Nevada Mines/Ghost Towns - Ghost Town of Carrara
UPDATED/Sloan Canyon/Petroglyphs - Sloan Canyon Petroglyph Site
Daytrip/Nevada Mines/Fossils - Fluorspar Canyon & Bare Mountain Mines
UPDATED - Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area
Daytrip/Red Rock Canyon - White Rock Loop Trail
Daytrip/Nevada Mines - Gold Ace Mine
Daytrip/Nevada Mines/Rhyolite - The-Bullfrog Mining District
Daytrip/Nevada Mines/Rhyolite - Ghost Town of Rhyolite, Nevada
Daytrip/Rhyolite - Goldwell Open Air Museum
Daytrip/Laughlin - Davis Dam
Daytrip/Laughlin/Petroglyphs - Hiko Spring Rock Art Site
Daytrip - 22nd Annual Southern Paiute Veterans Pow-Wow
Daytrip/Laighlin - Colorado River Heritage Park & Trails
I made two hikes this past week. On Monday, my friend Harvey Smith and I explored the eastern side of the Bare Mountains, just south of Beatty Nevada. Before getting to Beatty, we stopped at the ghost town of Carrara, the site of an old marble quarry. Click here to read about this town … Ghost Town of Carrara. We hope to explore this area more on a future trip. Our main goal was to locate the Great Beatty Mudmound, a 480-million-year-old fossil site. Climbing to the top of this was more than we expected. In addition to hiking the mudmound, we explored several of the areas’ mines, spotted seven burros and six bighorn sheep. One could spend days trying to explore all that this area has to offer. Click the following link to read about this hike … Fluorspar Canyon & Bare Mountain Mines. On Thursday I went to Sloan Canyon with the rockhounds from the Henderson Senior Facility. Here is the update I made to my page on Sloan Canyon … Sloan Canyon Petroglyph Site.
|On this week's trip with the Rock-hounds from the Henderson Heritage Park Senior Center, we visited Red Rock Canyon. Five of the people in our group chose to hike the White Rock Loop Trail, two decided to hike the Pine Creek Canyon Trail, while the remainder spent time at the Visitors Center and making various stops around the scenic 13-mile loop. At the end of the day we all met up at the Willow Spring Picnic Area for lunch and dessert to celebrate Bill’s (the driver of our van) birthday. As I chose to hike the White Rock Loop Trail, here is a link to the page I created for that hike … White Rock Loop Trail. For more pictures of the Pine Creek Canyon Trail and other hikes we've taken within the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, check out the links on this page ... Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area (RRCNCA).|
|This week Harvey and I headed out to Beatty in search of the Ordovician fossils at The Great Beatty Mudmound. Unfortunately we were unable to find this location until very late in the day. Along the way we stopped at the Gold Ace Mine. Subsequently, we ended up doing some 4-wheeling around the ghost town Rhyolite, once the center of the Bullfrog Mining District. We eventually drove to the top of Sawtooth Mountain, elevation 6,005 feet, the highest peak in the area. The hills, which are steep, rocky, and practically bare of vegetation, are a sharp contrast to the surrounding valley’s. Click here for pictures and information about today’s trip … Ghost Town of Rhyolite, Nevada. This also included a stop at the Goldwell Open Air Museum, just south of Rhyolite ... Goldwell Open Air Museum.|
|This unmarked location is the site of dozens of petroglyphs. Called Hiko Springs, it is located a short distance off of Hwy 163 about four miles south of the more famous Grapevine Canyon in Laughlin, Nevada. Even though the area contains dozens of petroglyphs, there is very little information to be found about this site on the Internet. Even though there is little evidence of surface water here, the amount of trees, bushes, grasses and plants are evidence that there are spring waters running just below the surface. Click here for more information and pictures … Hiko Spring Rock Art Site.|
|My friend Harvey Smith and I attended first day of the 22nd Veterans Pow-Wow sponsored by the Southern Paiute Veterans Association. This two-day event was held at the Moapa Paiute Travel Plaza along Interstate 15, about 30 miles north of Las Vegas. Using prayer, song and dance, this special Pow-Wow was dedicated to any and all veterans, past and present, that had faithfully served their country. Click the following link for pictures and more information about this special remembrance ... 22nd Annual Southern Paiute Veterans Pow-Wow.|
|At the end of October, while on a little "mini vacation" to Laughlin, Nevada, I took the time to visit both ends of the Heritage Greenway Parks Trail system. Although I didn't do any actual hiking of the trails here, this was more of a reconnaissance mission for a planned hiking trip in December. With several accompanying picnic areas, with restrooms and drinking facilities, this new park has more than 9 miles of trails for bicyclists, pedestrians and equestrian riders. For more information and pictures, go to … Colorado River Heritage Park & Trails.|
