Don’t let the name fool you. This federal government owned mining site began operation in the early 1900. Modern operations began after WWII and continued into the 80′s. This is an abandoned large scale mine with much a equipment still in place. A very interesting mine to visit indeed. For a while the mine was the largest producer of gold in California.

We headed up to the mine in June of 2014. The long dirt road from Lee Vining is treacherous and best suited for four wheel drive or high clearance vehicles. The site features an impressive Head Frame and Mill which appear to be on the verge of collapsing into the gaping collar of the main shaft, very dangerous. We explored the hoist house, assay shack, bunkhouse and office, mess hall, various other structures and the original “Log Cabin”.

The site is littered with old mining equipment like stamps, cams and pulleys from earlier mining efforts, all shoved off the side of the hill where we found another road overgrown with young pines. This road led us down the hill some 200 plus feet in elevation to another tunnel which we had seen on topo. The adit was collapsed and had water flowing out it. There was a nice tailings pile with ore cart tracks overlooking Mono Lake but man that was a long hike back up the hill.

Check out the extensive photos in the gallery below. Have you been, comments welcome below!

  • JB Bergmann

    Reply
    Rating: 5 / 5

    Definitely a 5 star explorer’s destination. Read the book “Gold Mine in the Sky” for the whole story on this fabulous piece of history.

  • Stan

    Reply
    Rating: 5 / 5

    First went up there in 2011, headframe in good shape. Noticed shaft ant-hilling in late 2012 visit, but headframe was still intact. Looks like frame is starting to buckle in your pics, just a matter of time before it breaks apart and falls down the shaft, too bad.

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