Sunday

Trips to Goodsprings

EFP-P1000743Over the past few weeks, Harvey and I have made two trips to Goodsprings; one to explore some of the old mines in the hills behind the town and another to the top of Mount Potosi. In the past, because most of the mines we have explored have been off of Sandy Valley Road, we decided to look around some of the mines closer to the town of Goodsprings that were more responsible for its initial development as a town. As I began putting the pictures together from these visits, I ended up creating four separate pages in order to provide more information and history; one on the town of Goodsprings itself, one on the Pioneer Saloon, one on the Goodsprings Mining District, and one on our ride up to the top of Mount Potosi. I just know you’re going to love the pictures from Mount Potosi. Though there are links to each of these pages within the one page on Goodsprings, I have provided a link to each individual page below.

Town of Goodsprings Nevada: Goodsprings
The Pioneer Saloon: Pioneer Saloon
Yellow Pine Mines: Yellow Pine Mines
Mount Potosi: Mount Potosi

Thursday

The Yellow Pine Mines - Goodsprings/Yellow Pine District

            {Click on an image to enlarge, then use the back button to return to this page}
EFP-P1030034-P1030035
(Fig. 01)
MAP-Goodsprings
(Fig. 02)
Directions: To reach the town of Goodsprings from Las Vegas, travel 27 miles southward on I-15 to the Jean-Goodsprings exit, then turn west on Nevada Highway 161 for seven miles. To reach the area of the mines, follow West Spring Street through town and turn right (north) onto Esmeralda Street. When it ends three blocks later, turn left (west) onto Pacific Ave. This turns into Wilson Pass Road and then Kingston Road (#53). After about a mile and a half, take the first left heading west onto an unmarked dirt road (Fig. 02).

                
Goodsprings Mining District: With the discovery of gold in 1882, the Goodsprings Mining District was officially established. Because the district included the mines in and around Mount Potosi, including the Potosi Mine that was begun in 1856, the date of its establishment often is listed as 1856. In 1901, the Yellow Pine Mining Company was formed, which consolidated ownership of most of the area mines and built a mill in Goodsprings. Because of this large consolidation, this general area was often referred to as the Yellow Pine Mining District, however, it was just a area within the Goodsprings Mining District. For more information on the Goodsprings Mining District, click the following link ... Goodsprings Mining District.


02/15/2016 Hiking Notes:  Today Harvey Smith, Bob Croke, Blake Smith and myself visited two more mines in the Goodsprings/Yellow Pine Mining District, located off Reimann Road due west of the town of Goodsprings. Here on the links to the pages for these two mines. The first mine we visited was the ... Iron Gold Mine - Goodsprings/Yellow Pine Mining District. The second mine was the Lavna Mine. (refer to the map in (Fig. 02).


08/16/2013 Hiking Notes: Shortly after reaching the northwest corner of town, Harvey and I unloaded the Rhino and headed out in search of “gold”. During the course of the day we drove and or hiked to the remains of no less than five major mines and dozens of smaller shafts, adits and prospects including the Green Copper, Middlesex, Prairie Flower, Yellow Pine and Alice mines. Below, I have provided a map (Fig. 03), and pictures and general descriptions for each of these mines. NOTE: The area shown by the map in (Fig. 03) below is but a small portion of the Goodsprings Mining District.

MAP-Yellow Pine Mining District-2
(Fig. 03)
The Green Copper Mine (Fig. 04): The principal exploration of this mine was a tunnel about 125 feet long. There is also a winze inclined 52 degrees and 35 feet deep. The mine only produced two carloads, or about 75 tons of copper ore. As was the case in many of the mines that we encountered, there were what appeared to be failed attempts to “seal off” the entrances. Even though we take entering any mine very seriously, and are always very careful, we do like to pierce the entrance far enough to obtain a few picture (Figs. 05 & 06) that capture a “feel” for the mine.  
                      