|“Sit Here!” by Sofie Siegmann: Born in Munich, Germany in 1964, Sofie installed “Sit Here!” (Figs. 10 & 11) in 2000. An accomplished painter and public artist, Siegmann left Europe and moved to the San Francisco Bay Area. “Growing up in Switzerland meant living in a small country. I sought adventure and moved to spacious California. The sunlight, the lightheartedness of people driving everywhere in cars, and no rain for six months straight has changed how I think and feel. I see colors and apply them onto the canvas: luminous, translucent and thick as tar.” Siegmann was an artist-in-residence at the Lied Discovery Children’s Museum in Las Vegas in 2000. For today's visit I had Jim take a picture of me sitting on the couch (Fig. 12)|
Ghost Town of Rhyolite Nevada
|12/05/2013 Trip Notes: On this trip to the Valley of Fire State Park with the Rock-hounds from the Henderson Senior Facility, I hit two spots that I had been to before; a place called The Cabins and a hike to a location called, The Top of the World Arch Hike. While five of us tried to find the trail to the Top of the World Arch, the remainder of the group hiked various locations including the Fire Wave and Mouse’s Tank. Before leaving the park for our journey home, we all enjoyed lunch in the picnic area next to The Cabins. This was my second attempt at trying to find a path to the Top of the World Arch, and unfortunately, it once again ended in failure. Hopefully, with some additional research and the maps in (Figs. 03 & 04) below, my next attempt will prove more successful. The yellow lines roughly indicate the areas that we hiked; whereas the blue lines are where we should have been hiking. Though it appeared that we were following a limited use trail out of the parking area (same as that indicated in blue – bottom right), once we got onto the sandstone rock areas, we lost the trail and started to head to the west too soon, which eventually took us way off course. On our return we actually passed an area that was well below a ridge-line that had an arch at the top (Figs. 01 & 02). Further research has indicated that this unreachable arch is not the one we were seeking, however, is visible from the trail to the Top of the World Arch. |
|Thankfully, even though this hike was my idea and we failed in our attempt to reach our destination, my four hiking partners (Robert, Kathy, Dick and Mike), (Fig. 05) below agreed that the area we covered provided some great views, and some fascinating geology filled with a wide variety of colors (Fig. 06). To give you an idea of how cold it was, a short way into our hike we came across a small tinaja filled with water that was completely covered in ice (Fig. 07). Having hiked a considerable distance out and up, Robert and I were about to climb along the bottom of the smooth ledge in (Fig. 08) to the top of the ridgeline when we finally decided that we were in the wrong area. Of course, this then meant that we now had to back down a very steep, rocky ravine (Fig. 09) to reach the valley floor once again. If you look carefully in (Fig. 10), you can see Mike in the bottom of the picture, hiking back down in front of us. |
|It seems like Kathy (Fig. 11) and I were stopping constantly to take pictures of the beautiful landscapes, pool reflections (Fig. 12) and truly unique geological rock formations (Fig. 13). At the end of the hike we sat upon a large rocky knoll (Fig. 14) and had a “snack” while we waited for Bill to come back with the van.|
|Directions: From Las Vegas, follow US-95 North for approximately 115 miles to the mining town of Beatty, Nevada (Fig. 02). In the center of town, turn left (west) onto SR-374 towards Death Valley. Drive approximately 4 miles and turn right to the ghost town of Rhyolite. The ruins of this famous ghost town are just up the hill past the Goldwell Open Air Museum.|
