Thursday, September 15, 2016

Eagle Cliff Mine (Part 2)

Hey, thanks for hanging in with me for this two part post on Eagle Cliff Mine in Joshua Tree National Park. At the end of Last Week's Episode I was hiking the backcountry tired, hot, hopelessly lost with only about an hour of daylight left. OK, that's an exaggeration, I wasn't hopelessly lost (thankfully), but I was having a hard time finding the Eagle Cliff Mine area. So it was time to backtrack and make another attempt to find a trail or passage I must have missed, and I really was running out of daylight.

After backtracking about a half mile or so, I noticed a faint trail branching off and heading in the direction I thought was the right direction. Heck, no wonder I missed it, it was very faint and appears to get very little use. After about a 1/4 mile or so on this "trail", I started to wonder if I had made a wrong turn. About this time, I noticed a nice flat clearing flanked by huge boulders on either side. You can tell it's getting late by the way the rocks pick up that golden glow from the late afternoon sun.
This looks promising. You can see some stony rubble on the ground (mine tailings?). Sure enough, just beyond this spot, you can see the mine.


The Eagle Cliff Mine is partially hidden by an oak tree, and it's fenced off on the inside so it can't be explored. The mine dates back to 1895, and is said to be one of the oldest mines in this area. But the mine isn't what I was after. Turns out, there's an old miner's cabin built into the rocks. Totally cool and well preserved, and that's what I'm hoping to find today. 

Study the photo below and you might get a slight glimpse of a wood frame door that is the entrance to the cabin. Don't worry if you can't see it...

I breathed a sigh of relief, and danced a little jig, as I followed this passageway along the rocky walls and spotted what I knew to be the Eagle Cliff mining cabin.

Probably obvious that not all here is original. I read somewhere that the Park Service is restoring parts of this cabin. Also, this front entrance was originally roofed with pinyon pine branches and logs, which has long since disappeared. I wonder if the Park Service will try to replace this roof?

As I entered the cabin, I was blown away by the amount of cool "stuff" inside! I actually had kind of an eerie feeling that I was invading someone's privacy.

As you enter the cabin there is a beautifully built stone fireplace that I'm sure was used to keep the miners warm on some of those cold winter nights.

Wow, look at all the stuff!! I was absolutely impressed that a place like this, totally unsupervised and open to the public (if you can find it) has been left alone, intact, over all these years. No looting, no grafitti. A living piece of history.

Like the sign says, "take only photographs, leave only footprints". Excellent advice. Which brings me to another topic... I'm sure the old miners didn't make this sign. When I compare my photos to some older posts, I think there's actually more "stuff" here now! Are people adding to the collection??



Looking straight up, you can see the roof made from old sticks and perhaps flattened cans or old stovepipe. And some of it looks new. 

Home-made cooktop with some of the utensils still present!

Can you believe it? A six-pane window with all the glass intact!!! How did they manage to get glass out to this remote location all those years ago? 




Shelf space is at a premium!



Here's what the miner's cabin looks like from the other end (opposite the entrance). Pretty amazing, don't you think? This is well hidden behind oak trees and the casual hiker would not see it.

And here's the view from the Eagle Cliffs, about 75 yards from the miner's cabin. I bet the miners enjoyed this view on a regular basis after a hard day's work!!

The Eagle Cliff miner's cabin must have been incredibly difficult to build. Even by today's standards it is remote, and there is no way you are getting a vehicle in here. All supplies would have been packed in. It really highlights the work ethic and ingenuity that the old miners had, and it makes me happy that people have respected it over the years... leave only footprints, take only photographs! Perhaps the coolest thing I've ever seen in Joshua Tree National Park.


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47 comments:

  1. ah this brings back memories, exploring in the hills around Mogollon, NM as a kid. The mines, the ruins, the creeks, peaks, deer...oh, I would disappear after breakfast from the family cabin and not return until almost dusk. Kids could get away with that these days. My dad thought nothing of not seeing me for seven/eight hours. The fun day.s

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  2. An extraordinary, fascinating post. The views inside the cabin are simply amazing.

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  3. Buddy and I are sitting here in total awe of these photos. I do not think I would have wanted to leave....truly a step back in time with things so well preserved. I agree with you about the window. That is amazing. I love the back of the cabin. This is a fabulous post. In closing, be careful and don't pull a Buddy and get lost. You were mini-lost like he was.....I am so afraid of you all really getting lost. It is so scary for me. Take care. genie

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  4. What a great find. So glad you persevered and found this and shared this discovery with us.

