2011 Nevada-Mojave Trip


Part Four: The adventure concludes!

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Silver Peak, NV

The last full day of my trip started out sunny and dry. The storms of the previous day had dissipated, and the highway between Tonopah and Silver Peak was partially reopened. Traffic was reduced to a single lane while crews worked to repair the damaged areas.

Silver Peak itself had been spared the worst of the storm. I spent a little time photographing some ruins at the north end of the town. I had previously photographed much of Silver Peak in 2007.

The dirt road south of Silver Peak had washed out but was freshly graded, The trail leading to the Mohawk Mine was not graded and had some damage at the lower end, but was passable with four-wheel drive.

Upper Cow Camp Spring, NV

The trail going up to the Mohawk Mine passes through a fantastic area of colorful hills and rocks.

Along the way is a site called Upper Cow Camp Spring. There I found the ruins of a dugout and a small metal shack.

As I continued up the trail, I found some small mines and old cabins in the mountains near the Mohawk Mine.

Below: A miner’s cabin in the vicinity of the Mohawk Mine.

Left: A tiny ground squirrel peers out from a cabin.

Mohawk Mine, NV

At long last, I finally arrived at the Mohawk Mine, located high in the Silver Peak Range.

I have been unable to find out much information about this site, but it appears to have been in use up until the 1950s or ‘60s. There are several buildings of various ages, including two rows of bunkhouses. There is also a short headframe made of heavy steel beams, and two mine tunnels side by side.

Click the photos to see more images of this site.

Above: The hoist house and steel headframe at the Mohawk Mine, NV.

Left: The entrance of a tunnel at the Mohawk Mine, NV. The tunnel is now blocked by a locked steel gate. I’ve seen photos online showing the tunnel with no gate as recently as 2002.

Below: Clouds were building up the whole time I was driving to the mine, and by the time I got there it began to rain. On the way back down the mountain there was a small waterfall pouring off a hillside of solid stone.

There are several other mines in the area that I didn’t have time to visit. I hope to check them out next year.

Farmall Tractor

I stopped for gas in Dyer, NV and saw this terrific old Farmall tractor on display. I got plenty of photos, which will make great reference material for modelers.

Above: A child’s lonely grave in the middle of nowhere.

Palmetto, NV

Palmetto is located on Highway 266, several miles west of Lida, NV. Silver ore was first found here in 1866.

Currently there are two stone ruins and the stone foundations of a large mill. A couple miles to the west is the solitary grave of a five-year-old child. I found some information about it at the following website, however I don’t know how accurate it may be: 


I spent the rest of the evening driving south, back into California, stopping for a couple hours in Amargosa Valley, NV where I tried to photograph some lightning. Unfortunately the storm was already petering out when I got there, and I only obtained one half-way decent shot. I arrived at the Mojave desert cinder mines around 2:00 a.m., where I spent the night.

Above: A lightning strike in Amargosa Valley, NV. This was the only lightning photo I was able to get during the entire trip. It’s not perfect but it’s pretty cool.

Cinder Mines, CA

These cinder mines are a fairly recent “ghost” site, having been abandoned in 1996. Several volcanic cinder cones were quarried for their colorful cinders. The site has been worked for many decades and could have gone on for many more. But when the Mojave National Preserve was created, the government forced the mine’s operator and his family off the site, virtually at gunpoint.

There is an old house and modern trailer home at the main camp and quarry, plus several corrugated metal structures and a lot of rusting equipment. There are also at least tow other smaller quarries nearby, more old equipment. I even found the ruins of a much older stone and wood structure.

Boom Truck

This old pickup truck with a boom mounted in the bed looked interesting, but I have no idea what make or model it is. I shot a complete set of photos, which may be useful to modelers.

That’s all for this year’s trip! Thanks for reading along, I hope you enjoyed the journey!

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Right: An unusual Joshua tree seen near the cinder mines.