EFP-P1030073
(Fig. 04)
EFP-P1030022
(Fig. 05)
EFP-P1030023
(Fig. 06)

The Middlesex Mine (Fig. 07): This mine lies at the south end of the small valley locally known as Horseshoe Gulch, half a mile southeast of the Yellow Pine mine and 3 miles northwest of Goodsprings, in the Goodsprings Mining District, in Clark County. The mine was located in 1901. There are two tunnels, an upper 100 feet long, and a lower about 400 feet long. The production of this mine is unknown. The view in (Fig. 01) was taken from the Middlesex Mine, looking north back down the access road. I believe (Figs. 08 & 09) are from the mine and tailings pile on the right in (Fig. 07). (Figs. 10 & 13) are from the mine at the end of the road.
                    
EFP-P1030032
(Fig. 07)
EFP-P1030040
(Fig. 08
EFP-P1030049
(Fig. 09)
EFP-P1030069
(Fig. 10)
EFP-P1030068
(Fig. 11)
EFP-P1030081
(Fig. 12)
EFP-P1060594
(Fig. 13)

The Prairie Flower Mine (Fig. 14): About 4 miles northwest of Goodsprings and half a mile northeast of the Yellow Pine mine, this mine is actually physically connected to the Yellow Pine mine seen in the distance near the right side of (Fig. 14). The mine was located in 1901, but little work was done before 1908, when, with the Solio claim, it was sold to S.E. Yount and W.E. Allen for $6,000. They began work and, after striking lead ore within a few weeks, sold it to Jesse Knight and Alonzo D. Hyde for $12,000. The Prairie Flower Mining Company was formed, and the ore body was explored to a depth of 110 feet from the old shaft. During 1909 and 1910 the company produced 10 carloads of high grade lead ore and about 30 carloads of oxidized zinc ore, 1,314 tons in all. From September, 1911, to 1913 it was leased to G. Meacham R. Duncan, and J.A. Frederickson, who sank the shaft to 300 feet, and mined 203 tons of lead and zinc ore. In 1917, under lease to the Prairie Flower Leasing Co., the new or Hale shaft, several hundred feet south of the old shaft, was sunk to 200 feet and drifts run north and south. In 1923, the shaft was sunk to 400 feet, and crosscuts were run from east and west. Early in 1927, the 400-foot level east was connected by a raise with the old Prairie Flower shaft. Sometime after this, the mine ownership transferred to the Yellow Pine Mining Company. (Hale Shaft). My guess is that there was a large mine frame over the opening of this deep shaft. Looking due south from this shaft (Fig. 15), you can see two concrete footings that may have held the machinery that operated the cables that lowered and raised the mines ore carts.
                
EFP-P1030133
(Fig. 14)
EFP-P1030132
(Fig. 15)

The Yellow Pine Mine (Fig. 16): The Yellow Pine Mining Company owned a group of 12 mining claims that cover most of the ravine locally known as Porphyry Gulch, 4 miles west of Goodsprings, in the Goodsprings Mining District of Clark County. In 1901, the Yellow Pine Mining Company was formed, which consolidated ownership of most of the area mines and built a mill in Goodsprings. The first ore shipped from the claim, 18 tons of oxidized copper ore, was obtained in 1906 from a shallow shaft 500 feet south of the Hale shaft (Prairie Flower mine), but no connection of this body with those of zinc carbonate that have made the mine famous has ever been established. Faint veinlets of brown jasper in the dolomitized limestone were the only evidence of ore near the shaft that yielded the copper ore; similar veinlets also crop out near the old shaft that encountered the first bodies of zinc ore in the mine. Small bodies of mixed lead and zinc ore were found in 1907 in the old shaft 200 feet east of the Hale shaft (Prairie Flower mine), but the first large body of zinc ore was struck in this shaft at 110 feet. This body was followed southwest and led to the successive exploration of the deeper bodies farther southwest and in 1912 to the sinking of the Hale shaft (Prairie Flower mine), from which all the ore bodies in the southern part of the mine to the ninth level were mined. In 1916, when conditions in the southern part of the mine were discouraging, exploratory work from the vertical shaft in the northern part of the third level encountered the ore body in the 350-foot stope, and from that time the development has been progressively northward. Early in 1922 most of the ore known south of the porphyry dike on the 900-foot level had been mined, when a raise from the 900-foot level north of the dike struck two large bodies of ore. The company then sank a new shaft in 1924. The interval 1911-28 is when the mine was most productive.
            
