ROADS, TRAILS, CABINS, MINES AND ADVENTURE AWAIT YOUR JEEP
Mining in America is best known for the California Gold Rush (1848-1855) where the “Forty-Niners” as they became to be known left roads and trails in search of gold for ModernJeepers to follow today. Some say overlanding even started then, with Conestoga wagons, covered wagons and emigrants pulling oxen wagons.
There were many other “gold rushes” like the Nome and Klondike Gold Rush of Alaska (1899-1909), the Black Hills Gold Rush, South Dakota (1874-1878) and others that left trails, roads, mining cabins and camps for us to explore today. Land use organizations today still fight to keep these old historic routes open for us. Enjoying them should be on your bucket list.
Minerals besides gold that were heavily mined included (but not limited to) Bauxite, Borax, Copper, Coal, Silver, Iron, Molybdenum, Phosphate, Zinc and in Moab, UT particularly, Uranium. One Death Valley story tells of a forty-niner era miner who found a form of borax lying on the ground. He sold the claim on which he was barely surviving for what now would be a millionaire’s fortune. Oh, the stories, trails and roads these mines left behind.
As with most all historical structures, buildings decay and mines fill in with erosion. It doesn’t take long for old mining camps to disappear from official maps available to the public. If you get the chance to go exploring for historic mining camps, you should do it now.
Some tips to help you find old mines and cabins:
1. Ask the locals where you want to explore in coffee shops and “hang out” establishments. Treasures have been found based on napkin maps made in a bar.
2. Use your browser and satellite imagery to look for old buildings and mines. Use several key words in your searches such as historic, mines, cabins, lost mines, ghost towns, etc.
3. Go to the library in your interest area and poke around in the journals and historic references. Be sure to ask the librarian for hints on where to look. Journals of old miners are a treasure!
4. Ask at the RV Parks, Chamber of Commerce or Tourism office where cool old buildings and mines might still be standing.
Enjoy this collection of historic mining camps, buildings, cabins and more…
When you get the chance, get out the maps, grab a buddy, and go find some mining history. It’s an adventure you won’t forget!