Friday

Daytrip to Liberty Bell Arch

EP-P1030836Located just south of Hoover Dam, the Liberty Bell Arch is a very impressive arch in the middle of a very pristine mountainous setting near the Colorado Rivers’ Black Canyon. It has a span of 30 feet and a height of 25 feet. It is named after the famous bell in Philadelphia due to its shape and the crack in the span. Although there is a use trail to the arch (Fig. 02) it is not well marked. There is an old abandoned mine on the way to this location and stunning views of the Colorado River about a half mile beyond it. Check it out here ... Liberty Bell Arch.

Tuesday

Black Canyon Gorge

09/24/2013 Picture Notes: These four views (Figs. 01-04) were taken at an elevation of 1,707 feet, nearly 1,000 feet above the Colorado River as it runs (from North to South) down through Black Canyon, the canyon on the Colorado River where Hoover Dam was built. This location is about a half mile beyond Liberty Bell Arch, a hike whose trailhead is located in Arizona, about 4 miles south of the Hoover Dam.  Looking north (Fig. 05) is a view upstream towards the Hoover Dam (not visible) and the Mike O’Callaghan – Pat Tillman Memorial bridge. The canyon is located on the Colorado River at the state line between Nevada and Arizona. The western wall of the gorge is in the El Dorado Mountains, and the eastern wall is in the Black Mountains of Arizona. The canyon formed about 15 million years ago during the Miocene Basin and Range uplift. Black Canyon gets its name from the black volcanic rocks that are found throughout the area. Click here to read more about this hike ... Liberty Bell Arch.
                               
EFP-P1030818
(Fig. 01)
EFP-P1030815-P1030817
(Fig. 02)
EFP-P1030814
(Fig. 03)
EFP-P1030805
(Fig. 04)
EFP-P1030831
(Fig. 05)

Monday

Daytrip To Nipton, California

EP-P1030707-2Billed as, “The Gateway to the Mojave Desert”, today, Nipton is a privately owned, unincorporated town in San Bernardino County, California, on the northern edge of Mojave National Preserve, west of Searchlight, Nevada, with a population of nearly 60 people. Originally constructed in 1910 and refurbished in 2004, the adobe hotel, built in the Spanish Territorial style with a wrap-around-covered porch is advertised as a ‘bed & breakfast’. There are also five "eco-cabins" designed to provide a comfortable camping experience in the natural desert environment.There is also a trailer park, a small general store & gift shop, and a cafĂ© that is open on most days. Click here for more pictures and history on … Nipton, California.

Sunday

Daytrip to Crescent Peak Mine

EP-P1030673Today I made my fourth visit to the Crescent Peak Mine with the rock-hounds from the Henderson Heritage Park Senior Facility. The ‘head’ in the picture on the left was on the gate post to the “No Trespassing” area where Bill dropped me off. Because Bill was able to get me closer to the quarry operation, I finally had enough time to hike to some of the mine sites behind the quarrying operation. I actually came to within a 1/3 of a mile of reaching the top of Crescent Peak. Better luck next time. Click here for pictures and information on this most recent trip ... Update 09/19/2013 - Crescent Peak Mine. To learn more about the history of the Crescent Peak Mine and to view pictures from previous visits go to ... Daytrip - Crescent Peak Mine. After visiting the Crescent Peak site, we made a short stop at Nipton. You can check out this town here ... Nipton, California.

Daytrip To The Goodsprings Mining District

EP-P1030465This past week Harvey Smith and I headed out to Goodsprings once again to explore some mines located in the southern end of the Spring Mountain Range, south of the town along the west side of NV-161. This portion of the Goodsprings Mining District is filled with dozens of prospects, mines, shafts and adits, many of which are 400 to 500 feet up on steep mountain sides. Because they are further from town, combined with the difficulty of reaching some of these locations, many of them still have remains and equipment that hasn’t been picked clean, allowing one the opportunity to better envision how these mines actually functioned more than 100 years ago. We spent the better part of a day exploring this area and merely scratched the surface as it relates to all there is to see here. Click to learn more about this exciting area … Goodsprings Mining District (South).

Thursday

RoadTrip to Tonopah, NV

EFP-P1020535On 08/08-09/2013 we made an overnight stop at Tonopah on a return trip from Lake Tahoe. Though our normal stops here don’t last much longer than an hour, we decided that on this trip we should spent a night at the famous Mitzpah Hotel so we could spend more time touring some of the town’s rich historic spots. Click here for pictures and information on the town of Tonopah and additional links to the place we stayed at, and the various places we visited during our stay … Roadtrip - Tonopah, Nevada.

