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Below are photos of some recent activities by the Bureau of Land Management, closing off access to mines. This is due to idiots who do not exercise good caution, safety, and judgement by not entering mines in the first place...so now those of us who are responsible & careful must have our entertainment taken away from us because of a handful of morons. I'd much rather have folks enjoy my photos here than risk trying to see all this for themselves. I've been exploring mines for decades, and am well prepared; I also don't explore mines that don't appear to be safe to enter, and trust my sixth senses if something seems amiss.

I don't fault the BLM nor the Forest Service nor any other agency that is involved in closing off access to mines; they are reacting to the stupid amongst us and doing as they are directed. So by no means is this a condemnation of any federal agency; I hold them blameless. Rather, it is the few idiots amongst us that makes the rest of us pay for their stupidity.

Goodsprings was named for cattle rancher Joe Good, who used to water his herd at the springs named after him. The town of Goodsprings thrives to this day, but has many reminders of its glorified mining past. In fact, there is an effort underway to have the former grade of the Yellow Pine Mining Railroad designated as a trail under the federal Rails To Trails program. The mining district extends well beyond Goodsprings and generally incorporates mines around Sandy Valley & the Potosi Mountain range as well. This section covers a wide area throughout the district, including photos in & around Goodsprings township proper.

Strikes in the area were recorded beginning in the early 1880s, but high transportation costs stymied development until the SP,LA&SL Railroad (aka "The Salt Lake Route," forerunner of the Union Pacific) rails were laid through Jean in 1905, less than 10 miles to the south. In 1882 the Keystone Mine was located west of Goodsprings, and a small mill was constucted in the town. The Yellow Pine Mining Company was formed in 1901, by combining several smaller claims located in Porphyry Gulch, roughly 4 miles northwest of Goodsprings town. The increase in ore output from the various area mines demanded better transportation to the SP,LA&SL railhead at Jean, and so in 1909 an attempt was made to acquire the remaining assets of the defunct Quartette Mining Company's railroad (the locomotives & some equipment had already been acquired by the Arden Plaster Company); the deal was not consumated until more than a year later, and the Yellow Pine Mining Company Railroad was completed in June, 1911. The railroad was approximately 12-1/2 miles long, and featured steep grades all along its length: 4 to 5% in the "easy" section out of Jean, and then up to 12% in short sections along the rest of the route! Runaways and accidents were not uncommon during the railroad's lifespan. The railroad ran from Jean northwards into Goodsprings (where the Yellow Pine Mining Co. mill was also located, along the railroad route), and then northwesterly to the Yellow Pine Mine. Several other mines were also served by the railroad along the way to enhance revenue, a very few with their own spurs.

DO NOT ENTER old mines, especially without having the proper equipment. NEVER enter by yourself! We use headlamps for light, with several back up flash lights. We carry a multi-gas sensing meter that measures the oxygen level, as well as methane gas level; however, we do NOT carry rescue breathing equipment. Bad air is a reality for many old mines - carbon monoxide and other dangerous gases collect in lower levels of many mines, as well as in many isolated pockets of the twists & turns of many mines (and you will NOT be able to smell the bad gas before it overwhelms you). We carry extra batteries, rescue ropes, first aid kits, and plenty of water. We also carry a Spot GPS Meter that sends an email w/GPS coordinates via satellite to love-ones before we enter stating our location and that we are OK. We do it again upon leaving the mine to let them know we’re out and safe; this meter also has the capability of sending a help signal and/or alerting 911 via satellite providing GPS coordinates – of course it doesn’t work within the mine itself. The BLM strongly advises to not enter these old mines, so if you choose to do so, it is solely at your own risk. Some mines, have steep & deep drop-offs, as well as difficult-to-see vertical shafts, which could be impossible to get back up out of. Also, even though you may see extensive use of wood ladders, shoring and support platforms inside old mines, this wood is very old and unstable; much of it is rotted (along with corroded nails & bolts) and WILL NOT support your weight. So please enjoy these photos but do not try to enter any old mines.

Closed Mine, Nevada (2009)

Closed Mine, Nevada (2009)

Closed Mine, Nevada (2009)

Closed Mine, Nevada (2009)

Closed Mine, Nevada (2009)

Closed Mine, Nevada (2009)
Here's an interesting mine group near the fenced-off Monte Cristo Mine; I haven't been able to find a name for this group of workings other than "Adit" or "Prospects" on good topo maps, nor have I been able to find any information on what they may have been named through the Nevada Bureau of Mines. Anyhow, these have been closed off by the BLM and/or the NBoM by welding steel tubing & angles together in the adit, and inserting a corrugated drainage pipe into the vertical shaft (with a small opening to keep people out but allow bats access/exit). I assume this mine was picked due to its easy access from the 4x4 road; most of the other mines in the area are only reached after hiking up difficult pack mule trails.

Back to Ghost Towns & Mines Page | Back to Goodsprings Mining District Page

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