2017 Nevada-Mojave Trip


Part five: Lithium mine, sulfur mine, crater mine!

You can click on any of the photos or links in the article to see more photos or videos of each site...

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Silver Peak, NV - Clayton Valley Lithium Mine

The mining town of Silver Peak, NV sits at the west side of Clayton Valley. The valley contains a vast dry lake. Lithium is mined here by pumping groundwater from below the lakebed, and evaporating it in huge ponds called “vats”. When the lithium carbonate in the water reaches its highest concentration, it is pumped to the processing plant in Silver Peak. This is the only active lithium mine in North America.

I’ve photographed the town of Silver Peak on many previous occasions. On this trip I made a drone flight over the lakebed and evaporating ponds. This facility doesn’t look like much at ground level, but it makes quite a striking and colorful sight when seen from above.

Click here to see video of the Clayton Valley Lithium Mine, NV.

Bar Double 9 Ranch, NV

This abandoned ranch compound in western Nevada has numerous buildings, including a large barn and an unusual, enclosed water tower.

Mill Site Well, CA

The town of Taylor, NV lasted from about 1883 to 1893. At its peak it had a population of 1500 people. A modern open-pit mine has obliterated the town site, and currently the only vintage structures are this headframe, hoist house and shack.

Click here to see video of Mill Site Well, CA.

Willow Creek Wash, CA

Heading south from Mill Site Well, I passed through Willow Creek Wash. The scenery in this area was spectacular. It was beginning to rain so I could only get a few photos.

Crater Sulfur Mine, CA

The area around the Crater Sulfur Mine is said to have the largest deposit of sulfur west of the Mississippi River. Mining began here in 1929, there was a company town of about 36 people in 1931. Mining continued until 1953, when a sulfur dust explosion destroyed the mill. In the 1990s a large, modern mining operation destroyed what little remained of the town, and destroyed or damaged much of the early equipment.

Click here to see video of Crater Sulfur Mine, CA.

Below: Some of the colorful rocks around the mine.

Goofy Plants

I don’t know what kind of plants these are, but they look like they were designed by Dr. Suess! 

Right: This plant was near the Crater Sulfur Mine, CA.

Below: A dried weed near the McCoy Mine, NV.

Above: Sunset over Death Valley.

Cinder Mines, CA

This part of the Mojave desert is pocked with volcanic cinder cones and old lava flows. Some of the cinder cones were mined for their decorative red cinders.

Click here to see video of Cinder Mines, CA.

Click here to see video of Boulder Pass, CA.

An interesting site in the Mojave desert, with huge granite domes and boulders. I made a brief flight over this scenic area.

Castle Mine, CA

I don’t know any of the history of this mine. It’s tucked away at the end of a very long, rough trail that is washed out in many places. There’s a dilapidated cabin, several mine shafts, a small headframe, and old trailer, and the foundations of a mill.

Click here to see video of Castle Mine, CA.

Above: A colorful lizard seen on the way to the mine.

Below: Fantastic scenery near the mine.

That was the last stop on my 2017 adventure. Thanks for following along!

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

Note to modelers:

Many of the structures I’ve photographed would make great subjects for dioramas, or for 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 been posted online.

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