Next Field Trip!
New proposed dates for our next field trip are Saturday, February 28 and Saturday, March 28. The date could be one, the other, or even both. A location has not been confirmed. Feel free to add your opinions and suggestions. A thread has been started in the "meeting" section of the forum for that purpose.
January 22, 2015 New images have been added to the Billy Boy Mine gallery in the Ivanpah, California directory. Like most mines within the Mojave Preserve, this mine has been made safe with bat gates. There is no way to enter this mine, but there are still plenty of relics at the surface to enjoy. Now through the early spring is a great time to visit the Mojave Preserve. It's unbearable in the summer for people and vehicles.
January 15, 2015 Some of you may already know that there are times when the weekly updates do not match where we were that week. In most instances, what you see is where we were, but we often keep pictures in reserve in the event we can't get out for whatever reason.
A new section of Historic Pictures
has been added to the site. A navigation button has been added to the
directory to your left. Because these images are over 100 years old, the picture quality may not be consistent. Some images are blurry and lighting may be off which is common for the era, but I find the content to be far more interesting than anything we've presented here.
The idea for this section was to expand the
site as a resource, but also to help relieve some of the stress of
maintaining a weekly update. In the years since this site has been running, we have never missed a weekly update. It's sometimes difficult to keep up the pace.
January 8, 2015 New images have been added to theSolar Mine gallery in the Nelson, Nevada directory. This valley was heavily prospected, but did not appear to be in production. Since there are still a few active gold mines in the area it's possible and even likely there is more to be found. This is one of the areas we've collected samples for panning and have found some nice pyrite, most often known as "fools gold". The presence of fools gold should be encouraging when prospecting since gold is often found among pyrite.
January 1, 2015 Happy New Year, everyone! I hope everyone made it to 2015 safely. I know it's said every year, but this year sure went quickly. It doesn't seem too long ago I was complaining about the summer triple digits and here I am feeling that winter ache in my joints. I've already copied the 2014 updates to the archives. As we progress through this year, I'll remove what is left of 2014 from the front page as it is replaced with new accounts of 2015.
New images have been added to the Lucy Gray Mine gallery in the Nipton, California directory. Someone heard on a forum somewhere that someone intentionally set fire to the Lucy Gray Mine cabin recently. I am happy to report that those rumors are completely false. What is left gets picked through a little more each year, but it's still standing with plenty to see. Getting there is more difficult. Best to bring more than one vehicle when you visit.
December 25, 2014
No update today. Merry Christmas!
December 18, 2014
Thanks to all who attended this past Saturday's field trip to Goodsprings, Nevada. Participation was greater than expected and there were many more that wanted to join us, but for various reasons, were unable to attend. If there are enough interested, we'll probably host a smaller group sometime during the week for those with conflicting work schedules.
Because of the tour success, we're already thinking ahead for the next large group trip possibly in late February or early March. Currently, we are leaning towards a tour of South Ivanpah, CA. Most of the mines are sealed, but there are many pieces of equipment like earth movers and pumps in place and cabins still stocked with supplies. This tour would be less involved than the last tour, but far more scenic. If anyone has any tour suggestions, feel free to post it up in the forum or send an email.
TheEvening Star Minehas been added to the Ivanpah, California directory. This mine falls within the Mojave Preserve boundary and would be the highlight of the tour. The head frame is one of those things you have to see to fully grasp the size. I'm not entirely sure of what it was. The lower portion was, of course, an ore hopper to load measured amounts onto trucks. What had me confused is it appeared that they built a rock crusher into the head frame.
December 11, 2014 I keep forgetting to announce the opening of our site forum. Some of you have already noticed the link to it in the navigation bar on the left. Meet some good people and join in the conversations. Signing up is easy and free.
Final announcement about the field trip this coming weekend. If you'd like to join us, but have not yet confirmed, please do so now. Trail space is limited, so the meeting time and place will not be announced openly.