|History of Rhyolite: Rhyolite is just another of several short lived boom-towns from the late Gold Rush era. It proudly sits just outside the eastern edge of Death Valley, approximately 120 miles northwest of Las Vegas. This legendary ghost town lies in the Bullfrog Hills of southwestern Nevada near the small Amargosa desert town of Beatty in Nye County (Fig. 02). The transformation of this area, eventually known as the Bullfrog Mining District, was due to the discovery of gold by two prospectors named Ed L. Cross and "Shorty" Harris. Having no luck mining around the Funeral Mountain Range to the south near Death Valley, they stopped at Buck's Springs and camped on their way to Goldfield in August of 1904. While prospecting around the area they stumbled upon the Original Bullfrog mine, which showed high values in free gold. According to historic accounts, the rock (mineral) was green and spotted with chunks of yellow metal, looking similar to the back of a frog – thus the name bullfrog. A stampede followed and soon the hills surrounding the new find were filled with eager prospectors. Gold discoveries at the Ladd and Benson, the Denver, the National Bank and several others followed in rapid succession, but it wasn't until November 1904 when the excitement reached its zenith with the discovery of a nice ore chute on the Montgomery-Shoshone mine. The site of Rhyolite, sprawled along a sloping alluvial plain between Bonanza and Ladd mountains, attracted more boomers, and by the spring of 1905 the streets of Rhyolite were lined with canvas-sided tents and wooden shanties, along with 1500 people. Click here for more info on the Bullfrog Mining District ... The Bullfrog Mining District.|
The town of Rhyolite was founded and platted during February 1905 on $300 borrowed by Frank Busch. About a mile to the north of the Shoshone-Montgomery mine, Rhyolite captured the wandering population and eventually became the central city of this desert area. Dug-outs, tents and adobe houses were the first dwellings of the new civilization. Soon, "grubstakers" came to the front, advancing supplies and funds to mining prospectors, as well as additional capital to develop the district. By the end of 1905 Rhyolite had 50 saloons, 35 gambling tables, a red light district complete with cribs for prostitution, boarding houses, 16 restaurants, 19 lodging houses, a public bath house, weekly newspaper, and six barbers. Progress was rapid, and through 1906 tents and shanties had been replaced by solid wood-frame structures and beautiful but expensive cut rock and concrete buildings, some as tall as three stories. The rhyolite and granite rock was cut, dressed and transported from local quarries.
Industrialist Charles M. Schwab bought the Montgomery Shoshone Mine in 1906 and invested heavily in infrastructure, including piped water, electric lines and railroad transportation. As evidenced by the photo in (Fig. 01), Rhyolite had electric lights, water mains, sidewalks, telephones, a hospital, a two-story school, an opera house, police and fire departments, a train station servicing two railroads (the Las Vegas & Tonopah, and the Tonopah and Tidewater). Two daily newspapers, a magazine (only one issue), two churches, auto stages, a stock exchange, doctors, dentists, real estate offices, law offices, banks, eight grocery stores, 50 saloons, restaurants, 19 hotels and boarding houses, a flourishing red-light district, opera house, a baseball team and a 14’ x 40’ public swimming pool that gave the community something few mining camps had. There were many other businesses, all befitting a growing city. Published estimates of the town's peak population between 1907 to 1908 vary widely, but generally place it in a range between 3,500 and 5,000.
Unfortunately, Rhyolite declined almost as rapidly as it rose. After the richest ore was exhausted, production fell dramatically. The 1906 San Francisco earthquake and the financial panic of 1907 made it more difficult to raise development capital. Coupled with the panic of 1907, Rhyolite was dealt a death blow, but it really didn’t know it. Even though the money dried up, Rhyolite continued on its merry way, booming while it was busting. In 1908, an independent study of the Montgomery Shoshone Mine’s value proved unfavorable, causing the company's stock value to crash, further restricting funding. By the end of 1910, the Montgomery Shoshone mine was operating at a loss, and it closed in 1911. This was just the start of the decline. By 1908 Rhyolite was finally in distress and in 1910, the door slammed shut. The city that would "last a lifetime" died with its boots on. As more and more mines fizzled out, people began leaving in vast numbers. By 1910-11 only an estimated 675 people remained in Rhyolite. The lights and power were turned off on April 30 in 1916, and the streetlights were turned off. Next, the water companies were notified they would receive no money from the county, and businesses began to close. By the time the federal census takers found the town, only 675 people remained. By 1919, the post office had closed. By 1920 Rhyolite’s population dropped to 14 and by 1922 to one. By 1924 it became a true ghost town. Though the remnants of some concrete and stone buildings still remain today, almost everything else, from canvas to wood, and even some small adobe structures, were salvaged for building materials and hauled to the town of Beatty.
