GPS Co-ordinates 35d 30 m 16s north 115d 36m 06s west
This is a very geologically interesting area along California's interstate 15 about 26 miles east of Baker and about 60 miles west of Las Vegas. The highway cuts between Clark Mountain to the North and the Mescal range to the south. The Mohawk hills lie just to the north of I15 between the highway and the south end of Clark Mountain. The entire area is riddled with mine sites. I went to only two, the Copper World mine on the south end of Clark Mountain and the Mohawk Mine in the Mohawk Hills. The access to these areas in via the Cima road off ramp on I 15, 26 miles east of Baker. From the off ramp head north for .67 miles to the power line road and go right 3.9 miles. At the trail intersection, go straight through (NE) another .39 miles to a y in the trail. Go left for the Copper World, the right is for for the back side of the Mohawk mine. The next y is another .68 miles away, stay right and go for another 1.48 miles to where you will come to two posts at a open wire gate. The last .5 miles is a little rough. High clearance is recommended. You might also find similar directions in the Desert Gem Trails book on page 32.
This is what the Copper World Mine will look like from the approach. You will be able to see the green stained face that does not show in this picture.
The entrance to the adit is not too obvious. It really looks more like a rabbit hole. It is partially filled in with rubble but opens up after only 2 or 3 feet. This is the outside view.
And here is the view looking in.
Once you're in you will see a passage going up and to the right, another goes forward and branches right and left. The left one continues for about a hundred yards and exits. The right fork goes deeper into the mine for some ways. I did not venture too far as I was exploring solo. It's not a good idea to go underground without another mate close by to bail you out of whatever comes along.
Right Adit Center Adit
Center Y Ore Chute
All of these paths must have been used for ore and gangue haulage, because they all had ore chutes from upper levels. I would like to spend a little more time and find access to these areas. There no sign of any stopes or ore veins here they must have all been above. One thing that did puzzle me is the lack of tracks for the ore cars that must have been used here. I can only suppose that it was moved to another part of the mine. I did find one piece of flat rail, which would suggest an old mine, but all of the chutes and workings had round nails which would be fairly recent. There were lots of other adits higher up the mountain that looked promising
There is no shortage of Malachite and Azurite veined material here. The predominate host rock seems to be a dolomite, but some malachite veins can be found in a basalt. The picture below is a copper zinc oxidation zone mineral that is some combination of malachite. rosasite, and azurite. These little blue balls were not fractured when I first cracked the rock that had the little vug that they were in. They were still damp and I guess that they dried out too quickly and fractured. You can even see small sheets of native copper. I took this picture at 10x.
The next picture on the left is of some dolomite that has been infused with malachite and a poor example of the veined basalt. The picture rock on the right has manganese dendrites in the middle and green malachite around the edges.
This is a great site and deserves at least two days to fully explore. There is a descent small camping area at the bottom of the mine dump that is sheltered from the wind but no water or shade. Now I was off to the back side of the Mohawk mine in the Mohawk hills.
Mohawk Mine site 1 35d 28m 56 s north 115d 36s 59m west
Here is what the rear side of the Mohawk mine looks like at two adjacent adits.
The shot on the left is either an ore chute shaft or an vertical access shaft. The shot on the right appears to be a loading chute.
This is a vertical access point with a head frame just to the rear. The first 15 feet looks passable on the ladder but then air for the next 30 feet to some workings below.
Mohawk mine site 2 35d 28m 57s north 115d 36m 39s west
This side of the mine has rather minor workings. The main adit for the mine seems to be on the other side of the mountain. I would be curious to know whether these two mines are inter-connected. This is a shot of the main adit which is visible from the I15.
And now its off to Vegas.