With decline in price of metals, the Yellow Pine Mining Co. ceased operations in 1931 and the mine lay idle for 2 years. The U. S. Smelting, Refining, and Mining Exploration Co. took lease and option from the Yellow Pine Co. in 1934, resuming operations that have continued intermittently until the present, though under different managements. In 1936 the lease passed to C. K. Barns, and in February 1939, the property was taken under lease and option by Harold Jarman. From May until December, 1942, Basil Prescott held the property under lease from Jarman. From September, 1942, to January, 1943, 64 core-drill holes having a total length of 5,161 feet were drilled by the U. S. Bureau of Mines. In December, 1942, the lease and option passed to the Coronado Copper and Zinc Co., which continued operations until the spring of 1949. In 1944, the Bureau of Mines Carried out a Second exploration project, drilling 35 core-drill holes with a total length of 5,113 feet. In spite of recent extensive exploration based on repeated examinations by geologists and engineers, the production at the Yellow Pine has not maintained the level reached during early years of mining, and no large ore bodies have been discovered since 1922. Though we are not exactly sure where the entrance to this mine was, based upon the head frame in the photograph in (Fig. 18), and a deep opening we observed in the southeast corner of the concrete foundation in (Fig. 17), it may have been somewhere beneath this concrete base foundation. As you can see from the photograph, this was once a very large and extensive operation.
              
8-22-2013 7-45-38 AM-2
(Fig. 16)
EFP-P1030089
(Fig. 17)
YellowPineMine-Old2
(Fig. 18)

The Yellow Pine Extension Mine (Fig. 19): Also known as the Green Mountain or Alice Mine, from the names of two of the claims, lies half a mile south of the Yellow Pine mine near the top of the hill at the south end of the ravine. The Alice mine was first located in 1892, but full scale production didn't start until 1909. Most of the ore has come from a shaft about 680 feet deep having an average incline just over 21 degrees. The collar of the shaft lies at the end of a tunnel 165 feet long. The depth attained is 230 feet vertically below the tunnel, but it is only 160 feet below the ravine west of the mine. No info is available about the Alice No. 2 shaft. Two other exploratory inclined shafts have been sunk 700, and 1,200 feet north of the main tunnel. These are 200 and 160 feet deep, respectively. Total production was around, 3,000 tons of mostly zinc ore. Some lead and copper ore had also been produced. Gross value of the output is estimated at $100,000. Today, you can still see the remains of the long ore chute (Figs. 19 & 20) that was used to load ore wagons that would then transport the ore to the processing plant in Goodsprings. As you can see from the pictures in (Figs. 21 & 22), the shafts and tunnels of this mine are so extensive (long & deep), and dangerous, that serious steel barriers have been erected to prevent entry.
             
EFP-P1030126
(Fig. 19)
EFP-P1030106
(Fig. 20)
EFP-P1060626
(Fig. 21)
EFP-P1030109
(Fig. 22)


     Glossary of Mining Terms       

Black-tailed Jackrabbit (Lepus californicus)

{Click on the image to view full size, then use the back button on your browser to return to this page}
Rabbit Diptych
(Fig. 01)
Picture Notes: On 08/16/2013, my friend Harvey Smith and I came upon these black-tailed jackrabbits (Fig. 01), commonly known as the American desert hare, early in the morning as we were headed out into the desert on the outskirts of Goodsprings, Nevada in search of some old abandoned mines. Though I was only able to capture two pictures, we actually observed four or five of these speedy little creatures scrambling along the side of the road in front of us. With ears nearly as long as their hind feet, tipped with a distinctive black patch, combined with a tail that is topped with a black stripe that extends onto its rump, these abundant mammals are quite common in desert areas throughout Nevada and the rest of the western United States. Other than a few birds, a couple of desert chipmunks and the occasional lizard, they were the largest signs of wildlife we spotted all day.