|05/30/2017 Trip Notes: It’s a real shame shame that so many of this towns magnificent buildings have been reduced to shambles. In its day, it had some of the most lavish buildings in the state of Nevada. The remains of its more outstanding buildings that still stand today are barely recognizable, and succumbing daily to Nevada’s extreme desert environment. Click here for pictures and descriptions of today's remaining structures ... Rhyolite Town Site - Trip Notes for 05/30/2017.|
|11/07/2013 Trip Notes: The goal of today’s visit to Beatty today was to locate the Ordovician fossils at The Great Beatty Mudmound. Unfortunately, we were unable of find the location of this fossil bed until the very end of the day. As a result, we decided to do some exploring on the dozens of 4WD roads in the old Bullfrog Mining District that surrounds the ghost town of Rhyolite (Fig. 03). Our first discovery near Mongomery Mountain was, what we later learned, the smallest (Figs. 04 & 05) of Barrick Minings’ three open pit mines, know as the Barrick Bullfrog Mine. The largest operation (Figs. 06 & 07) was located on two sides of Ladd Mountain just southeast of Rhyolite and can be seen from NV-384. Between 1989 and 1998, the Barrick Bullfrog Mine company recovered $910 million in gold from this site. Though mining expenses ate up nearly 70% of this, it was still a healthy profit. Note: This was back when gold was going for less than $400 an ounce. At today’s price of gold this would have been 2.9 billion dollars. To add further insult to injury, Barrick noted that one of the earlier mines missed the richest vein by less than 35 feet. Click here for more info on the Bullfrog Mining District ... The Bullfrog Mining District.|
|After visiting the open pit area we drove east, past the back side of Montgomery Mountain (Fig. 08) and up the neighboring hillside of Paradise Mountain, to a mine that I have yet been able to identify (Figs. 09, 10 & 11). Notice the “overage” in (Fig. 08) that was dumped on the back of Montgomery Mountain from the excavation on the other side. We were actually able to enter quite far into the adit on Paradise Mountain (Fig. 10), however, this area somewhat confused us. First, the tailing pile in front of the adit appeared too small for the size and length of the adit. Second, we couldn't figure out where the white tailings in the large pile to the right of the adit came from. From this hillside vantage point we actually had a view of Rhyolite to the southwest (Fig. 12). Notice some of the ruins in the right side of the picture. From here we backtracked to the west side of Montgomery Mountain and drove north up the long valley past Rainbow Mountain (Fig. 03). The road led us into the Bullfrog Hills which eventually took us to the top of Sawtooth Mountain (Fig. 03), elevation 6,005 feet, the highest peak in the area. The hills, which are steep, rocky, and practically bare of vegetation, rise sharply from the gently sloping desolate plains that border them on the north and south. The view in (Fig.13) is east towards the direction of Beatty. The view in (Fig. 14) is southeast back towards Rhyolite. The darkish ‘hump’ below the horizon near the center of the picture is Ladd Mountain. On the way back we drove up a side canyon (Fig. 15) to Mason Spring (Fig. 03). On our way out we stopped at the Goldwell Open Air Museum, just south of town. I dedicated a whole page to this museum, click here to view … Goldwell Open Air Museum.|
|05/05/2008 Trip Notes: Connie and I visited Rhyolite back in 2008 with our neighbor Marc Resnic on our way to see Scotty’s Castle in Death Valley. Pictures from this visit were incorporated into the following post ... Rhyolite Town Site - Summary Page.|
|Directions: From the Stratosphere Casino head northeast on Las Vegas Blvd about 3 miles and turn right onto I-515/US-93/US-95 south towards Boulder City. Follow US-93/95 for 17 miles and then merge right onto US-95 South (Veterans Memorial Hwy) toward Searchlight/ Laughlin/Needles and travel for 55.5 miles. Turn left onto NV-163 (Laughlin Hwy) east. Drive.About 8 miles from the US-95 turnoff you will see a Laughlin sign in the desert off to your right. Just beyond this there is a fairly open area where a lot of people go four wheeling. Traveling about two miles beyond this area the road runs straight downhill. At the bottom of this stretch, SLOW DOWN (Fig. 02). Just before the guard rails where the road makes a sharp left turn, there is an unmarked exit to the right that turns into a dirt 4WD road (Fig. 01). There is also a white cross just in front of the guard rail.|