    Worth a Thousand Words

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  5. Hello, I am so glad you found the miners cabin. What a great find. I think it is amazing things are left as is, people can be idiots at times and ruin things for others. Great series of photos. Have a great evening weekend ahead!

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  7. It would be kind of funny if people were actually leaving more things behind in the miners cabin. Great photos!

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  8. I am surprised that the cabin has been left alone all this time!

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  9. What an amazing place, and so impressive that it's been left intact all this time.

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  10. That is incredible.Interesting to look at and visit,but I am sure happy that I can have modern conveniences now.

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  11. Home sweet home! Being accustomed to a green landscape, I find this so different, yet beautiful.

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  12. A great place you shared with us today. Thank you and I really like that phrase, leave only footprints, take only photographs. Your photographs were great!

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  13. Very cool, indeed. As a claustrophobic, I truly appreciate that window. I love that it is in great condition. What a find.

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  14. Interesting shots of the Eagle Cliff Mine.

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  15. What an amazing little cabin! Great shots.

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  16. I love Joshua Tree. We used to go there for star gazing when we lived in California. I've never been to the mine or cabin. It is so great that it has been left intact without any vandalism. That is so rare for places like this. - Margy

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  17. Excellent post and well done on finding the cabin. They may well have been fixing the roof in the way it was done originally with new cans. A lot of thought went into that recycling things like that

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  18. Terrific post and wonderful images to go with it.
    Did you overnight inside?
    How exciting to have such wilderness to explore.

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  19. love your post. So far away from our daily world but very pleasant to look at. Hope to see many more exploring trips in the desert.

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  20. Wow! I have goosebumps just looking at these amazing photos of the old lost cabin! Thanks for taking us a step back in time to a wonderful secret location!
    So exciting!

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  21. Okay you win the Best Post for 2016. Maybe the next someday I am down there I'll try to retrace your steps.

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  22. Beautiful captures and light! Great set of photos!

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  23. This post is TERRIFIC, I love everything about it. The landscape is so beautiful, as are all your photographs. How good that everyone has respected the cabin (and even brought offerings/additional objects!) What a fascinating story your photos tell.
    Okay now, when is your book about Joshua Tree National Park going to be produced?!

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  24. wow, you really find the most amazing places. It must have been ...hm, I got speachless. I would like to see it for myself.

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  25. pretty amazing and intact! the view from the outside to the window is awesome!

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  26. Very impressive, glad you found it. I bet they broke some glass along the way. It was probably thick and heavy. Love the view from opposite the entrance.

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  27. Very impressive, glad you found it. I bet they broke some glass along the way. It was probably thick and heavy. Love the view from opposite the entrance.

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  28. Wow - that is impressive. So glad you found it and shared it with us. I love that the old pieces have not been damaged or stolen - what a treasure!!!

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  29. remarkable that all that 'stuff' is still in place - great location and images.

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

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  30. Kewelopolis! I am amazed that all that stuff is still there and that the window isn't broken. What an adventure!

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  31. Peter, amazing! I loved this series of photos! I did spot the door frame. How awesome this place looks as good as it does today. I think you hit the nail on the head in the reason it is preserved so nicely is because it's hard to find but oh what a treasure it must be for those few who do?! Thanks for sharing such a cool and interesting place with us! :D

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  32. So i'm interested to know what the area was mined for? what a neat place though

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  33. Very interesting series. Your photos are lovely.
    Hugs

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  34. Amazing find! The artifacts really help in imagining what it must have been like .... And it all does seem real ... really as if it were left the way it was exactly, rather than one of those staged historical homes . I would love to visit this (except for the fact that I can get lost in a closet and am getting too old to hike all day on the desert) ....so, thanks much for sharing yet another secret spot in JT.

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  35. What an incredible adventure! I must admit tho, I was lost!!! LOST in such extraordinary scenes. Wow

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  36. What a place ... what a trip! I enjoyed it .... great captures too!

    Happy weekend!


    Irene

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  37. Wow that is all so cool. Beautiful stone fireplace and everything is very impressive. What a great tour you took us on.
    Like your sense of humor too. : )

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  38. Great post and an incredible find. So glad it has been preserved and people are respecting it and maybe even adding to the "stuff". You have some most excellent adventures out there in the desert.

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  39. Wowza! That is one amazing mine! And...it would make a great hideout in the event of a zombie apocalypse!

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  40. Great photos! It is always a mind-blowing experience to find places that are pretty much intact.
    Really nice post!

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  41. Wow how cool is this old cabin. So glad its not been vandalized. And your right, its a gorgeous view.

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