A guide to Southern Nevada off road trails, historic mining, and all things outdoors.
The most complete guide to Southern Nevada historic mining. Site features include: mine pictures, descriptions, maps and coordinates.
Updates Thursday evening.
September 18, 2014
Big things are about to happen in the Nevada mining industry. Just last week, Tesla Motors announced it has selected Nevada to build its battery GigaFactory. To supply a factory of the proposed size would require substantial mineral deposits. Because of the proposed GigaFactory sites central location, Tesla Motors will be relying heavily on domestic sources.
Building on last weeks communications update, some wanted me to outline the emergency system without radio communications I briefly mentioned. It's what we used to do before upgrading our gear. Get a pool of friends with off road capabilities on a rotating list and assign them as backup. If you make yourself available to their rotating list, you should be able to assemble a strong backup pool.
Before you leave for a day trip, email or text one of them coordinates to where you plan on leaving pavement and the latest hour you expect to return to pavement. I prefer to use texts because it's the least intrusive form of contact. Because I often limit myself to day trips, my return hour was usually sunset.
If an hour passes after my expected return to pavement, the plan was to wait another hour in the event I was just running behind. After a second hour has passed without communication, my backup would try to contact me just in case I simply forgot to contact them. After a third hour without contact, the situation would escalate.
Escalation could simply mean passing the known information up the proper channel. If I were the backup, I would personally head out to the known coordinates and search myself. How you interpret the response would depend on prearrangements and your level of commitment.
I've personally met several dozen site visitors. You're all welcome to add me to your backup list. This emergency backup plan only takes a couple minutes to execute and could possibly save a life, so get on a list.
September 11, 2014 No mine update today. Instead, I'm going to try something new.When this site began years ago, it's always been about Southern Nevada historic mining. The focus of this site will always be in mining history, but I'm often asked about other aspects of outdoor Nevada. Things to do when the novelty of the Strip wears off or family friendly activities.
I'll be working to expand this site to be more inclusive with information about outdoor Nevada. You'll still find me adding to our ever-growing directory of historic mines, but throughout the year, you'll be seeing updates about off road trails, hiking, climbing, fishing, and camping.
Our first update, not directly related to mining, is about communications. I apologize, in advance, for it being a long update but it's a wide topic. To your left, you may have noticed a new tab labeled "Equipment Reviews". Currently, it only contains the link to the communications article. As our site focus widens, I'll reorganize.
September 4, 2014 Bernice Mine has been added to the Ivanpah, California directory. Most mines within the Mojave National Preserve have been sealed or made safe with bat gates, but they did such a nice job with the preservation, it's hardly noticable. Throughout the surrounding areas are many pieces of earth moving equipment, vehicles, and standing structures. It's a great place to share the history with your family without the falling hazards of other mining areas. The entire area is fairly kid safe.
August 28, 2014
New images have been added to the Honest Miner Mine in the Nelson, Nevada directory. After years of return visits we are finally able to report what we found at the bottom of this mine. The mines exterior had a work platform above the single shaft and a true tunnel through the mountain. Much effort was given to this mines infrastructure and we were prepared for a long day of exploration.
August 21, 2014
No mine update today. I'm in FL for the week. Not a lot of mines to get into over here. We'll return next week with new updates.
August 14, 2014
New images have been added to the Eldorado Rand Mine gallery in the Nelson, Nevada directory. We've returned to this mine many times, but left each time because of unsafe conditions. As you'll see in the gallery, it gets worse each time we return. I know we should cross this mine off our list, but we have so much time and effort invested in this exploration, it keeps calling to us.
August 7, 2014
Because of the rain from the past couple of weeks, trail conditions around Goodsprings, Nevada have deteriorated. Areas once accessible by a slow moving car should be approached with caution.
New images have been added to the Kirby Mine gallery in the Goodsprings, Nevada directory. This entire valley was posted as "Private Property" earlier this year, but as of today, the area was not posted. According to Clark County property records, this is still public land. I'm not certain of this land status. Most of the mines within this valley have been sealed anyway. Not a lot to see.
July 31, 2014
New images have been added to the Lincoln Mine gallery in the Goodsprings, Nevada directory. We've been keeping a secret about this mine for a few years and can now finally tell the story.
July 24, 2014
New images have been added to the Addison Mine in the Goodsprings, Nevada directory. Because there are so many large mines closer to Goodsprings, the mines well south and just north of the California border are often missed. Sadly, they're all sealed now, so you aren't missing much.
Most surprising about this area were the mule deer. We came across a dead mule deer at the bottom of a shaft at Hoodoo Mine a few years ago. During our most recent trip, we came across a few female mule deer. Good to see them so healthy.
