Tag Archives: mine

Montgomery City

Montgomery Creek Canyon
Montgomery Mining Camp:
Mountain Queen Mine

Montgomery City, California

 

WHITE PEAK DISTRICT
As with many historic names inside California, this remote location cannot be classified as a ‘city’ in todays terms.  It may have been a notable location back in the early days of early settlement, but it did not last long. Notable producers of this region were the Phoenix Mine and Mountain Queen Mine.

 Desert

terrain: desert mountain peaks

elevation: 6450′

description:miner
Old mining camp near the Nevada state border

location:
Eastern California, on Nevada border
Mono County
NE of Bishop, & 40 mi. SE of Bodie, CA

East of US 395, up Highway 6 @ Benton, turn right / South towards the Benton dump w/ dirt road Inyo Forest Road #1S77 leading up Montgomery Canyon. 4×4 will be needed to drive the dirt access road. Hiking may be required to reach mining ruins.

hiker

Boundary Peak Hike
Boundary Peak Trailhead

area activities:

Inyo Mountains Map

When Mono County was still in its infancy, the town of Benton became a destination of miners seeking new strikes, and by 1865 was the county’s largest town.

Miners found ore where perpendicular cliffs of Montgomery Canyon opened onto the alluvial fan. Montgomery City and its mines didn’t thrive for very long and like most operations typical of this era, eventually became an abandoned site.

Circa 1863 and 1864, “some very rich rock was found in Montgomery Canyon, and a tremendous rush and excitement was the consequence. A lively little town of three or four thousand inhabitants at once sprung up, locations were made and mines opened out, and large shipments of rich ore made to San Francisco and other places. I have been told that some of the ore was worth from $2 to $3 a pound; but the ledges were broken on the surface, and apparently gave out, and the excitement soon subsided.”

Montgomery Peak – 13,441′ elev
Mount Dubois – 13,559′
White Mountain Peak – 14,246′

Stone walls can be found within the mining site, located within the drainage of Montgomery Creek. A few old stone cabins hold on to the brink of existence, far up this secluded high desert canyon.

Benton on US Hwy 6 was established as Benton Station in 1880 when the narrow gauge Carson & Colorado Railroad came through the area. Montgomery City is a true ghost town, in every sense of the phrase. Those who make the rough and steep journey to reach this remote location should  be rewarded with an enjoyable day trip.

InyoAtlasBackpackers, hikers and off-roaders who plan to explore this region in depth should follow the trailhead link above for GPS points and notes on this canyon. A topographic map of the area would also help in navigation.

4x4

towns nearby:

see also –

Benton Hot Springs

Laws Railroad Museum

Ancient Bristlecone Pines Forest

Panamint City California

panahills
Photo Credit © Lttlbddy Steve Gardiner

Panamint City, a super remote mining camp on the edge of Death Valley National Park

elevation: 7300′

(Not to be confused w/ Panamint Springs, CA which is NW, along the main Highway 190 on the west side of DVNPhiker

Panamint Valley, Death Valley NP
Inyo County, NE of Ridgecrest
East of Hwy 395, south of Hwy 190

Hard to reach ghost town / abandoned mining camp on the mountainous edge of Death Valley National Park. Access via dirt road and steep trail,  off the paved Trona Wildrose Road. Panamint Valley, west of Death Valley

best time to visit: November – April
Triple digit heat is common in the warmer months, so spring, autumn and winter time is best for this region, but beware of winter storms.snow

Snow is common on  the peaks, and at higher elevations (like this place) during winter (DEC-APRIL). If you see trees on the terrain – joshua trees or pinyon pines, that indicates that snow falls here often enough. Snow is possible around Death Valley, down to 3000′ elev. during coldest of winter storms.

Surprise Canyon Wilderness BLM – Desert mountains, steep rocky terrain w/ peaks and very few trees. Surprise Canyon can become a waterfall, during heavy desert rains. The canyon is the  only access up to reach this hidden town4x4

NO MORE 4×4
Hike or backpack up Surprise Canyon
No longer 4WD accessible .Gotta hike it on foot now. So get that fat ass outta the rig for some elevated heart rate (real exercise).

This desert destination used to be a very popular off-road trail, where Jeeps would wench and crawl up the narrow, rocky passage; but all that changed with a wilderness designation (1994)  and no longer are machines allowed in this specific canyon area. No vehicles (engines) and no mountain bikes. No wheeled anything.

Off-roading and free-wheelin is still allowed and abundant in neighboring canyons of Nadeau Road & Panamint Valley – Pleasant Canyon, South Park Canyon, Jailhouse Canyon, Goler Wash, Isham Canyon

stack
Smoke stack has collapsed in the recent past, so this structure is no longer standing. Photo Credit © Lttlbddy Steve Gardiner

DVNP Topo Map

area activities & links:

  • lookinN
    Looking north in a neighboring canyon

    Campgrounds nearby –

    Ballarat ghost town has a camper bathroom w/ showers and a fee to go along with that. Panamint Springs has a small motel and a big restaurant, plus a large campground (across the highway) which can accommodate tents, camper trailers and RVs.

    campDeath Valley National Park boundary means developed campgrounds are a few miles away up Wildrose Canyon.

     

  • Primitive Camping around Panamint Valley

    Boon-docking, dispersed, FREE, open camping is allowed almost anywhere in Panamint Valley and the neighboring desert canyons. Campfire permits are required and are available at BLM office in Ridgecrest. There is no firewood, nor wood collecting around these parts, so bring your own.

    camptruck

    Nadeau Road has abundant flat spots for RVs; Well stocked 4x4s can find secluded camping further up the canyons, but must be a self-sufficient camper and bring water, plenty of ice, extra gasoline, food and firewood.

    More Mining Camps & towns nearby:check

    Ballarat, CA
    Pleasant Canyon
    Randsburg, CA
    Skidoo, DVNP
    Tucki Mine, DVNP

    wildrosedrive
    Wildrose Canyon Road, DVNP

    lodging nearby – lodge

    Locating a ‘real bed’ near this remote desert region will require some driving. The closest option in Panamaint Springs, which only has a few rooms. The next closest, would be Stovepipe Wells inside the National Park.

    mike_up5
    This is the kinda wheeling craziness that goes on in other canyons nearby.
    bestnite
    Leon from San Diego enjoys a spontaneous vacation.

    Camping in Panamint Valley is best in cooler months.  NOTE: Triple digit heat in summer!