Monday

Lake Tahoe Pictures

TahoeTheLake-Neg014Well, I finally finished working on and publishing all of the pictures I took over these summer months, and not a moment too soon, as the Fall hiking season with the Rock-hounds from the Henderson Senior Facility start up again on the 12th of September. Combining pictures I took this past August with pictures taken on previous visits, I created the following page which takes you on a 72 mile road trip around the lake. Click here to view … Lake Tahoe - Drives to Nowhere.

Sunday

Crescent Peak and the Nippeno Mine

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EFP-P1030840
(Fig. 01)
Crescent Mining District-2
(Fig. 02)

09/30/2013 Trip Notes: After unloading the Ranger at the mouth of Crescent Peak Road, Harvey and I headed up the road towards the Crescent Peak Mine; with the intended goal of circumventing the active mining operation and reaching the trails going up the south ridge of Crescent Peak (Fig. 03) on the northern tip of the New York Mountain range. Unfortunately, as we rounded a bend in the road just after Clarks Well (Fig. 02), that overlooked Piute Valley (Fig. 01) above, we started up a mountainside road that was so washed out that it became impassible, causing us to abandon our goal of reaching Crescent Peak. After retracing our steps to this point, we took another dirt road that headed south east to a weather tower (Figs. 04 & 05) that stood atop a distant ridge high in the New York Mountains (Fig. 02). After enjoying the views from here, we again drove back to where Bill normally parks and headed out on the dirt road that runs south across the Ivanpah Valley, aiming for the  jagged Castle Peaks in the New York Mountain range as seen in (Fig. 06). After driving a considerable distance, we were unable to find a road leading to the ‘peaks” where we wanted to go and ended up on the California boarder at the beginning of the Mojave National Preserve. From here we made out third turnaround and drove all the way back to our original starting point at the beginning of Crescent Peak Mine Road.
EFP-P1030869
(Fig. 03)
EFP-P1030867
(Fig. 04)
EFP-P1030865
(Fig. 05)
EFP-P1030873
(Fig. 06)
We then drove up Big Tiger Wash (Fig. 02), following Nipton Road to the east until we reached a 4WD road that lead southeast out of the wash towards a large valley that faced the northwest side of Crescent Peak (Fig. 07). After coming to a three-way fork, we bypassed several signs that read “Private – Keep Out”, and took the middle road that lead to the Nippeno Mine site (Fig. 02), one of the oldest and largest mines in the area. Circa January 1, 1900, Samuel D. Karns and some associates staked the earliest gold claim in the Crescent District, giving it the name Nippeno. Later followed by adjacent claims Susquehana, Cumberland, Northhumberland, Pennsylvania, &Osceola, that taken together became known as the Nippeno Consolidated Mine. The mining camp associated with the mine was known as Nippeno Camp, which was located nearby the wagon crossroad, which late became the town of Nipton. Besides its deep main shaft (Fig. 08), now encased by fencing for safety reasons, there are nearly a half dozen shafts and prospects located in this general area. As you can see from pictures found in the collage (Fig. 09), all taken around the main shaft; the six large tailings’piles, miscellaneous debris, hoist footings, and collapsed buildings, all indicate that this was a very large operation. Due to its apparent scope, it has been surprising to me that I have been unable to locate any detailed descriptions about its operation. Even though we spent considerable time hiking around and exploring this area (Figs. 10-12), road barriers such at that found in (Fig. 13) prevented us from doing more. After one final look towards Ivanpah Valley (Fig. 14), we finally began the drive back to our original starting point, whereupon we loaded up the Ranger and drove to Nipton for lunch.
EFP-P1030885
(Fig. 07)
EFP-P1030895
(Fig. 08)
Nippeno Mine 2
(Fig. 09)
EP-P1030904
(Fig. 10)
EP-P1030920
(Fig. 11)
EP-P1030907
(Fig. 12)
EFP-P1030926
(Fig. 13)
EFP-P1030923
(Fig. 14)
                               Click here to return to [Crescent Peak Mine Road page]

Goodsprings Mining District (South)

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EFP-P1030533-P1030536
(Fig. 01)
MAP-Goodsprings Mining District
(Fig. 02)
Area Description: For a more detailed description of the Goodsprings Mining District, go to my page titled, Goodsprings Mining District. As you can see from the map in (Fig. 01) there are literally dozens of prospects, mines, shafts and adits in the Goodsprings' Mining District in the southern end of the Spring Mountain Range south of the town. The majority of these are accessed from two 4WD roads that run off of Sandy Valley Road and Nevada 161. Table Mountain Road which runs south off of Sandy Valley Road provides access to, among others, the Surprise, Columbia, Argentena, Lookout and Mountain Top mines.  An unnamed 4WD road opposite the Goodsprings Bypass Road on Nevada 161 runs south through the Goodsprings and Ivanpah valleys', and provides access to the Lincoln, Ireland, Houghton, Star, Monte Cristo, Portor, Accident, Bullion and Valentine mines, as well as dozens more prospects, adits and unnamed mines. The vast majority of the mines in this portion of the Goodsprings Mining District are in the mountains west of Porter Wash as seen in the (Fig. 03) cutout. Though this was our intended area of focus, exploring three mines before we got there only left us with enough time to explore one of these, the Bullion Mine. With nearly a half-dozen mines left to still explore, we will definitely have to make another visit here.
                               