We've seen mule deer along Wheelers Pass closer to the Cold Creek, NV side, but the Mt. Charleston area has much more vegetation and water. The southern range around the California border is typical desert many miles away from natural springs. Seeing any wild animal larger than a coyote around there was unexpected.
July 16, 2014 Beginning next week, updates will arrive on Thursdays instead of the usual Wednesdays.
New images have been added to the Taylor Mine in the Ivanpah directory. This is currently my favorite mine in the Ivanpah District because of the many levels to access and its high concentration of relics still in place. Almost everywhere you look there is something to pick up and study. There are at least 4 more open portals that we have yet to enter, so it's unknown how much more this mine has to share. We may have seen the best it has to offer, but the grand size of the many tailing piles would suggest a much greater depth than we've seen.
July 9, 2014
The Kewanee Mine has been added to the Ivanpah, California directory. It's a good looking mine, but it's been sealed so there's not much to say about it.
Some of you are familiar with my Jeep. Those who are not will find it easy to identify by the site logo and address decals on the sides and rear window. Yesterday, while driving, I received an email notification. I was at a traffic signal that I knew to take a long time to cycle and discreetly opened the email. It read, "I hope you get emails on your phone. Look in your mirror.".
I looked in my mirror and there was a guy laughing and giving me the finger. It wasn't because of my driving. I wasn't driving like an idiot at the time. He waved and laughed more as he passed, so he wasn't angry. It was just a guy having fun.
July 2, 2014
New images have been added to the Singer Mine gallery in the Goodsprings, Nevada directory. My wife and I took a few days last year to clean the exterior of this mine. We invested 3 days over 2 weeks and removed about 8 bags of garbage and an additional 6 boxes of broken glass and shooting clays.
On our most recent trip there, we were disappointed to see all our hard work and time was wasted. It took us days to clean and probably just a couple hours to ruin it again. Most shooters we know are very respectful of the land, but the few that are not can make a huge negative impact. There are laws against shooting glass on BLM land, but that's something you shouldn't have to be told. Even if you can't fight the urge to be a jerk, there are plenty of other places to be a jerk. Take it somewhere else and don't set up your target garbage at mine sites.
June 25, 2014 New images have been added to the Argentina Mine gallery in the Goodsprings, Nevada directory. This mine has always been one of my favorites in the Goodsprings area. It was the largest and most productive mine in the area. Unfortunately, all forward portals to this mine have been sealed. It's worth a drive just for the scenery on your way to the Table Top Mountain peak.
June 18, 2014 New images have been added to the Paradise Mine gallery in the Goodsprings, Nevada directory. With its multiple levels, open stope, and large mining camp, this was a full production mine, but was officially listed as a prospect mine. We've reached the lowest level, but have yet to complete exploration. The lowest level has been added to our ever growing to-do list.
June 11, 2014 New images have been added to the Bill Nye Mine in the Goodsprings, Nevada directory. The purpose of our return to this valley was to survey a mine we found previously and at higher elevation. After reaching that unnamed mine, we found it to be less than 30 feet in depth and featureless. Bill Nye Mine was more of a consolation prize for the day.
June 4, 2014 The Esperanza Mine has been
added to the Ivanpah, California directory. Throughout this mining site, we
found what we thought to be turquoise, but upon further study, I believe we've found Malachite, a copper carbonate. Beautiful samples throughout the area, but click through to know why that would be a bad idea.
May 28, 2014 The New Trail Mine has been added to the Ivanpah, California directory. We were hoping to rappel into this mine, but found it nearly completely sealed. There was an opening created by weather, but too much loose rock made it unsafe for entry.
The drive was still well worth the effort. There are a few cabins and other standing structures along the way.
May 21, 2014 The Billy Boy Mine has been added to the Ivanpah, California directory. We began our morning here because it was at the most southern edge of the Ivanpah Mining District. We figured it would take a while to get there, but didn't know there is a paved main road that runs through this area of the Mojave National Preserve. Now that we know it's so easily accessible, we'll be returning regularly until the weather is too uncomfortable.
Drive with caution throughout this and all wildlife areas. As we approached this mine, we scared a desert tortoise into his shell. He was only about 5-6" across. I have no idea how to age a tortoise, but I'll assume he was a juvenile compared to the larger ones we've seen. We left him some apple slices which he was enjoying by the time we completed our mine survey.
May 14, 2014 New images have been added to the Umberci Mine gallery in the Ivanpah, CA directory. Our goal of the day was to locate any open portals north of the mining camp. Most of the mine in that direction has collapsed or is in danger of collapsing. We may return in the future after the mine has had time to settle. At this time, entry was not worth the risk.
