2009 Nevada-Mojave Trip


Part One: Ghost towns, mines, trains and more!

Every year I spend my five-day vacation camping and exploring the desert, mostly in Nevada but also in the Mojave Desert. I explore old ghost towns, mines, mining camps and anything else of interest, while enjoying the beautiful scenery and wide open spaces. Here’s the scoop on my August 2009 adventure:

Skip to:   Part One   Part Two   Part Three   Part Four

Delamar, NV

The first day of the trip, I drove straight through to the ghost town of Delamar, NV in the eastern part of the state. I spent the night there and explore the site the following morning.

Delamar peaked in the 1890’s with a population of more than 1500. But by 1902 the town began to dwindle.

Most of the building in Delamar were made from local stone, and today there are extensive remains across a large area. Most of the ruins are little more than crumbling walls and foundations, but there are several larger relics, including the ruins of two mills.

Monkeywrench Mine, NV

Going north from Delamar, I found a small, unidentified mining camp in the vicinity of Monkeywrench Wash.

Caliente, NV

Continuing north, I passed through the town of Caliente, NV. The most interesting structure here is the beautiful, mission-style Union Pacific depot.

Wide Awake Mine, NV

There used to be quite a few interesting mines and mining camps in the area south of Pioche, NV. Sadly, I found that many of them were destroyed by a brushfire since my last visit to the area, including one that had all of the original equipment intact.

But a few mines were spared by the fire. Of these, the best is the Wide Awake Mine. I got many good photos of these structures during my visit.

Pioche, NV

Pioche was first settled in the 1860’s. During the next couple decades this silver mining town earned a reputation as one of the roughest towns of the Old West. Legend has it that 75 men here died of violence before the first death by natural causes.

There are many interesting old buildings in Pioche, some dating back to the 1870’s. There are also a lot of mining structures in and around town.

Pioche Aerial Tram

One of the most interesting relics in Pioche is the aerial bucket tram used to transport ore from the mines to the mill. The tram terminal with its large wooden ore bins, is heavily weathered and showing its age, but is mostly intact. The tram towers are riveted steel and look as good as new. The tram buckets are still dangling from the cables. I’ve devoted a special page for my photos showing many details of the tram system.

I left Pioche late in the afternoon and made my way further north, then east across Nevada’s Spring Valley, to a mining camp at the southern end of the Snake Range. Along the way, just as the sun was setting, I spotted a small herd of pronghorn antelope (below).

Go to the next page to read more about my 2009 Nevada trip:

Nevada Trip 2009 Part Two

...the adventure continues!

Skip to:   Part One   Part Two   Part Three   Part Four


Note to modelers:

Many of the structures I’ve photographed would make great additions to your model railroad. It is my hope that these photos can be a useful reference resource. If you need larger, higher resolution images, just let me know. Also, in some cases I have additional detail photos that have not yet been posted online.

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