Located about 40 miles from Las Vegas Nevada, on State Highway 53 and 7 miles off of the I15 freeway is the little ghost town of Goodsprings. The State Highway 53 turn off is at the Jean/Nevada Landing/Gold Strike off ramp. You can't miss the casino shaped like a riverboat.
In Goodsprings the main attraction is a little Bar and Cafe that I think has been there forever. It not uncommon to see 20 Harleys or bicycles in front. If you are in the neighborhood, stop in for a beer or soda.
The town was named after Joseph Good, and was called Goods Springs. This was later shortened to Goodsprings. It lies in the Spring Mountain range of southern Nevada and was very active in lead and zinc mining during WW1. By WW2 few mines remained active. Gold and Silver were also mined here.
Ore deposits for this area fall into two classifications, gold-copper and lead-zinc. The gold-copper ore is associated with malachite, azurite, chrysocolla, cinnabar, pyrite, limonite and native Gold, which is sometimes visible as wire Gold. The lead-zinc ore is associated with, calamine, smithsonite, cerrusite, anglesite, galena and hydrozincite. The area's unique mineralogy is due to deep surface oxidation that extends down to 600 feet in areas. The sulfide minerals, pyrite, chalcopyrite and sphaletite, in this region have altered to carbonates and sulfates. The lead sulfide galena resisted surface oxidation.
The Goodsprings area has been exposed to numerous episodes of folding, faulting and thrust faulting which can be seen in the cross section and geologic maps below.
Abandoned mines in the area are numerous. Some are quite extensive and others are just 10 foot prospect holes. The dry dessert climate has kept most of these safe and accessible, but not all. Don't go into these adits unless you really do know what you are doing. Never attempt entering by a vertical shaft and leave them as you found them.
Many of these great spots are being closed off by the B.L.M. and other government agencies. It seems that they "know what is best for us". I have no problem with marking these sights with warning signs, but do object to bulldozing the entrances. It seems that our right to access public land is not important. It is also apparent that they do not study the effect on local bat populations of covering the entrances (Nevada Division of Minerals. Use of abandoned mines by bats in the Goodsprings Reclamation Project. Goodsprings, Nevada).
I will not post describe the actual locations of the mines I visited for these reasons. It appears that the powers to be do surf the internet.
May 2005 Day 1
The group met up at the Shell station off of the Jean/Goodsprings off ramp of the I15. We all pondered the maps and decided that there were 3 likely areas. The area north of Goodsprings, The pass between Goodsprings and Sandy Valley and the area to the left of the (I53)Goodsprings/Sandy Valley intersection. We chose the latter as we could see several tailing piles and a large head frame from the road. After a lot of searching we came upon an adit that looked promising.
The mine was pretty clean and dry. There were lots of ladders and they were in fair condition. Here is what it looked like inside
Todd and Doug
Dezrat coming up the rise and Jim and Jim junior
Jim jr. and Trevor moving a ladder and a really long rise
Midway on the long rise
Jim, Jim jr. and Trevor after a good day down under.
June 2005 Day 2
Most of the group went out to Pahrump, but I preferred my room at the Nevada Landing to sleeping on the ground. The $7.99 prime rib dinner sure beats camp food, and you have a pool to boot. Todd and I meet up the next morning and headed out over the pass toward Sandy Valley. We found lots of prospects but only 2 descent mines.
The first one was not that large but kept us busy for some time searching the three levels. Its too bad that someone had taken the wheels of of the ore car.