New images have been added to the Columbia Mine gallery in the Goodsprings, Nevada directory. We were recently asked about a wooden door inside Columbia Mine. We've been inside and at all levels of Columbia Mine and didn't remember seeing a wooden door. Thinking we may have missed something good, we returned and found the wooden "door" which actually wasn't a door. It was more of a cover, but since we could walk around and see the other side, it didn't seem to serve any purpose.
December 4, 2014 No mine update today. I was recently made aware of possible amendments to the Resource Management Plan (RMP) by the BLM that may restrict our use of public lands and wanted to devote this weeks update to this important issue.
There are several options being considered from no change to the existing RMP, to restrictions and closures of over a million acres of local public lands. We can all agree that changes will be made and there will be further land use restrictions. The best we can hope for is the option with the least amount of affected acres.
There were public meetings held, but schedules were announced on short notice. Many were just recently made aware of any proposed changes. Please, review the proposed changes in the link(s) above and submit your comments to the BLM to be heard.
Please, share the links and information with friends and social media. This issue deserves far more attention than it has been given.
November 27, 2014 Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! Hope you're all having a nice day and spending it with good company.
New images have been added to the Dupont Mine gallery in the Searchlight, Nevada directory. We originally misidentified parts of this as the Rockefeller Mine because Dupont Mine had several working claims spanning acres and several hills and valleys. We've removed the previous Rockefeller Mine entry and consolidated its images into the correct Dupont Mine gallery.
November 20, 2014 Our field trip date is quickly approaching. While this is an open invitation, space is limited, so please contact me to reserve. Send me an email with how many vehicles and the number of people you will be bringing.
New images have been added to the Carnation Mine gallery in the Nelson, Nevada directory. There appears to be a crypt within an upper adit of this mine. I've heard it was the body of a miner lost in the 1974 Nelson Landing flash flood. When rains are heavy, it is said that muddy footsteps of his ghost can be heard walking aimlessly through the mine. I made that last part up. While that story would be better if it were true, there is a more explainable, scientific reason for the concrete slab.
November 13, 2014 New images have been added to the War Eagle Mine gallery in the Tecopa, California directory. The size of this mine is difficult to grasp. I've seen some sites and forum posts estimate the inner workings of this mine to span 6-8 miles.
The hike from the main portal to the next feature feels longer, but I'd estimate actual distance to be around a third of a mile. There is often a long span between features adding to the illusion. Realistically, I would estimate War Eagle Mine to contain 2 to 2.5 miles of internal workings.
Mine west of Johannesburg, South Africa is the deepest mine at 2.4
miles deep. Even with its drift levels, the inner workings of TauTona fall short of the War Eagle's rumored and exaggerated 6-8 miles. War Eagle is huge, but not that huge.
November 6, 2014 Did anyone else spot the ghost miner I added to last weeks Halloween update? I received a few emails from those who found it. I tried to make it obvious enough that it was fake, but one actually felt it was real. Since that seems to be a common question, I'll answer it for all. No, I have never experienced anything in or around a mine that could not be explained. I've heard noises that I couldn't source, but that doesn't equal paranormal.
New images have been added to the Christmas Mine in the Goodsprings, Nevada directory. Since it is so far from pavement, the area has remained untouched and scenic. Wildlife here is abundant. Plenty of coyote, rabbit, snakes, and road runners. We've even seen mule deer nearby. There has to be an available water source, but we have yet to find it.
October 30, 2014 Happy Halloween!
New images have been added to the Tiffin Mine in the Goodsprings, Nevada directory. We've explored most of the Tiffin and Singer Mines from top to bottom. Most of the ways down to lower levels have ladders in good condition, but there was a winze with just the remains of a broken hemp rope that was added to our return list. The wood support at the top seemed sturdy enough, but we wanted to return and set proper anchors in rock for our ropes.
A few people have asked why we never use safety ropes. When rope is needed, I usually mention it in the description details. If we head down a mine, we always have a plan to get back up. Even if there are ladders in place, we always use safety ropes. You just never see them because we try our best to present the scenes as naturally as possible. The same reason you never see us in pictures posing in and around mines like they're someones vacation photos. So, for those who were wondering, you won't see it, but we always practice and encourage safe exploration.