Pioneer Saloon; Synonymous with the Town of Goodsprings, NV

 {Click on an image to enlarge, then use the back button to return to this page}
This page last updated on 04/13/2017

EFP-P1000707
Image Title Bar 16 Pioneer Saloon
                        
Directions: To reach the town of Goodsprings from Las Vegas, travel 27 miles southward on I-15 to the Jean-Goodsprings exit, then turn west on Nevada Highway 161 for seven miles. Shortly after Hwy 161 turns into West Spring Street, you will find the Pioneer Saloon as the first building on the right.


10/22/2016 Trip Notes: Whenever anywhere near this place I always make it a point to stop by for a beer and lunch. Jim had a hamburger and I had a 'huge' order of Nachos. Today they even had live entertainment (Fig. C). As you can see from some of the vehicles parked out front (Fig. A), this place always attracts a wide variety of patrons. It appeared to be the local point of a 'biker' rally. In addition to the bar inside (Fig. B), there were nearly 100 people eating and drinking at the four outside bars an seating areas.
                                 
(Fig. A)
(Fig. B)
(Fig. C)


EFP-P103058308/16/2013 & 08/20/2013 Trip Notes: I have been here twice in the past month. Over the past three years I have been to this world famous saloon on no less than seven occasions, some as watering stops after hiking mines along Sandy Valley Road, some as destination stops, such as this year’s annual Chili Cook-off held in the BBQ area behind the saloon. [The Pioneer Saloon's 4th Annual Chili Cook-off ] On these last two visits, Harvey Smith and I stopped here for a little liquid refreshment after exploring some nearby mines [Goodsprings (Yellow Pine) Mining District] and a trip to the top of Mount Potosi. It seems that every time I visit this historic place, I learn a little more about its long history.


11/27/2012 Trip Notes:  After hiking some mines along Sandy Valley road, Harvey Smith and I drove around town and then stopped here for a beer and lunch in the Ghost Town Café (Fig. 02). The “fix-it-yourself” hamburger bar has at least 10 items on it and the 1/2-lb certified Angus COWBOY BURGER was very good. Would definitely eat here again.
  


EFP-P1030574
(Fig. 02)



                      
History of the Pioneer Saloon: Back in the early 1900’s, Goodsprings, Nevada became a booming Mining town after the in the early 1900s after the formation of the Yellow Pine Mining Company which consolidated ownership of most of the area mines and built a mill in Goodsprings. EFP-P1030585Around this time Samuel Yount established what was known as the General Mercantile store, which was later purchased by Clark County commissioner and prominent business man, George Fayle. Next, it is said that Fayle built the Goodsprings Café (now known as the Ghost Town Café), where he lived for a time while he built the Pioneer Saloon in 1913. In 1916 he then built the Fayle Hotel. Over the years, both the General Mercantile and Fayle Hotel were destroyed by fire, leaving the Pioneer Saloon as the only survivor. This now 100-year old historical landmark is thought to be the last of its kind in the U.S. The interior and exterior walls are of stamped tin that was manufactured by Sears and Roebuck. Its legendary bar, installed in 1913, was manufactured by the Brunswick Company in Maine in the 1860's and still has the original brass foot rail installed when the bar was built. While drinking and conversing at the ornate cherry wood bar (Fig. 03), you will find yourself surrounded by original poker tables, a vintage potbelly stove (Fig. 04) and a stylish fishnet-stocking leg lamp (Fig. 05). Even though many movies have been filmed here, the genuine stories of the Pioneer Saloon continue on from the echoes of the past.
           
EFP-IMG_2872
(Fig. 03)

EFP-IMG_2876
(Fig. 04)
EFP-P1000687
(Fig. 05)

To truly understand just how historic the saloon is, you actually have to go all the way back to the 1860s. At about the time Nevada was admitted to the union (1864), there was a mahogany bar built in Brunswick, Maine. You probably recognize the Brunswick name if you’re a fan of billiards. This bar journeyed by sea from the East Coast, around Cape Horn (before the Panama Canal existed), to San Francisco. From there, it traveled via ox-wagon to Rhyolite, a Nevada mining town that went bust nearly as soon as it boomed in the early 1900s. It was put it back on a wagon and brought down to Goodsprings, and has been sitting here ever since. Now that’s history.

