In 1907 in the peaks east of Death Valley’s famous “Race track” not far from Tea Kettle Junction Bert Shively was searching for a lost burro when he came upon the rich outcroppings. He quickly filed 6 claims in partnership with several partners to secure a lien of $45k. A payment was missed and the lien holders quickly seized the property which was producing an amazing $80 of gold per ton.

In 1908 the mine again changed ownership with gold ore assayed at $1450 per ton with plans to construct a mill. The mine continued to change ownership many times over the years. In 1977 the mine was vandalized and a stove and other small items were stolen.

Today, much debris in the form of rusted oil drums, tin cans, old chairs, etc., as well as several lengths of the Burro Spring two-inch-diameter pipeline litter the site. The mill remains consist of the wooden framework and five or six levels of masonry foundations stairstepping down the hillside. Various items of machinery connected with the milling operation, such as a small retort or smelter and sluice box, are scattered about over the foundations. The main underground workings include three groups of stopes connected to the surface by two adits, while separate workings surround both the east and west shafts. The Lost Burro Mine lies totally within the Lost Burro *1 and #2 claims.

The Lost Burro remains remarkably preserved and vandal free despite its location being well publicized on the web and on numerous maps. You can even Google it and it pops right up on Google Maps. The site is a well regarded 4×4 and jeep off roading destination.

  • JB Bergmann

    Rating: 4 / 5

    One of my all time favorites. The Lost Burro almost has it all. A well preserved cabin with bed, table and artifacts, many open underground shafts to explore, a stamp mill and remnants of an aerial tram. The Lost Burro is well preserved because of it’s extreme remoteness. Accessible only by 4×4 with auxiliary gas from either Tea Kettle Junction, Hunter Mountain or the famed Lippincott Pass.

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