Thursday, September 8, 2016

Eagle Cliff Mine (Part 1)

Eagle Cliff Mine in Joshua Tree National Park is another one of those places that you occasionally hear about or see photos but the location is a closely guarded secret. Tourists don't know about it (haven't even heard of it) and it's not on any map. Kind of like the Iron Door Cave, these places start to take on a certain level of mystery and intrigue. You only speak of them in hushed tones.

I spent hours looking at posts and studying Google Maps until I felt confident I knew the approximate location. The hike in from the Pine City Backcountry board didn't look too bad and looked relatively short as viewed on Google Earth. However, I've learned from experience, hikes always look easier and shorter when viewed in the comfort of your home on Google Earth!!

Here's what Death Valley Jim says about the hike:
Despite only being a three mile trek, you will likely find that you have the trail to yourself. The feeling of remoteness, and aloneness is far too much for the average day visitor. Enjoy it, as it's beginning to become difficult to find places like this in Joshua Tree, as visitation has nearly doubled from just a few short years ago.
He's right. I had the "trail" (what there was of it) entirely to myself and didn't see a single person during the entire hike. The feeling of aloneness and remoteness was wonderful!

The hike got off to a bad start. It was late afternoon by the time I started out and I was feeling rushed. Not knowing exactly where I was going, my biggest fear was getting out in the middle of nowhere and losing daylight. It's easy enough to get lost in the desert, but almost guaranteed to get lost hiking at night!


Early in the hike I ran across this old stone miner's cabin. Not much left, just some partial walls and an old bed frame. I got my DSLR out of my backpack for a photo and... Memory Card Full!!  I can't believe I made such a novice mistake. In my haste to get started on my hike, I forgot to grab a spare memory card and battery.
Thank goodness for my iPhone. It's saved me a number of times now.


Not too far into the hike, you pass through the Desert Queen Mine area. Lots of mines and some mining equipment can be seen in the area. Unfortunately, all the mines are fenced off.




Inside, looking out!

These rocks remind me of two people facing each other having a discussion (or have I been out in the sun too long??)


A perfect day for a hike into Joshua Tree's backcountry. Blue skies, and definitely warm, but not uncomfortably hot.


Yet another exploratory mine (very shallow). This was well into my hike, and I was starting to feel like I should be heading north toward the area I thought was Eagle Cliff Mine. Instead, the trail was taking me further southeast.


A beautiful view, but I can see the trail dropping down quickly to the southeast. I'm positive at this point that I've somehow missed the turnoff to the Eagle Cliff area. Even the main trail is faint and disappears at times, so if there is a fork in the trail, it would be easy to miss. Time to head back, keep an eye out for a fork in the trail, and perhaps reluctantly call it a day and continue my search at another time.

Sorry to leave you with this cliffhanger (pun intended), but I promise you that Eagle Cliff Mine (Part 2) will provide you with a satisfactory ending!


Thanks for stopping by!
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33 comments:

  1. Such adventures you have. What a hike. Looking forward to part two.

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  2. These landscape views are stunning, enchanting. Even love the view of the shallow rocky mine.

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  3. Well, your iPhone worked just fine. Your shadow in the second shot even lent some ...uh... perspective. Hey, it's not the camera, it's the photographer! Well done.

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  4. The last picture is stunning.Waiting to hear the rest of this story.

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  5. A very interesting post. Your photos continually show how beautiful and fascinating Joshua Tree National Park can be. They are amazing.

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  7. Sounds like a great afternoon, and a good story, too, with a little mystery. I love the conversation rocks.

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  8. Gosh, I guess if there is a second part we know that you didn't go back and get lost up there somehow -- it looks like a beautiful hike even if you didn't reach your goal (yet?) ... your phone took some great pictures there. The rocks really do look like people talking (and I haven't been out in the sun today at all ... inside recovering from a roadtrip).

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  9. You're good in keeping the suspense throughout the post! The only thing that worries me is water, if you get lost! Actually in the pic below the faces in conversation, the middle rock really looks like a (frontal) face! Looking forward to your next post about Joshua Tree Nat. Park!

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  10. Beautiful tour of the place. Interesting things to see.

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  11. What a great place to explore! Beautiful set of photos!

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  12. My problem is finding the Battery empty on my DSLR, happened once when I went off up the river Thames, then had to come home because of no back up (did not have an iphone then). Don't fill my memory cards up I tend to download the photos and clear the memory. Looking forward to the next instalment

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  13. Great shots as always with good a good story with it. Another jewel on your palmares.

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  14. Looking forward to hearing the rest. I'm glad I'm not the only one who has left the house with a full card and no spare.

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  15. Hello, sounds like an adventure. It seems like most national parks are extremely crowded, hard to find a spot with no people. Beautiful photos and views. Happy Friday, enjoy your weekend!

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  16. A real adventur :-)) Nice pictures!

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  17. Superb scenery and shots - how glad I am too that you had your iPhone charged and ready!

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  18. Hi! It's a real adventure! The scenery is very beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

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  19. Hi! It's a real adventure! The scenery is very beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

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  20. I like these kind of hikes, where you set out and discover something completely new - perhaps even get a little bit off-track. I wouldn't be going inside any of those mines though...

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  21. I enjoy these exploration hikes you post. Am looking forward to part 2.

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  22. Wrong trail or not you got to see some gorgeous desert scenery.

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  23. Beautiful stone and sky.....fabulous colours!

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  24. Great post - always good to find somewhere secret! Phones do rather well these days I have noticed!

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

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  25. What a wonderful views.
    Photos are lovely.

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  26. Wow, what neat discoveries. You are brave to venture out in the desert alone. But how exhilarating!!

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  27. so much to explore. And the iPhone is a good spare camera. At least when it is charged. Great adventure as usual.

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  28. you must have a good phone, you got some great shots

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  29. Wow! Nice one,with rail tracks still around

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  30. Great post! Not only have I found myself with a full memory card, I've even forgotten to take my camera a time or two.
    Love your photos!

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  31. I think i would have been letting markers to find my way back. fascinating finds along the way though.

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