EFP-P1030144
(Fig. 06)
One of the many of the stories that can be heard is about the famous gunfight that took place over a poker game inside the saloon on July 3rd, 1915. During a poker game, a man named Paul Coski was caught cheating and during a scuffle between him and another man named Joe Armstrong, Mr. Coski was shot several times and killed. “Those were the rules of the West: You don’t steal horses, and you don’t cheat at cards,” as Tom, son of the owner and current bartender says. The bullet holes are still in one of the pressed tin walls of the Pioneer Saloon Fig. 06). The full story typed out by W. H. Harkins , is found hanging on the wall above the bullet holes. Mr. Harkins was a coroner working at the Justice Of The Peace office in Las Vegas and the story on the wall was actually the telegram sent over to Paul Coski's brother Davis Coski. A copy of the coroners report is available in the online store or at the Goodsprings General Store located next to the Pioneer Saloon.

EFP-P1000696
(Fig. 07)

As far as lore goes, the saloon is more widely known for its remembrance of the famous actress Carole Lombard (Fig. 07). Lombard, was selling war bonds at the time. During a cross-country flight gone wrong, Lombard, her mother, and several military personnel died in a tragic plane crash on nearby Mount Potosi on January 16, 1942. Today, the billiards room behind the bar pays tribute to the memory of Carole Lombard. On its walls you'll find numerous newspaper clippings detailing the saloon's long history (Fig. 08). In a melancholy mood, many detail the crash of the DC-3 that killed her. Because the search party started at the saloon, her equally-if-not-more famous husband of less than two years, Clark Gable, spent three heart-wrenching days days at the corner of the bar drowning out the wait for the search party to come down with the terrible news on her unlucky fate. You can read this tragic story on an original newspaper and see a piece of the actual wreckage.
EFP-IMG_2871
(Fig. 08)

On May 13, 1916, the Fayle Hotel (Fig. 09), built at a cost of more than $27,000, opened to great fanfare. It was two stories in height and 41 x 120 feet in size. The woodwork throughout was slash grained Oregon fir. Both stories were surrounded on 3 sides by 8' wide verandahs. The furnishings were selected from Barker Bros. store in Los Angeles at a cost of $5,000. Featuring all the modern conveniences: electric lights, hot and cold water, full bath areas and even speaking tubes connecting upstairs rooms to the desk clerk, the hotel was billed as the finest in all of Nevada. Being right next door to the Goodsprings Saloon, the hotel that not only served as a comfortable rest place for the many prospectors and miners who came to drink and blow off steam, it also served as a popular place where street girls would frequent and provide services to the bars clients. Sadly, Hotel Fayle burned down in 1966, ending a prosperous 53 year relationship between these two establishments.
                  
Fayle Hotel
(Fig. 09)
Shortly after the hotel burned down, Don Hedrick Sr. ran the Pioneer Saloon “starting in the wild and woolly 1960s,” for the better part of three decades. Rumored to be a prominent member of the Hells Angels, Hedrick was notorious for his rough-and-gruff demeanor, but was well respected among townspeople for keeping order. His son took over the Pioneer in the 1990s and cared for it to the best of his ability through the mid-2000s. Comfortable with the idea of passing it onto another family, the owners sold the saloon to Noel Sheckells in December 2006. Shortly thereafter Noel reopened the general store. In 2007, the Pioneer Saloon was added to the State Register of Historic Places. It was an exciting milestone for the unincorporated town of 200, and the Sheckells family has made it a priority that its history be celebrated, not forgotten.

                      
In the early part of 2013, the "Ghost Adventures" crew (Zak, Nick and Aaron) from the Travel Channel journeyed here to investigate a series of ghost stories associated with the Pioneer Saloon, including the 1942 death of Carole Lumbard. One of these stories is even tied to a hidden underground mine shaft (Figs. 10, 11, & 12) that runs directly beneath the saloon.
                  
