Visiting Two Ghosts from the Pinyon Plateau - Joshua Tree National Parkphotos

Pleasant Valley Joshua Tree NPThe "ghosts" that we're looking for today aren't the chain-rattling, ectoplasm dripping ones that you might have been hoping for, but rather two old mines from the late 1800's whose current wispy remains are sitting in splendid isolation high on Joshua Tree's Pinyon Plateau. Considering their antiquity and seldom seen nature, we thought an Oija board might be a better device for finding these almost spectral remains but ultimately decide that we'll stick with a more earthly approach and use our GPS! We'll be searching first for the Pinyon Mine, also known as the Tingman-Holland, and then travel deeper into the rugged plateau to look for the Henson Mine and mill site. Both of these mines most likely began operating around 1890, roughly 120 years ago. We're hoping that there's still a bit left for us to photograph. Of course, we have to find them first! We know from past experience that there will be some hard earned elevation to be gained to reach the 5,200' base elevation of the lofty plateau. Sandy washes provide the first route that we'll follow and, with the exception of the almost vanished mining trail that once passed near Pinyon Well, we'll be doing a lot of cross country route finding. Of course, it's possible that faint traces of trails that once led to the mines that we're hunting can still be found. There's only one way to find out!

Are you up for doing a sunrise to sunset hunt for these two phantoms? We knew you would be! Grab that mouse and click on the photo link below to join us on our desert version of Ghost Hunters!