On the lower slopes of Clark Mountain are the scant remains of a 1916-1929 era copper mine. Its name is the Mammoth Mine. We’ve been tantalized by distant glimpses of it as we passed through the area on other trips and each time vowed to make it a point to check it out in the future. Today we’re finally going to grind and jounce our way up to it and see what’s left! If you’re going to join us on this virtual trek, you’ll want to strap yourself securely into your recliner because the road is badly eroded.
After exploring the Mammoth, we’re hoping to have enough daylight left to scurry over to Shadow Mountain and check out another area that’s well off the beaten path. The Shadow Mountains have a much older history as the first gold claims were filed in 1894. However, after a meteoric beginning, most of the miners were headed off to other locations after only a year! The California Mining Bureau explains the problem, “The small size of the veins, some of which are faulted, the great distance from supply points and scarcity of water, have retarded the development of the mines, and the district is practically deserted.” The obituary proved to be premature, though, and much like a Phoenix rising from the ashes, the old mining district refused to die and was soon resurrected and struggled on well into the 1930’s. We’ll be starting our explorations at the Shadow Mountain Mine and mill ruins and then visiting a few of the more remote sites on our “Recon” of this interesting area.
If you’re up for a full day of kickin’ up sand, then click on the photo links below to join us in our desert double-header!