EFP-P1030427
(Fig. 10)
EFP-P1030428
(Fig. 11)
EFP-P1030429
(Fig. 12)

Another great story is that for 100 years, customers have been traditionally throwing change over the top of the historic bar. A lot of the change would land on the top, but  because there is a couple-inch gap between the back bar and the wall, many coins that went down there where no one had ever touched them. Once this was discovered, all kinds of coins, many dating to the late 1800s were discovered.
                        
In summary, these are but a few of the many tales you can hear when pulling a stool up to the bar. Combined with bullet holes in the wall, the period pot bellied stove, the old poker tables, and the paper clippings that help to reveal the saloon’s long history, you will become immersed in the exciting era of the old Wild West whenever you visit this historic watering hole.

Chukar Partridge (Alectoris graeca)

{REMEMBER - Click on any image to view full size, then use the back button on your browser to return to this page}
EFP-P1030199
(Fig. 01)
Picture Notes: On 08/20/2013 Harvey and I came upon a covey of Chukar Partridge high up (at about 7,350 feet) in the Potosi Mountain Range behind Goodsprings, Nevada. Though the picture in (Fig.01) only shows four of them, I think I counted 10 in the covey. Unfortunately, the noise of our vehicle sent them running up and off the road in various directions (Figs 03 & 04). Though I sometimes often seen quail on our hikes, this is the first time I have ever encountered these fellas.
                 
EFP-P1030190
(Fig. 02)
Introduction and Habitat: Chukar Partridge (Alectoris graeca), is a subspecies of the red-legged rock partridge found over much of southern Eurasia. The Chukar was first introduced in Nevada in 1935 when the Nevada Fish and Game Commission released a total of 289 birds in nine counties. Through 1954, more than 6,000 Chukars were released in Nevada, and the birds inhabited 14 of the state’s 17 counties. From 1955-66, another 7,256 birds were released. A total of 13,655 Chukars have now been released in Nevada and they are established in all 17 counties. Currently, the state’s Chukar population is estimated at more than 500,000, making the state of Nevada its most successful establishment in the entire U.S. Nevada averages more than 12,000 Cukar hunters a year and during hunting season, hunters are now allowed to bag up to six per day. The Chukar Partridge has found its niche in this rugged Great Basin terrain, living from the valley floor below sea level in Death Valley National Park to as high as 12,000 feet in the White Mountains of Nevada and California. In Nevada, they generally occupy elevations between 4,000 and 9,000 feet.
                  
Recent population study’s have revealed that the mountainous regions of the south western portion of Nevada have become a prime location for the Chukar Partridge. With grassy, steep hills rimmed with rocky outcroppings and studded with junipers and sagebrush, the Chukar has established itself here in what is obviously ideal habitat. Chukars like to be up high. Generally, if the terrain is nasty and gnarly, you will probably find Chukar. In Nevada,Chukars have been found roosting on the ground beneath sagebrush, under juniper trees, in the shelter of rock outcrops and in open rocky areas. They do not seek dense cover for roosting.
                 
Due to the dry Mojave Desert like areas of southern Nevada the scarcity of water and food sources greatly affect Chukar migrations. Though they like the higher areas, because the desert is so desolate, you can sometimes find them in the more vegetation prone ravines that are fed water from the higher ridges. Even in higher elevations where there are plenty of rocks on the south and west facing slopes, the vegetation is sparse and sources of water few and far between. You will usually have better luck finding them on the north and, to a lesser degree, east facing slopes that hold more water and vegetation. Because burns are prevalent over many of Nevada’s forests and range lands, they contribute toward creating good Chukar habitat. After a burn, the remaining area usually sees a heavy growth of cheatgrass. Their daily migrations are motivated by basic needs: food, water and shelter. Chukar begin foraging for food in the morning and continue on and off throughout the day.
                    