MAP-Southern Goodsprings Mining District
(Fig. 03)
09/06/2013 Trip Notes: Even though by mid-afternoon we were surrounded by a series of storm cells that deposited heavy rain and lightening all around us, we spent over 6 hours driving around this area locating, hiking and exploring a handful of the many mines located in this region. Fortunately, we didn't get rained upon until we got back to the truck and started loading up the Rhino. Towards the end of the day, we finally reached the area in (Fig. 03) and it's many mine sites, the majority of which requiring strenuous hikes 400-500 feet up mountainsides in order to reach them. Because our time appeared limited due to impending storms, we surveyed the landscape and picked out one of the largest, the Bullion Mine, and headed in its direction. Even if we spent another full day here, we still wouldn't have enough time to adequately explore all of the many mines located here. Even though we only drove and hiked around one of these mines, I have provided descriptions to the majority of them with the hopes of adding more pictures after a return trip to the area.

Unknown Mine
(Fig. 04)

Unnamed Mine Near Crystal Pass (Map Fig. 02): About 2-1/2 miles in from NV-161 we made two right turns (Fig. 02) that led us up a wash (Fig. 05) towards a saddle known as Crystal Pass and a large mine site (Figs. 04 & 05) three-quarters of the way up the mountain on the east side of the wash. As it turned out, this unnamed mine, now a total of about 4 miles out, turned out to be the find of the day. From its lower opening (Fig. 06) (elv 3,754 feet), it tunneled upwards 125 feet along the ridgeline to a final elevation of about 3,875 feet. Shortly after entering the lower tunnel (Fig. 07), I observed sunlight coming from the roof of the tunnel up ahead (Fig. 08). Shortly, I was able to look skyward through an opening (Fig. 09) that appeared to have been the result of a cave in many years ago. As we worked our way through the various tunnels, we found no less than three side shafts that led to the outer edge of the ridge. It appeared that these may have been created to make it easier to get the ore and excess materials out of the tunneling operations. The last two tunnel sections still had the remains of some small gauge ore cart rails (Figs. 10, 11 & 12). When we reached the end of the longest tunnel it split into two separate tunnels (Fig. 13); The one to the right was rather short, so Harvey decided to venture a short distance into the one on the left. After scaring up a few bats that flew by us at amazing speed and out the opening (Fig. 14) behind us, we decided it was time to leave.  Because this final opening was so high, we were unable to exit the mine here and had to backtrack until we were able to find another ground level opening (Figs. 15 & 16). The view in (Fig. 17) is looking south from the main entrance. Located to the southeast of Primm, notice the dry Ivanpah lakebed in the distance. Considering the extensive operation that went on here, I am surprised that I have been unable to find anything pertaining to its identification.
                            
EFP-P1030434
(Fig. 05)
EFP-P1030450
(Fig. 06)
EP-P1030451
(Fig. 07)
EP-P1030460
(Fig. 08)
EP-P1030452
(Fig. 09)
EP-P1030488
(Fig. 10)
EP-P1030477
(Fig. 11)
EP-P1030483
(Fig. 12)
EP-P1030479
(Fig. 13)
EP-P1030478
(Fig. 14)
EP-P1030489
(Fig. 15)
EP-P1030491
(Fig. 16)
EFP-P1030462
(Fig. 17)

Lincoln Mine (Map Fig. 02): The next mine that we visited was the Lincoln Mine (Fig. 18), located on a low ridge adjacent to Ivanpah Valley and before the Porter Wash. Because we didn't have a light, it was impossible to determine how far the adit (Fig. 19) went. To right of this mine we found a couple of level foundation areas (Fig. 20) that may have been used for platformed miner's tents. Along the sides of the large tailing pile we found the largest pile of Malacite* (Fig. 21) that we have ever seen anywhere. Five of the seven claims found here were located by E.W. Lincoln and others in 1905. Its total production has been estimated around 60 tons of ore. Most of the ore shipped has contained about 12 per cent of copper and 15 ounces of silver to the ton, but one lot of 2,700 pounds shipped by J.A. Egger in 1917, contained 97 ounces of silver to the ton. The principal working is an inclined shaft 350 feet long, which begins with a slope of 16 degrees, but attains a maximum of 35 degrees near the end.