|Description: Hiko Springs is located a short distance off of Hwy 163 (Fig. 02) not far from the Grapevine Canyon site and the city of Laughlin, Nevada. The amazing thing is that there is very little information to be found about this site on the Internet; especially considering the number of Petroglyphs that can be found here. Unless you have a 4WD vehicle, I would advise parking just off the highway (Fig. 01) and walking the .8 of a mile to the site. The Hiko Springs site here (not to be confused with the Hiko Springs in Lincoln County) seems to have essentially, many of the same rock art designs as the site found in Grapevine Canyon, located only 4 miles to the north. The petroglyphs here are also pecked into vertical cliff of granitic rock covered with a dark patina called desert varnish. Because the formation of desert varnish is a very slow process, it suggests that these etchings are quite old.|
02/02/2016 Trip Notes: On January 24th I received an email from Kenneth Todd, a resident of Golden Valley Arizona, that hiked Hiko Spring after finding this page on the Internet. He noted that a severe flow of water from a big storm, subsequent to my 2013 visit here, had washed away much of the heavy growth of the invasive shrubs and vegetation that had previously clogged the wash, making hiking down the wash much easier. He then indicated that by hiking about 1.2 miles past the cement foundation, he discovered a series of petroglyph panels on the wall above a flat rock on the right side of the wash. I decided to try it out for myself. Click here for petroglyph pictures and a description of this hike ... Hiko Spring (Lower) Hike.
|10/31/2013 Trip Notes: For today’s visit, I met up with the Rock-hounds from Henderson’s Senior Facility, who made a stop here before continuing on to Grapevine Canyon. Even though it was cool, it was sunny without the clouds and winds I had experience earlier in the week. The majority of the petroglyphs here are on the cliffs (Figs. 03-09) east of the foundations and along the saddle you have to scramble over to get to the other side of the spring. By no means do they end here. You can spot several more (Fig. 10) after climbing over the saddle past the spring. Though nowhere as prolific as those down the road at Grapevine Canyon, there are enough here to peak the interest of the average desert explorer. From something I found on the Internet, I’m inclined to believe that you can find even more by hiking another half mile further into the canyon (Fig. 11). Unfortunately, Blake and I hiked down the wash too far to the left and got buried up to our shoulders in some very high reeds (Figs. 12 & 13). Though we were unable to find any visible signs of water, the amount of vegetation here suggests that it must not be too far under ground. I hope to hike further down this canyon wash on our next visit.|
|10/27/2013 Trip Notes: Because I knew I would be hiking here in a few more days with the rock-hounds from the Henderson Senior Facility, I decided to try and locate this site and perform some basic exploration of the area. Because the weather on today’s visit was very cold, overcast and windy I did not stay long. After a couple of passes, I was finally able to find the unmarked turn-off (Fig. 01). From the road, there are two or three 4WD roads (Fig. 14) that run parallel with the wash that runs down to the area of the spring at the opening of the canyon. About halfway to the canyon opening I found the remnants of a fence, as seen in the triptych in (Fig. 15), that appeared to have spanned the entire width of the wash as one time. I have no idea as to why this was placed here, except for the purpose to denote a property line or claim, which may have been connected to the pipes and foundations (Figs. 16 & 17) that I discovered at the bottom of a cliff, left (north) of the spring and canyon entrance. The smaller foundation (Fig. 17) looked as though it may have surrounded a shallow well of some type. Because the area surrounding the spring where the wash goes through the canyon opening was so overgrown with trees, weeds and bushes, mostly Bearclaw (Fig. 18), you have to scramble over the small saddle to the left in order to access the remainder of the use trail that continues to run down through the canyon.|