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Lost Burro Mine, Death Valley National Park
Trip Report

Lost Burro Mine, Death Valley National Park

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Lost Burro Mine, Death Valley National Park

Page Type: Trip Report

Location: California, United States, North America

Date Ridden: Jan 31, 2005 12:00 am

Activities: Mountain

Season: Winter

 

Page By: Sean Kenney

Created/Edited: Aug 10, 2008 / Mar 20, 2012

Object ID: 267211

Hits: 5548 

Page Score: 74.92%  - 5 Votes 

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This was a fun scenic tour of some of Death Valley's back country. I began my ride at the legendary Teakettle Junction. For some bizarre reason I was drawn to this spot after seeing photos of it. I still need to research the the story behind the leaving of teakettles. I heard rumor from the backpacker I shuttled there that the kettles are actually collected and archived, once so many have accumulated.

 

Teakettle Junction
Teakettle Junction
 
Lost Burro Gap
Lost Burro Gap


Anyway, from here I climbed up through Lost Burro Gap to the north end of Hidden Valley. Here there is a four way junction, at which I headed west to the Lost Burro Mine. The Lost Burro was named by Bert Shively, a prospector who found the site in 1907. He stumbled upon it while searching for his burros of course. The mine was worked off and on right up to the mid 1970's. It was sold several times to interested parties but would eventually return to the hands of the company that staked the original claim. It was one of the richest in the Ubehebe Mining District. The ruins here include sleeping quarters, an outhouse, a couple of storage caves, a mill, and several mine tunnels and shafts. From the camp, a trail leads further up the canyon, eventually reaching the summit of Lost Burro Peak. The trail is not ridable, and even so riding is restricted to roads oln in the park.

 
Lost Burro Mine
Bunk House.
 
Lost Burro Mine
Storage Cave


The road up through the gap is gravelly and has a lot serious washboard but is an easy climb. The 1.2 miles up to the Lost Burro steepens a bit but is a harder surface and has very little washboard. This was the best descent of the ride.

After returning to the junction at the head of Hidden Valley, I proceeded to climb to the northeast towards White Top Mt via Rest Spring Rd. After a short climb up the alluvium, this road enters Rest Spring Gulch, a canyon lined with interesting formations of gray limestone, sandstone ,and siltstone. The road climbs out of the gulch after a few miles then drops to the base of White Top Mt. and ends at the Bighorn Gorge "trail." I road only 6 of the approximately 10 mile long road. My turn around point was where the road begins to drop and round a ridge in the direction of the gorge. At this highest point in the road, the view looks back into Death Valley to the east, Hidden Valley to the south, and to a mountain simply known as Leaning Rock. From here it was a fast 9 miles, all downhill back to Teakettle Junction.

The road to White Top is a bit gravelly as well, but a gentle climb. There is another option from the jucntion in Hidden Valley, which is heading to Hunter Mt at the south end of the Valley, but I didn't have time to make it out that way. It is an 18 mile ride from Teakettle Jct. That way can be ridden as part of a loop back to south of the Race Track. But the climb back from the Race Track is washboard hell.

I'll certainly return to explore this beautiful area some more.
 
Lost Burro Mine
The Mill
 
Lost Burro Mine
Leaving Lost Burro
 
Rest Spring Road
Leaning Rock
 
Hidden Valley Road
Telescope Peak
 
Hidden Valley Road
Hidden Valley Rd.

Images

Lost Burro Mine

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