Desert Institute at Joshua Tree National Park

Discover Lost Horse Mine

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DISCOVER LOST HORSE MINE w/ Desert Institute at Joshua Tree National Park
Join the Desert Institute for a trip back to the California Gold Rush, Joshua Tree style.

In this class, participants will explore the Lost Horse Mine, a classic Western mill and mining site. The moderate 3.8-mile out and back hike follows an old freighter road to the remains of the wooden structure that once housed a 10-stamp mill. The instructors will discuss the geologic forces that formed the area, and you will find out how that gold got deposited there in the first place. You will learn about the history of the Lost Horse Mine, some of its colorful characters, and gold mining and processing as it was typically done in the American West.

The area that now comprises Joshua Tree National Park attracted cattle ranchers in the mid-1800s as a place to graze cattle. Mining activity began in the region around the 1870s, reaching its peak during the 1920s and 1930s. Gold was the main objective, but quantities of silver, copper, lead, and other metals were also mined. A few active claims lingered into the 1970s before mining activity ceased. Approximately 288 mining sites are located within the current park boundaries. Some consist of small exploratory digs, while other sites still have extensive shafts, abandoned mining and milling equipment, tanks, concrete, wood, and stone structures.

Register today for the “Discover Lost Horse Mine” guided hike!


Date And Time

December 11, 2022 @ 07:30 AM to
12:00 PM

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