine

The Buffalo Boy was a small gold and silver mine which started production around 1930. The mine is caved but the interesting thing about the site is the long and steep tramway heading up to it. The tram line is over 8,500′ in length and rises 2,500′ up cliffs to reach the mine at 12,550′ in elevation.
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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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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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Mine near the “Engagement” Mine

We recently returned to Nevada to do some mine exploring. We found a couple of new sites and made some discoveries at some old favorites. This was a new discovery near the “Engagement” Mine.  I haven’t come across any of the history on this place but it is clear that it dates back to the late 1880s. I suspect it was a small silver prospect.
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Honolulu Mine

On a ridge, high in the Panamint mountains of Death Valley National Park, lies the old Honolulu mine. The mine was first discovered in 1907 by John Thorndike (sometimes misspelled Thorndyke) and worked for silver, lead and zinc.
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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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“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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“Desert Gold” Mine

It is a bit of a hike to find this great little gem of a mine. It was worked as early as the 1890s, and again in the 1930s. The miners walked away from the mine in 1941 when World War II broke out and a presidential order closed many “non-essential” mines in the country. Looks like they never came back. Artifacts from that era remain.
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Lakeview Mine

Over the summer of 2013, I took a trip to the eastern Sierra Nevada mountains and hiked up to the Lakeview mine. Located at timberline, 10,650 ft up, the mine sits on a ridge overlooking a dramatic landscape of glacially carved cirques, granitic spires and alpine lakes. It was a spot I had been wanting to visit for a long time.
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