Sunday, January 23, 2011

Miner's Camp April 15, 2010

Looking east above Miner's Camp

Today I am going to blog about an area near Wendover, Utah, called Miner's Camp which is at the base of Pilot Peak. The area is an oasis in the desert, old mining camp, and trailhead for Pilot Peak. (The route up Pilot Peak is off trail and very difficult). I have been to the camp a number of times; the latest of which was last April. On this April trip I did see a group of turkeys and a number of interesting lizards. In the canyon there are also a number of beautiful cottonwood trees. This is a worthwhile trip to make but remember to respect America's heritage and pack out your garbage.
1) Take Exit 4 off of I-80. Get supplies and gas at this station because the country is desolate.
2) Take paved road for 1.8 miles passed turn off for Bonneville Salt Flats.
3) Follow main gravel road for 16 miles west towards Pilot Peak. This road can be treachorous
if it rains.
4) Miner's Canyon is turn off at second cattle gate. Dirt two track goes off to the left. The road
is a 4.5 mile four wheel drive road.
The area was made famous because of the Donnor Party who traveled on the Hastings Cutoff on their ill fated trip to California. The emigrants used Pilot Peak as a landmark for crossing the salt flats of Utah. A bullet ridden sign shows the location of the Hastings Cutoff near Pilot Peak.
The Pilot Peak range saw a limited amount of silver, gold and copper mining in Miner's Canyon throughout the later part of the 1800s and middle 1900s. It began when Walter Brown discovered silver in July 1878. He was over confident and tried to open up a number of mines and a mill; however, production was severely limited and not profitable. In 1908 the mines opened again with little success and they closed after a year. The mines (American Flag, Badger, and Western Star) opened for a third time in 1934 this time staying open for four years. Total production of metals was minimal at best. (Info from Old Heart of Nevada: Ghost Towns and Mining Camps of Elko County by: Shawn Hall)
Sign showing the location of the California Trail

Remnants up at the camp
More ruins up at the camp


Desert scenery from up on Pilot Peak

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