October 23, 2014 If
you or someone you know is missing a metal detector, please contact me
with the make, model, and other specific identifiers. It's a really nice one I'm sure the owner would want returned.
New images have been added to the Dawn Mine in the Goodsprings, Nevada directory. This is where it all began for us here. Our very first local mine. The trail leading up to this mine has deteriorated over the years as have most of the trails around here. After a long uncomfortable ride up to this mine, you'll find the final approach is blocked with large boulders. If you still want to hike up to the mine, you'll find it's locked with bat gates. We've finally explored this mine top to bottom. Save yourself the effort and just enjoy the pictures.
October 16, 2014 With the weather cooling off nicely, we'll be increasingly more active and hopefully reach areas we've been holding off until winter. Already, we've been out at various mines drilling and setting anchor bolts to secure rope. It takes a lot of effort to set bolts in hard rock, so we usually set the bolts and return to use them at a later date when we're well rested. After a day of setting bolts, I'm exhausted, but I actually lose sleep thinking about what was just out of reach.
New images have been added to the Noonday Mine gallery in the Tecopa, California directory. This is another one of those mines we keep returning to year after year because there's always something new to see. The nearby War Eagle Mine is more well known, but of the two, Noonday Mine is my favored. War Eagle is much larger and is unique with its double rail incline shaft, but there are some very long hikes between features. I found myself getting tired and bored before we came across the next interesting feature. Noonday Mine held my attention longer.
October 9, 2014 New images have been added to the Saint Louis Mine in the Searchlight, Nevada directory. Over the past few years, we've seen what we thought to be signs of this mine reopening. This is our third visit to this mine this year hoping to see progress. We're still not sure what is happening at this mine and we have new information that only adds to the confusion.
October 2, 2014 New images have been added to the Sultan Mine gallery in the Goodsprings, Nevada directory. This is one of the mines we visit often because it's always changing and there's always a feature we missed. We've parked nearly on top of it many times, but just came across what was likely their kitchen. Recent rains have drastically changed the approach. Parking on the main portal level is no longer possible. The hike up to the mine is longer, but worth the effort.
September 25, 2014 The Allured Mine has been
added to the Ivanpah, California directory. While making our way up to the
mine, we kept hearing a chorus of loud chirping. As we got closer to the mine,
it became louder, but more difficult to locate the source because it sounded
like it came from all directions. Just as we entered the mine portal,
everything became still and quiet. After a minute of searching, we found these
guys just above our heads. Cute little guys. I have no idea what kind of birds
they'll grow up to be.
I have yet another continuation of the previous communications
discussion. It seems that a few regular visitors of this site have purchased
their own GMRS (General Mobile Radio Service) band radios at my suggestion.
Again, not the cheap half watt radios you can buy off the big box store shelves,
but the high power commercial quality radios.
I was in the mountains
south of St. Rose (Just south of Sloan) and was having a conversation with
regular site visitor, Dave, on Rocky Gap Road inside Red Rock Canyon. Granted,
he was at greater elevation, but his radio was only transmitting 25 watts and that was easily over 25 miles away without the use of a repeater. Until I got behind a mountain, we
were hearing each other clearly.
Dave purchased his radio used from Ebay
for $80. Many businesses are switching to digital radios. Their old business
communications radios can be reprogrammed for GMRS frequencies which is what
Dave did. Currently, there are 4 of us from the site using GMRS radios. A few
more have said they are currently searching for GMRS radios, so more will be
joining us shortly. It's entertaining to drive and have a conversation with
others. Not only entertaining, it's safer.
If you'd like to join in
these live conversations, you'll need a GMRS radio. I've seen them on Ebay as
low as $40 and up to several hundred. The average seems to be around $100.
Search Ebay for "GMRS mobile radio" and look for one capable or sending and
receiving in the
462-467 MHz spectrum range and as close to 50 watt UHF as you can find and
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.
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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