May 7, 2014 New images have been added to the Coliseum Mine gallery in the Ivanpah, CA directory. I realize I just updated this mine on the site just a few months ago, but someone pointed out something in one of our pictures that I missed because I mostly have no idea what I'm seeing out there. Admittedly, I know little of geology. My interest in mines is the exploration and adventure.
I also wanted to address a few complaints I received about this mine. Some feel this mine should not be included in this directory of historic mining sites because it was last worked in the 80's and is relatively new to other mines in the district. It's open pit design allows you to clearly see and better appreciate the efforts to follow the ore veins in underground mines. This is also one of the better known mines within the district and has become part of the local history. It needs to be here.
April 30, 2014 I had the opportunity to attend my first Gold and Treasure Expo to experience some of the newest gold prospecting equipment. I've been meaning to add a product and equipment review section for about a year and hope to get that started soon.
New images have been added to the Crystal Pass Prospect. We've finally been able to reach the lowest level. Technically, it's the same lowest level, but to reach it requires a little crawling. You have to go down a level, up and over, and down again.
April 23, 2014 New images of the Dawn Mine have been added to the Goodsprings, Nevada directory. This mine has been sealed and there isn't much to see from the exterior, but it's along the easiest route to the Ninety Nine Mine and worth a stop.
April 16, 2014 New images have been added to the Pilgrim Mine in the Goodsprings, Nevada directory. Usually, miners will follow an externally visible vein at the surface of a hill or mountain, but this mine was cut into the featureless valley floor. Finding this deposit must have taken a large amount of luck and instinct. Pilgrim Mine is deceptive from the surface because it doesn't look like much, but has incredible depth. To date, we've only explored three of the five lower levels.
April 9, 2014 New images have been added to the Root Mine in the Goodsprings, Nevada directory. Over the years, we've returned to Root Mine looking for access to lower levels, but have been largely unsuccessful until we were contacted by a man who worked there almost 60 years ago. With his guidance, we were finally able to reach the deepest levels of this mine.
April 2, 2014 New images of the Saint Louis Mine have been added to the Searchlight, Nevada directory. After putting it off for a couple years, we finally got around to exploring the depths of this mine. We located three ways down. All of which seemed to be independent of the others. After spending a morning popping in and out of this mine, we noticed a pattern.
This mine appeared to follow a vertical seam from one side of the mountain to the other. Again, none connected to the other, so it was easy to miss. Eyeballing a rough line into the distance, we were able to locate more of the same reddish ore they were following on and just below the surface. These would be deposits unearthed after mining discontinued at this location and after decades of weathering. Admittedly, I have no idea what we were seeing. It could be nothing, but it looked just like the stuff they were removing from within the mine.
March 26, 2014 The Taylor Mine has been added to the Ivanpah, California directory. Throughout this mine, we came across what we thought to be purple quartz, but found that it fluoresces under a ultraviolet light. We've since learned that it was fluorite which sometimes forms valuable crystals.
March 19, 2014 New images of the Oro Amigo Mine have been added to the Goodsprings, NV directory. Over a year ago, this mine was intentionally flooded making it unsafe for exploration. We were recently informed that it has since dried. After the long wait to explore this mines interior and lower levels, we were a bit disappointed, but we were glad to finally cross it off our return list.
March 12, 2014 The Lizzie Bullock Mine has been added to the Ivanpah, California directory. The first thing that caught our attention heading into this valley were the large Pinyon Pine trees. There were even a few as tall as 25 feet growing in tailing piles. This mining district is definitely greener than we're used to.
March 5, 2014 The Coliseum Mine
has been added to the Ivanpah, California directory. This is the first
open pit mine we've come across in a historic mining district.
Describing the size is difficult without something to compare in scale.
This was primarily a gold mine, but the gold was mostly chemically
locked. This mine is also within the Mojave National Preserve. Even if
you were to find something of value, it would be a crime to remove it.
February 26, 2014 The Ivanpah Mining District has been added to the VegasUnderworld directory. We've visited the area over the past few years, but never added it to the site. Over the next year, we'll be returning to Ivanpah to get updated pictures since much of the area has changed with the addition of the Ivanpah Solar Farm. We've noticed a lot of new mine closures, so if you see interior pictures of a mine on the site, the pictures may come from our image archives. We'll be sure to indicate that in the mine descriptions. For now, the Ivanpah directory will be sparce, but we'll add to it as we gather enough new content for updates.
The Umberci Mine has been added to the Ivanpah directory. We accidentally found this mine a few years ago while searching for passage to Sandy Valley from the East. The main portal has since been sealed, but it's still worth a visit. Unless you have a well built, high clearance vehicle with low range gears, it would be safest to park at the bottom and hike up the trail.
