“Visit a historic old mine site with sweeping views of Death Valley.”
— Bruce Hope
The mine site is located in Death Valley National Park and all park regulations apply. The area is open year-round, but the hike is best done during the cooler months between October and April.
Need to Know
The site was re-opened in 2017 after stabilization and clean-up by the Park Service. You are advised to stay on the established trail, not climb on the old wooden structures, and stay away from any open mine tunnels or shafts (the Park Service gated the 50 most obvious ones but there are many more).
There are no amenities or water at the trailhead, only a large gravel parking area. Bring extra water, shade, sunscreen, and salty snacks along with you.
Keane Wonder Mine
was one of the few successful gold mines in Death Valley and remains as one of the best examples of a historical gold mining operation in the park. The old mill site is a short, easy hikel from the parking area but to see the upper tramway terminal and the old mine, you have to do a steep 1.5 mile, 1,500-foot hike up the mountain. The neatest thing about this hike—beyond the amazing views of the Valley it offers—is the well-preserved tramway, with most of its towers intact, some cables still attached, and one ore bucket hanging in space.
There is an information board at the old mill site and the trail—the old mine service road—to the mine itself goes left (north) uphill from here. The trail climbs steeply—sometimes very steeply—up the ridge, past several of the old tramway towers, for a mile to an old mine adit with a wooden door. Past that, the trail levels off a bit and contours for 0.5 miles to the ore bin and upper tramway terminal. The trail continues on up for 0.3 miles or so to the mine itself. Enjoy the history here and take in the expansive views out over Death Valley, then retrace your steps.