Crystal Pass (Prospect) Mine - Goodsprings Mining District

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This page last updated on 12/03/2018
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(Fig. 03) Click to Enlarge
Directions: Leaving from the Stratosphere, get on the I-15 South. Go 24 miles and take NV-161 (Exit 12) toward Jean/Goodsprings. Leaving Jean, head west on Route 161 towards Goodsprings. Continue through Ivanpah Valley on the left and Goodsprings Valley on the right, until you reach a dirt road on the left about a half mile before Sandy Valley Road. You will be able to see the the Goodsprings Energy Recovery Station on the left. Turn left onto the unmarked dirt road and follow this road to the Crystal Pass (Prospect) Mine site (Fig. 01) as indicated on the map in (Fig. 02). The picture in (Fig. 03) on the right is an overhead view looking down onto the site from above.

Area Description: For a more detailed description of the Goodsprings Mining District, go to my page titled, Goodsprings Mining District (South). 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 Crystal Pass Mine, 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. A) below.

Crystal Pass (Prospect) Mine Description: This mine is located in the northern portion of the Goodsprings Mining District [see Goodsprings Mining District - Summary Page]. The reason that I found it so difficult to find any information on this site is because it was only registered as a prospect, and not as a mine. The prospect shows signs of mineral deposits, but was never advanced to an actual mining site. Though the primary mining in this area included: copper, lead, silver, gold and zinc, the primary products of this mine are listed as silver and lead. When I first visited this site back in 2013 with Harvey Smith, we were surprised at the structures, many levels and depth of this mine. From what we've been able to survey, there were three levels to this mine. One up and one down. There isn't much to see on any of the three levels except for the small gauge rails in the last opening on the upper level used to cart the ores out. Refer to the pictures in the "09/16/2013 Trip Notes" below. Refer to the "12/01/2018 Trip Notes" for an update of this mine.

12/01/2018 Trip NotesOn this visit, Jim Herring and I visited the mine to do some more exploring. After driving to the site and climbing up to the upper levels, we were extremely disappointed. Sadly, in late 2015 the BLM saw fit to close every entrance thereby sealing the mine forever. Using a foam and boulders they blocked every opening. Other than the pictures of my first visit in the section below, no new images of the interior will ever become available again. We spent some time touring the site and documenting what the BLM had done (Figs. 04 thru 06). Due to the elevation of this mine, roughly 3,860 feet, there are some outstanding views of the surrounding area (Figs. 07 & 08). Looking southwest from this site we spotted what looked like another mine in the wash below that leads to the ridge of Crystal Pass (Fig. 09). Refer to the spot listed as "Mine Shaft" on the map in (Fig. 02). The shaft of this mine was fenced off with barbed wire. After "hopping" the fence pictures indicated that it was quite deep (Figs. 10 thru 12). From here we drove south to the Lincoln Mine noted on (Fig. 02).

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09/06/2013 Trip Notes: Today we spent over 6 hours driving around this area locating, hiking and exploring a handful of the many mines located in this region. Towards the end of the day, we finally reached the area in (Fig. A below) and it's many mine sites, the majority of which required 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.

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Notes on (Crystal Pass Mine): About 2-1/2 miles in from NV-161 we made two right turns (Fig. 02) that led us up a wash (Fig. 13) towards a saddle known as Crystal Pass and the large mine site of Crystal Pass (Prospect) Mine (Figs. 03 & 13) located three-quarters of the way up the mountain on the east side of the wash. As it turned out, this mine, now a total of about 4 miles out, turned out to be the find of the day. From its lower opening (Fig. 14) (elv 3,754 feet), it tunneled upwards 125 feet along the ridge-line to a final elevation of about 3,875 feet. Shortly after entering the lower tunnel (Fig. 15), I observed sunlight coming from the roof of the tunnel up ahead (Fig. 16). Shortly, I was able to look skyward through an opening (Fig. 17) 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. 18, 19 & 20). When we reached the end of the longest tunnel it split into two separate tunnels (Fig. 21); 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. 22) 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. 23 & 24). The view in (Fig. 25) is looking south from the main entrance. Located to the southeast of Primm, notice the dry Ivanpah lake-bed in the distance. Considering the extensive operation that went on here, I am surprised that it was never filed as a mine.

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For additional pages on mines around the Goodsprings Mining District also visit the following ... 
Note: Every attempt is made to provide accurate information, but occasionally depictions are inaccurate by error of mapping, navigation or cataloging. The information on this site is provided without any warranty, express or implied, and is for informational and historical purposes only.