2012 Nevada-Mojave Trip



Skip to:   Part One   Part Two   Part Three   Part Four   Part Five

Comet Mine, NV

On the third night of my trip I arrived after midnight at the Comet Mine in southeastern Nevada. I camped near an old bunkhouse. In the darkness I could just barely make out the ruins of a mill. The next morning I was amazed at the extent of old structures and ruins at this obscure site.

Prior to coming here, I had not seen much information about this mine on the internet. What I did find out is that mining began here in 1882 and continued through the 1930’s. There is a foundation in the hoist house dated 1946, so obviously some work went on after World War II.

The most recent area of the mine includes the headframe and hoist house. Inside the hoist house, I found a large, two-cylinder compressor that appears to be intact. There is also a slightly smaller, single-cylinder pump or engine. The hoist itself is missing many of its parts. An attached blacksmith shop is in ruins.

A little way down the hill is an older area with a couple open mine shafts, without headframes. This is also the location of the mill ruins, which are fairly extensive. Across the canyon is the bunkhouse where I’d camped. Further down the hill from the mill is the ruins of a house, possibly used by the mine superintendent.

North of the mine, tucked away among the trees, is the tattered remains of a cabin made from an old travel trailer. Various other ruins and pieces of equipment are scattered throughout the area.

Above: Interior of the hoist house. The large, two-cylinder compressor is visible at lower left.

Left: Ruins of a house which may have been the home of the mine supervisor. Note the squirrel on top of the chimney.

Click on any photo to go to my Comet Mine pages.

Above: A view of the mill ruins.

Left: A large ore bin that was once part of the mill.

Below: The bunkhouse, as seen from the mill ruins.

Above and Left: After leaving the Comet Mine, I headed south across the desert, through the Burnt Springs Range and Dry Lake Valley. I saw some interesting things along the way, such as this strangely-shaped boulder.

Below: I also saw hundreds of large, black and orange beetles, which were busily eating the small yellow flowers that covered certain shrubs. These beetles were up to an inch and a half long.

Below: I saw some wild horses too, off in the distance.

And I shot a very brief video of some pronghorn antelope that raced alongside my Trooper and dashed across the road:

I refueled in Ash Springs, then took Highway 375 northwest towards my next stop, the Reveille Range.

Reveille Range, NV

There are several minor sites of interest in this area -- small mines, unidentified mining camps, the Gila, Kietzke, and Lost Burro mines, and the towns of Reveille and New Reveille. None have extensive ruins or structures. Here are a couple I visited on this trip.

Above: Ruins of a stone building at an unidentified mining camp on the eastern flanks of the Reveille Range.

Left: Inside a mine adit (tunnel) at the unidentified mining camp on the eastern flanks of the Reveille Range.

Below: An interesting old building at the Kietzke Mine, in the western foothills of the Reveille Range.

Reveille Mill, NV

Next I headed west into the Reveille Valley until I came to the ruins of the Reveille Mill (below). The mill was originally built in 1869 and ran into the 1870’s. It was revived off and on in the 1880’s and into the 1900’s, finally shutting down for good in 1949.

Left: An old stone corral near the ruins of the Reveille Mill.

Below: A stock tank filled with fresh spring water to quench the thirst of cattle near the Reveille Mill. Here I found the biggest surprise of my entire trip...

Right: To my complete and total surprise, this tank in the middle of nowhere has several koi swimming in it!

Were they placed there by a rancher with a fondness for koi, or by some desert traveler with a whimsical streak? We may never know.

To all who read this, if you ever go there, please leave them alone! Don’t kill, harass or steal these fish! Sorry I have to keep repeating this stuff but there are a lot of stupid, thoughtless jerks in the world.

Eden Creek Ranch, NV

A few miles south of the Reveille Mill, I can to the ruins of the Eden Creek Ranch. I don’t know the history of these ranch ruins but it appears to be quite old.

The main house is a long, rectangular structure with thick stone and mortar walls. Thick log beams support the roof. There is also a beautiful stone barn with a roof of logs and thatch. Nearby is the remains of a small log cabin. Across from the main house is the blacksmith’s shop.

I didn’t have much time to explore here because it was getting dark. I found out later that the remains of an older ranch are just up the canyon a bit, and some extensive mining camp structures even farther up the canyon. I will have to check these out next time.

Left: Door of the main house.

Below: The stone barn and ramada.

My this time I was getting low on gas, so I drove to Tonopah to refuel. Then headed into the Kawich Range, to the Bellehelen mining district. There are many mines in this area, most of them fairly small with only a few ruins. I had hoped to spend the night at one of the mines but couldn’t find a good one in the dark, so I just camped among the junipers and pinyon pines, and looked for the mines the next morning.

Go to Page 5 to read about the exciting conclusion of my 2012 Nevada trip:

Nevada Trip 2012 Part Five

More great stuff ahead!

Go Back To Part Three


Return to Ghost Towns Page

Return to Photography and Graphics page