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View Full Version : The Gold Mines of Death Valley.



RoadTrippers A & R
03-22-2007, 09:49 AM
Yep, and easily accessable with your rent a car, or street vehicle.

The BLM that is, Bureau of Land Management set up a very nice, self guided walking trail.

The mines are located at the extreem South end of the Dumont Dunes.
A graded, hard pack road leads up to the parking area about a mile of 127, the foot path leads you about a mile past many mineshafts.

Signs tell the tale of in the 1860's a party crossing to Calif stopped overnite to camp and discovered the Gold vein.

Almost at Sea Level, ya won't get winded climbing the path to see the historic site.

Entrance rd is just off Hwy 127, exactly 30 miles north from the Mad Greek restaurant in Baker, approx 1 mile north from the Salt Creek visitor turn off. Southernmost tip of Death Valley.

Just at dusk, the skys fill with scores bats exiting the shafts, both horz and vert shafts so beware.
Flying Hamsters really,, they won't harm you.

The trail up to the goldmines. Center left is the remains of the house of the operators of the mine lived. The trail is marked and BLM signs point to, and explain the history of the area.
Some tragic.
Most the early operators (family) were killed by The Shoshone indians in the area.

We often camp nearby in the sand dunes, and ride ATVs to the mines.

Mark Sedenquist
03-22-2007, 10:21 AM
The mines are located at the extreme South end of the Dumont Dunes.A graded, hard pack road leads up to the parking area, the foot path leads you about a mile past many mineshafts.Welcome to the Great American RoadTrip Fourum -- thanks for the nice photos. Turns out that gold mining has been a recurring theme in the Death Valley area -- One of the most infamous gold scams in the last century happened in Titus Canyon when land speculators "salted" the hills around Leadfield with gold flakes. (http://www.roadtripamerica.com/places/leadfield.htm) And, of course, Ruth Mine near Trona (http://www.roadtripamerica.com/GettingOutThere/Ruth-Mine.htm) and Skidoo (http://www.roadtripamerica.com/places/skidoo.htm) and a bunch of others!

Thanks for this suggestion and directions!

Mark

PNW Judy
03-22-2007, 10:33 AM
Looks like a good time. Thanks for sharing. Oh, and great pictures.

Judy

RoadTrippers A & R
03-22-2007, 12:06 PM
If you enter Death Valley through Trona, you'll be on a very interesting road.

The road no long maintained beyond clearing debris and emptying the trash cans, the scenery is incredable.
Many of the walls of the mini canyons you drive through have minerals and rocks that range from a glowing red/orange to blues and lavendars as the sun passes overhead.

The roadbed below the road is starting to appear through the asphalt surface so keep that in mind when traveling, and I'll get back to that.

We stopped off in Trona at the tiny Elks lodge for dinner and drinks and it was a good way to scratch the surface of the town meet the characters, and perhaps suffer the mean drunks at the bar.

Man-made sulfer mountains and conveyer belts everyplace, it's their main biz. Several operating mines.
Lock your vehicle in Trona, put anything that might look like it has any value out of site. A huge meth problem within the population we were told by the lodge members.
"They'll bust your window for a Wayne Newton CD,, anything,"

Then we headed to Stove Pipe wells through the back road.
Some distance in, we came upon a stranded rent-a-car with two young married Swiss couples in it.
They had been there all day, with nothing more than a half a bottle of Jack Daniels to drink.

One of the girls was in a pretty scared mood, but she calmed down after some water and snacks we had along.

They had pulled off in to the finely sifted sand shoulder to snap some pix, and were stuck up to the cars frame in sand.
"Oh that sign" we pointed to about not pulling off on the SOFT shoulder.

We were in our 9 pass Surburban, and they hopped in, and we proceeded to take them back to their room in Stovepipe Wells where they could get the stranded rent-a-car issue taken care of.

Then we came upon a tight up hill hairpin switchback with oil and radiator fluid trailing & flowing down it.
A few hundred yards later was a stranded couple from Virgina that was taking the long way to the Hot August Nites in Reno in their classic 1965 Corvette.

They drove over a rock on the rough road and it severed their oil pan, and the bottom of the radiator,, just at the point the lower hose connects.
That was it, they were stuck deluxe.

Well,, we picked them up too and headed to Stovepipe wells where they could get towing help.

The Virginia couple was sick about leaving their classic Vett,, but no call box's and no cell service, Rangers were all off at the convention in Sacramento,,,, a very seldom used road,, probably be OK.

So in Stovepipe wells, everyone met at the nice restaurant, dinner drinks flowed, they got all their car issues straighten out.. life was good. We handed out good AAA roadmaps we had on hand.
We've seen this stuff before.

One thing surprised us was the Virginia couple and us were the only Americans in town.
For miles up and down the highway, groups of Euro Tourists clad only in shoes and perhaps shorts (skivvies?) of some sort walking up and down the shoulders passing bottles of Jack Daniels taking big pulls, enjoying the incredable vistas and views and desert atmosphere while strolling down the highway.

What is it about Euros and Jack Daniels?
We've tried it,, rubbing alcohol with gasoline to our tastes. Brutal, but bless their hearts for spending their Euros on US made stuff.

http://www.hotboatpics.com/pics/data/500/3812Dumont_Jan__06_027-med.jpg
Riding just below the Death Valley Dumont Gold Mines.