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The most complete guide to Southern Nevada's mining history.
Pilgrim Mine is located South of Las Vegas, Nevada. Nearest towns are Jean, Nevada, Goodsprings, Nevada and Sandy Valley, Nevada. Primary mining in the area included: copper, lead, silver, gold and zinc.
We passed this mine many times because it seemed featureless from the surface. There were a few open collar shafts and a good sized tailing pile, but the mine was dug into the valley floor. Not even into a hillside. It didn't make sense that they would give the time and effort to dig into a valley floor, so we kept delaying this mine until the more obvious larger mines in the area were crossed off our lists.
Entry is by way of a pair of collar shafts. One was just a 50 foot shaft. At the bottom, there were just a couple slight left turns and nothing else. The larger of the two began with a good sized drop that appeared to go nowhere. We've since determined that the drop was built as a sump which is a continuation of a vertical shaft to collect rain or ground water. Getting to the incline shaft across from the sump required free climbing over a 15-20 foot drop before we could secure rope. There is a 2x4 board that spans across the sump, but the board was exposed to weather, aged, and is not safe to support any amount of weight.
Beyond the sump was a deep incline shaft. Our first visit, we were able to explore two lower levels before we ran out of rope. Even though it was an incline shaft and we could have continued without rope, we felt we took enough risks and decided to return with more equipment. We returned a second time with more rope and again ran out of rope before reaching the bottom. I considered continuing without rope just because of all the effort already put into this mine, but my wife talked me out of it.
On our third trip and using our longest ropes, we were finally able to reach the lowest of three levels. What we found at the lowest levels was of little interest and a huge disappointment. Just a few small stopes and one large stope with lots of weak shoring.
We have since located a map of the mine that detailed the four lower levels. The map indicated the largest level was the third which wasn't even that large. Level two appeared to be small and likely exploratory. The largest of the stopes was at the 120 foot 4th level.
Entry and exit into this mine should be considered unsafe. Anything to see of interest is in the gallery below. Do not attempt without proper equipment and training.
Pilgrim Mine. Goodsprings, Nevada.
USGS Full Report
Primary Mining: Zinc
Secondary Mining: Copper, Silver, Lead