To begin the new year we wanted to see what had happened to the Abandoned Mine Area which we had not visited as yet. [For a complete Google Earth file of this day see: Abandoned Mine Area]
It was a great winter ride which took all day. That's because there is so much to explore. We trailer'd from snowbird headquarters, down Gold Butte road, to the Clive's Landing trailhead.
The trail toward the lake is to Clive's Landing at Lake Mead. Across the road, several trails lead toward the mountains. The most obvious one is the most direct way and is the route we took. There is a fork in the road and we kept right, stopping first at Key West Mine.
I'm not sure what exactly the mine was set up as; but, "there's copper in them thar hills," amongst other things. Several old settling ponds and tailings piles make interesting hiking.
We went up the trail a ways and found it to be an interesting ride up to where it connects to yet another trail. Because we didn't know exactly where that would end up we opted to return down the trail and around to Great Eastern Mine by the route we knew we had GPS tracking for.
However, by the time we got close to the mine we recognized the area and found the connecting trail which will make subsequent visits much easier.
The Great Eastern Mine is also a great place to be. Quiet, cool, beautiful vistas over the Virgin River valley and full of history. The mine shaft is flooded and quite dangerous.
Back down the trail we kept to the right, toward South Valley, and rode to the Turquoise Mine. Well, that's what we call it even though it's not on any map we can find.
Colleen Gillings showed us the mine last year. There is obvious Turquoise colored rock all around but no true stone left.
Still around the trail, we passed one of the "Guzzlers" which serve as watering holes for the small animals. It is basically a commercially available covered cistern which is protected from use by larger animals (cows etc).
We took the Radio Tower Road to see if we could get to the top. One of us, ahem, braved the bit of slush and made it almost to the top. Within sight of the tower, the road became so deep in snow that it was impassable. I don't know how the gasoline truck (which comes up every other week) is going to make it up.
We returned by the "lower" route which drops you off on Gold Butte Road a bit further North than the trailhead.
All in all, a good day's work... a... ride.