February 19, 2014 New images have been added to the Noonday Mine in the Tecopa, California directory. Tecopa is beautiful this time of year. Our intention was to explore the lowest levels of War Eagle Mine, but there were a few people there with surveying equipment. They appeared to be surveying the valley and not the mine, but it's proper etiquette to keep distance of others.
We ended up at Noonday Mine on the other side of the mountain. We've been to this mine a few times and thought we explored it well enough, but followed the thrust fault up for about 150 yards and found small chambers and ledges that appeared to be living quarters.
February 12, 2014 TheMorning Star Mine has been added to the Nelson, Nevada directory. This was another mine we found just by following trails. In almost all instances, follow a trail in a mining district and it'll lead to a mine. For safety reasons, we didn't explore the underground portions of this mine. It appeared to have depth, but didn't appear stable.
We didn't get a feeling that this was a large scale mining operation, but judging from all the hand stacked walls, a large amount of effort was put into it. I was unable to locate much information on this mine other than a name.
February 5, 2014 New images have been added to the Whale Mine gallery in the Goodsprings, Nevada directory. We returned to this mine hoping to find passage to lower levels, but it seems we've already found all areas safely accessible. The lowest level we found had standing water. It only appeared to be a few inches deep, but it could have easily concealed deeper hazards.
January 29, 2014 New images have been added to the St. Louis Mine gallery in the Searchlight, Nevada directory. We first visited this mine in early 2012, but stayed above ground because we were already tired from a long day of exploration. Seeing deeply mined crevices below, we knew we'd be back.
When we returned to explore the lower levels, we didn't find much of interest. Single level exploration would take you across unstable planks and rope anchor points to access the lower levels are questionable, so best to stay clear.
January 22, 2014 New images have been added to the Ironside Mine in the Goodsprings, Nevada directory. Getting to this mine was difficult. The main portal sits high on the mountain side and most of the trail has been washed away. At some points, our feet were along ledges and we had to lean against the rock face to keep from sliding down. It gets worse each time we visit. I think we can get a complete assessment of this mine with one more visit.
There aren't many features unique to this mine. It has tracks, chutes, ladders, and a hopper like many in the area, but there were some minerals within the lower rock faces unknown to us.
January 15, 2014 New images have been added to the Apex Mine gallery in the Tecopa, California directory. I've received a few angry emails about the naming of this mine. Not sure why some are getting angry with me about this. I didn't name the mine and can only relay Information that comes from public official records. If anyone can direct me to an official record which lists this as Gunsight, I will happily alter this sites information. Since so many refer to this mine as "Gunsight", I've amended the mine title to include an "AKA".
January 8, 2014 The Combination Mine has been added to the Goodsprings, Nevada directory. Because the Valentine, Accident, and Bullion Mines are in the same valley, this mine is easy to miss. Finding information on this mine was difficult because it was still listed as Monte Cristo Mine on most of our maps.
January 1, 2014 Happy New Year, everyone! I trust everyone had a pleasant Christmas and maybe got something you wanted. I haven't been feeling well lately, so my Christmas and New Year was spent mostly resting. It'll be a while before I'm feeling 100%, but I'm still in good spirits.
I know it seems like it every year, but this year seemed to go especially fast. As the year progresses, I'll begin dropping the oldest updates and adding them to the archives.
New images have been added to the Sultan Mine gallery in the Goodsprings, Nevada directory. This was one of the first large mines we found in the area years ago. We usually plan our excursions in great detail, so it's rare that a mine will just sneak up on us the way this one did. We were attempting to locate a uranium mine in the area, but were unaware that mine was on the other side of the mountain.
Throughout the Sultan Mine claim are rock rooms built into the ledges and gives an accurate account of the harsh work and living conditions miners endured.
The trails to these mines are unpaved and not maintained. Many
require technical driving skills and custom off road vehicle parts.
High clearance, four wheel drive vehicles with off road tires are
recommended and, in some cases, necessary.
Please, use the land safely and responsibly. Enjoy the pictures, but STAY OUT of the mines.In some instances, permission from the land or claim owner was obtained or contracted prior to entering a secured area. Some interior mine images were captured prior to safety barrier installation. Do not alter mine safety devices and/or barriers.
Mining sites are inherently dangerous, and historical mining sites can be very
hazardous to one's health and well being. You should not enter or approach a
mine without proper training or rock climbing safety equipment.
attempt is made to provide accurate information, but occasionally
depictions are inaccurate by error of mapping, navigation or
cataloging. Images presented are unedited with the exception of size for site speed and the occasional paranormal apparition I edit in to mess with the ghostbusters. The information on this site is
provided without any warranty, express or implied, and is for informational and
historical purposes only.
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