EP-P1030189
(Fig. 03)
EP-P1030192
(Fig. 04)
Description: The sexes of the Chukar are very much alike. Forehead and lines through the eye, down the neck and meeting as a gorget between the throat and upper breast, black; next the forehead pure grey, this color running back as an indistinct supercilium, often albescent posteriorly; crown vinous red changing to ashy on hind neck and again to vinous red on back and scapulars, and then once more to ashy on lower back, rump and upper tail coverts; ear-coverts are a dull chestnut; middle tail feathers ashy drab, outer feathers the same but pale chestnut on the terminal half; outer scapulars with pure pale grey centers; smaller and median coverts and innermost secondary's like the back; outer wing-coverts ashy; primaries and secondary's brown with a yellowish buff patch on the center of the outer webs; point of chin and below gape black; lores, cheeks, chin and throat white-tinged with buff to a varying extent; below the black gorget the breast is ashy-tinged more or less with brown and vinous at the sides, the lower breast being generally a pure French grey; abdomen, vent, thighs and lower tail coverts chestnut-buff or buff; feathers of the flanks grey at the base, with two black bars divided by pale buff and with chestnut tips. As you can see from (Fig. 02) the lines, feathers and colors of the bird are quite intricate.
         
This bird varies most extraordinarily in size, though males are bigger than the females, the extremes of size seem to be much the same in both sexes. The wing runs from 5.7 to 8 inches; with a tail approximately 3-4 inches. Males weigh between 19 to 27 ozs.; females 13 to 19 ozs.
           
Known predators of the Chukar Partridge in Nevada are the coyote, bobcat, great horned owl, prairie falcon, harp-shinned hawk, Cooper’s hawk, red-tailed hawk ad golden eagle. However, when the birds are in a healthy condition it is felt that predation is minimal. The Chukar is a very alert bird and, being a sentinal bird, usually sounds the alarm well ahead of the predator.

Daytrip – Mount Potosi

          {Click on an image to enlarge, then use the back button to return to this page}
EFP-P1030285
Image Title Bar 17 Mount Potosi
                   
MAP- Goodsprings & Mt Potosi
(Fig. 02)
Directions: To reach the town of Goodsprings from Las Vegas, travel 27 miles southward on I-15 to the Jean-Goodsprings exit, then turn west on Nevada Highway 161 for seven miles. To reach the road that leads to the top of Mount Potosi, follow West Spring Street to Fayle Street and head north. Follow this for about 3/4 of a mile until it intersects with the Goodsprings Bypass. Follow the Goodsprings Bypass road northwest for about 5.5 miles until it splits (Fig. 02). Turn left onto the dirt road and begin the 5 mile trek up Mount Potosi Road.

Potosi Mountain, a.k.a. Mount Potosi is a notable peak located about 30 miles southwest of Las Vegas in the Spring Mountains, in Clark County of southern Nevada. Home to 7 full power FM broadcasting stations that transmit from the top, it is best known as the site of the TWA Flight 3 air crash that killed 22 passengers, most notably the actress Carole Lombard, on January 16, 1942. At 8,515 feet it is one of the larger peaks in the Spring Mountain Range that boarders the Las Vegas metro area on the west.
            
The site of the crash site is kept secret by the Forest Service, although dedicated (and sometimes lucky) searchers have been able to find the site, at which some remains of the plane can be found. At the time, most of the plane was salvaged for its metals, so no big pieces remain.
           
Potosi Mountain is also well-known to tower builders, who have built communications towers on the tops of the three main summits of the mountain. To that end, a road was constructed from the south to allow service vehicles to rumble into the range. The road, of course, makes an easy option for a hike to Potosi Mountain.

EFP-P1030158-P1030160
(Fig. 03)
08/20/2013 Trip Notes: After parking the truck and unloading the 4WD Rhino, we headed out across the foothills toward the mountain range. After only about 1.8 miles, we encountered a large steel gate (Fig. 04) with a large hardened steel lock blocking the road. Luckily, we were able to navigate around the gate to the left, albeit a little dangerous. Even though this service road is paved in places, there is a gain of over 3,000 vertical feet in slightly less than five miles to the top, making it a very strenuous workout for anyone who decides to hike it. NOTE: Be sure to check out the video at the end of the page.
            
EFP-P1030165
(Fig. 04)
Just past the gate the road hangs a sharp left and starts up very steeply. After a short distance, quite unexpected, we encountered more pavement. This goes on for roughly a half mile, during which time the road becomes very steep, climbing nearly 500 feet (Fig. 05).
       