*Malachite, a.k.a. Molochites, Green Copper, Mountain and Green Malachite, is the most common secondary mineral found in the oxidized zones of copper deposits. Its color is Bright green, with crystals deeper shades of green, even vary dark to nearly black; green to yellowish green in transmitted light. Not a hard ore, it has a tenacity to be brittle. It is closely related to Azurite, another secondary copper mineral frequently found in the oxidized zones of Copper-bearing ore deposits. Azurite is typically found as tabular to prismatic crystals of a deep "azure blue" color with resplendent vitreous faces.
              
EFP-P1030525
(Fig. 18)
EP-P1030527
(Fig. 19)
EP-P1030524
(Fig. 20)
EP-P1030537
(Fig. 21)


Ireland Mine (Map Fig. 03): Driving about two miles south along the western edge of Ivanpah Valley (Fig. 03), the third site that we explored was that of the Ireland Mine, a grouping of small prospects, pits, adits, and incline shafts that sit on top of a small, rocky knoll. This large knoll (Fig. 22) is home to nearly a half-dozen mine sites, though we only took the time to look at one of them (Fig. 23).  All of its mines here appear to have long ago been scoured of any signs of equipment & materials. As with many of the mines in this area, there is little information available that I've been able to find. However, I did find a site that listed the primary metal being mined here as Lead, Copper, and Zinc.
             
EP-P1030551
(Fig. 22)
EP-P1030554
(Fig. 23)


Accident Mine (Map Fig. 03)
:
As the road began to head west, crossing Porter Wash, we were presented with views of no less than three large tailing sites, each located high up on the mountain sides in front of us. Located a quarter mile north-northwest, behind the Bullion Mine and out of our view, is the Accident Mine, probably the largest mine in the area,  The main mine was located in 1901, though little work was done until 1911. The mine has several openings, but most of the ore was produced by the main tunnel. The minerals extracted were gold, silver, copper, lead, and zinc. Lead and zinc were the primarily minerals removed, and the others were beneficial byproducts of the zinc & lead extractions. By all accounts it appears to have been active around the same time as all the other mines in the area; it may have also been active in the 1930s (Great Depression), as it appears to have been operated on a very tight budget (light 10-pound mining rails, nails instead of rail spikes, and many other shortcuts). It definitely operated in the 1920s or 1930s, since welded joints are prevalent in some of the structural metals found on site. It is located in an extremely rugged and remote location, on the face of a cliff, roughly 400 feet above the floor of the wash. Reaching the mine itself would require a a very long & strenuous hike. 


Bullion Mine (Map Fig. 03)
:
The Bullion Mine is located less than a quarter mile southeast of the Accident Mine near the top of a prominent spur that extends eastward from the range, 500 feet above Porter Wash (Fig. 24). The mine was located in 1900 by W.H. Smith, and was sold to S.E. Yount and George Fayle in 1912 for $3,000. They built a mill here in 1913 and sold it in 1916 to the Bullion Mining Company in Salt Lake City UT. The workings include north and south tunnels, which lead directly into a maze of stopes that may be followed downward and westward to their lower termination along the second level. From the north tunnel a winze inclined at an average of 27 degrees and bearing north-northwest connects with a level about 100 feet lower than the tunnel. Below the second level the main shaft, which was largely destroyed in the course of mining at higher levels, steepens and continues westward at an inclination near 68 degrees. It connects with three short levels, the lowest of which is 60 feet below the second level and about 115 feet below the portal of the north tunnel. Most of the production was from 1913 to 1927. During its operation, it produced 3,870 tons of crude ore containing gold, silver, copper, lead, and zinc. (Fig. 25) is a close-up of the hoist structure at the top of the mountain. Though we spent considerable time exploring its lower areas, which included the foundation remains of the mill (Fig. 26), and the discovery of another mine shaft (Fig. 27) on the backside of the mountain, we didn't have enough time to hike to the top. Of the six mines that boarder the west side of Porter Wash along this mountain range (Fig. 03), this is the only one that we actually got to hike around on today's trip.
                         
EFP-P1030574
(Fig. 24)
EP-P1030573
(Fig. 25)
EP-P1030579
(Fig. 26)
EP-P1030584
(Fig. 27)

Valentine Mine (Fig. 03): The Valentine mine is a quarter of a mile south of the Anchor mill near the top of a steep slope overlooking Porter Wash. A foot trail leads to the portal of the main working, about 500 feet above the wash. From what I have learned, it has several stopes, some 50-foot deep, and shafts, some inclined at 39-degrees and up to 310 feet long. Obviously, the mining here was quite extensive. Though we were able to see this mine and its tailing's high up on the mountain cliffs, the ever approaching storm (Fig. 28) prevented us from going there on today’s trip.
                      
EFP-P1030568