Death Valley Ghost Towns As They Appear Today
Death Valley has a fascinating mining history. Miners first passed through here in 1849 during the California gold rush, not realizing that there were vast deposits of gold and borax just waiting to be taken out of the mountains and Valley floor. By the late 19th century though, large scale gold and borax mining operations were in full swing. In the 20th century, talc mining would join borax as the two most important minerals mined in the Death Valley area.
The most common extant ruins in Death Valley include mill ruins, metal or stone mine buildings, mine openings, and metal water towers. There are few mercantile or residential structures remaining (Rhyolite and Aguereberry Camp being two exceptions).
The ghost towns and mining camps within and near Death Valley are probably in better shape than most because of the preservative affect of the extremely dry climate, and the protection offered by Death Valley being a National Park (and, earlier, a National Monument). The best-preserved towns are post-1950s company mining camps (Ibex Springs, Broken Pick, Warm Springs, Keystone Mine, etc.)
The vast majority of the photos in this book were taken in the 21st century. Thus, this book focuses primarily on what there is to see in the Death Valley ghost towns today, with a bit of the history of the sites included along the way.
Both the color and black and white print editions have been updated in 2013, adding 3 new sites and 7 maps. The color print edition has 100+ photos in full color.
Updates, March 2013: The road up Trail Canyon (Broken Pick Camp, Morning Glory Mill) is blocked by rocks a couple hundred yards into the canyon mouth.
Last Chance Cabin (near the intersection of Death Valley Road and Crankshaft Crossing), has collapsed. The road to the cabin is in very bad shape.
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Death Valley – East Side
Amargosa Borax Works
Ashford Mine (Golden Treasure Mine)
Death Valley Junction
Keane Wonder Mine
Lila C. Mine (“Old Ryan”)
Monarch Canyon Mine
Salt Spring Hills (Amargosa Mines)
Death Valley West Side
Aguereberry Camp/Eureka Mine/Harrisburg
Broken Pick/Trail Canyon
Corona Mine (Jail Canyon)
Eagle Borax Works/Shorty Harris Grave
Harmony Borax Works
Hungry Bill's Ranch
Keystone Mine (Lotus Mine)
Lost Burro Mine
Old Stovepipe Wells
Owl Hole Springs/Black Magic & New Deal Mines
Queen of Sheba Mine/Carbonate
Warm Springs Camp/Gold Hill Mill
Wildrose Canyon Kilns