EFP-P1030167
(Fig. 05)
After reaching the top of this small knob, you can see the remaining steep section of road as it climbs upward towards a saddle onto the main range crest. Over the course of this two mile stretch, the road climbs about 1,800 feet. After reaching the saddle we stopped to take some pictures. Harvey spotted two deer, one with a huge rack, take off running in a patch of trees below us on the northwest side. Unfortunately they disappeared before we were able to get a picture. Rounding the bend here and looking northward, you are presented with a grand view of the first of the main Potosi summits, South Peak (Fig. 06). Unfortunately, due to a fire in 2005 that scorched this particular section of mountain leaving nothing in its wake, no trees or grasses or anything, the hillsides are rather barren. The views looking down to the west into the Potosi Valley and the peaks and deserts toward Sandy Valley to the south (Fig. 07) and Pahrump to the north (Fig. 08) were absolutely outstanding.
             
EFP-P1030372
(Fig. 06)
EFP-P1030255
(Fig. 07)
EFP-P1030210-P1030212
(Fig. 08)
Once we rounded the peak in (Fig. 06) the road drops slightly at first then gains steeply before moderating again. A side-road zooms up to the summit from here to this first set of small towers, but we ignored it. From here the grade seemed very lenient and even level with some slight downhills. After about a mile you reach another summit where you can see the other two tower complexes and the true summit, still about a mile and a half north. Now higher in elevation, the forest is thicker here with smatterings of mainly bristlecone pine. Upon reaching the second set of towers (Fig. 09), we hiked up the hill to take some pictures. The view in (Fig. 10) is looking due north toward our goal, the last set of towers at the very top of Mount Potosi. The views to the southeast (Fig. 11) looked out over Cottonwood Valley and the portion of the mountain where Carole Lombard’s plane crashed.
             
Even though we knew that the site of the Lombard plane crash laid somewhere on one of these ledges near the top, we weren't sure of the exact location and didn't make any concerted attempt to located it. However, after talking with some locals at the Pioneer Saloon upon our return, we now have a better idea of where the site is located and how to reach it, and may make an attempt on a future visit to the mountain top.
                 
EFP-P1030221
(Fig. 09)
EFP-P1030227-P1030229
(Fig. 10)
EFP-P1030237
(Fig. 11)
The remaining distance to the summit took about 35 minutes, including stops for pictures. All toll, I think it took us 2-1/2 hours to reach the top. Other than occasional steepness, there were no real difficulties to mention. At the top we parked, walked around the towers and buildings, and scrambled to the base of the towers on the east side. The views from this summit (Fig. 01) top, were tremendous. You can see Mount Charleston in the upper left corner of this picture and Red Rock Canyon on the right just left of the guide wires. We spent quite a bit of time roaming and exploring around the buildings and towers (Fig. 12) seeking out beautiful views in every direction. Probably the most exciting part of the day was the amazing number of seabed fossils (Fig. 13) that we found in some of the large rock faces along the east side of the road just below the summit. For more pictures and information, click this link ... Mount Potosi Fossils. After leaving the summit, we stopped along the road about half-way down and had a picnic lunch that was topped off with a couple of frozen margarita's.
Mt Potosi Towers
(Fig. 12)
Potosi Fossils
(Fig. 13)
In addition to seeing two deer, several hawks, jackrabbits, and some humming birds, none of which did we get any pictures, we did capture a few pictures of some Chukar Partridges and lizards (Figs. 14 thru 17 - Click to enlarge). Go to this link for more pictures and information on the partridges ... Chukar Partridge (Alectoris graeca). The last three shots (Figs. 18-20) are just a few final pictures I took on the way down.
EP-P1030189
(Fig. 14)
EP-P1030328
(Fig. 15)
EP-P1030190
(Fig. 16)
EP-P1030378
(Fig. 17)
EFP-P1030259
(Fig. 18)
EFP-P1030353-P1030355
(Fig. 19)
EFP-P1030375
(Fig. 20)
Check out this 5-1/2 minute video I found on YouTube. Even though it is not us, and they only drive about three-quarters of the way up, it provides you with almost exactly what we experienced while driving up the mountain.