Hiking and exploring backcountry locations of the Western United States.

Category: Lake Tahoe and the Northern Sierra (page 2 of 2)

Lake Tahoe and the Northern Sierra

Empire Mine State Historic Park

We took a trip up to the Sierra Nevada and our group gained special permission from the California State Park service to explore a small underground portion of the massive Empire Mine inside the appropriately named Empire Mine State Historic Park in beautiful Grass Valley, California. Doug McConnell and local TV program “Bay Area Backroads” crew came along to film the event for one of their episodes. What an incredible opportunity!

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Lucky S Mine Camp

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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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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Honeycomb Stamp Mill

We stopped by to check out this little three stamp mill in the western Sierra Nevada. It is a neat find. You don’t see many three stamp mills around. The mill was built around 1900 but never saw much use. It was electric powered and water was brought in on a flume. The Honeycomb mine was discovered in the 1880s and was a lode quartz gold mine. It never amounted to much with only a few thousand feet of workings.
While exploring the area we found an arrastra too. I would guess the arrastra pre-dates the stamp mill but you never know.

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