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Leadfield Ghost Town
Hiking Around Las Vegas, Death Valley National Park, Death Valley Wilderness Area
Leadfield Ghost Town
Leadfield Ghost Town

Overview

Leadfield was a lead and copper mining town located in Titus Canyon, Death Valley National Park, California. The town boomed with some 1700 lots and 300 residents in early 1926, but the lead quickly played out, and the town died in 1927. Scattered mines, dumps, tunnels, and prospect holes remain, as do the remains of wood and tin buildings, a dugout, and the cement foundations of the mill. The ghost town is located along the 27-mile, one-way only, Titus Canyon Road.

Link to Google Map.

Leadfield Ghost Town

Watch Out

Other than the standard warnings about hiking in the desert, ... this area is fairly safe, including the buildings. However, although holes in the ground are always interesting, they are never safe to enter.

Titus Canyon Road is long and rough, and it requires, at the least, a high clearance vehicle.

Leadfield Ghost Town

Getting to the Trailhead

Leadfield is located in Death Valley National Park, about 3.5 hours northwest of Las Vegas.

Don't even think about driving this 27-mile, one-way dirt road in a sedan.

From Las Vegas, drive out to Death Valley. From the Furnace Creek Visitor Center (Table 1, Site 0712), drive north on Highway 190 to Beatty Cutoff (Site 0742). Turn right and follow signs towards Beatty. Stay to the right at Hell's Gate (Site 0769) and drive east and out of the National Park. From the boundary, drive east 2.7 miles to Titus Canyon Road (Site 1064).

Leadfield Ghost TownTin building in Leadfield

From the pavement, turn left (north) onto Titus Canyon Road, which runs west and re-enters the park about 1.9 miles out. The road winds over the Grapevine Mountains, then drops into Titus Canyon. At about 15.3 miles out, the road reaches Leadfield (Site 1065). Parking and a sign are on the right, and trails into the old town site are on the left.

A free information handout describing highlights of the trip can be picked up at the Furnace Creek Visitor Center.

Leadfield Ghost Town
Tin building (store) in Leadfield

Miners began filing claims for lead and copper deposits in the Leadfield area in 1905, but major mining efforts didn't begin until 1926. In February 1926, Charles C. Julian, a flamboyant California promoter, became president of the town's leading mining company, the Western Lead Mines. In April 1926, the town was laid out with 1,749 lots, and Julian's promotions brought in a total of about 300 people.

The financial downfall of Charles Julian and the playing out of lead in one of the main mines, led the town to disband in August 1926. The area is scattered with mines, dumps, tunnels and prospect holes, and there are remains of wood and tin buildings, a dugout and cement foundations of the mill.

Leadfield Ghost Town
Mine building

After visiting Leadfield, continue down the canyon (the road is one-way only). At 17.9 miles out, the road passes Klare Spring (Site 1066). Stop to see the verdant vegetation and petroglyphs. At about 23.8 miles out, the road emerges from tight narrows and spills out onto the desert bajada. The parking area beyond the gate (Site 0760), which has a restroom, marks the end of the one-way road. Beyond the parking area, the road is rough and narrow, but a two-way road. At 26.4 miles out, the Titus Canyon Road ends at the paved Scotty's Castle Road (Site 0761).

Leadfield Ghost Town Spoils pile and tin buildings in Leadfield
Leadfield Ghost Town Old trail to mine and building in Leadfield

Table 1. Highway Coordinates Based on GPS Data (NAD27; UTM Zone 11S). Download Highway GPS Waypoints (*.gpx) file.

Site # Location Latitude (N) Longitude (W) Easting Northing Elevation (ft) Verified
0712 Furnace Creek Visitor Center 36.46159 116.86574 512030 4034954 -186 Yes
0742 Hwy 190 at Beatty Cutoff 36.58805 116.94240 505153 4048974 -190 Yes-2
0760 Titus Canyon Lower Parking 36.82199 117.17321 484552 4074937 917 Yes
0761 Scotty's Castle Rd at Titus Canyon Rd 36.78771 117.19063 482991 4071137 169 Yes-2
0769 Daylight Pass Rd at Beatty Cutoff (Hell's Gate) 36.72392 116.97718 502038 4064044 2,289 Yes
1064 Hwy 374 at Tutus Canyon Rd 36.85918 116.84512 513806 4079060 3,405 GPS
1065 Titus Canyon Rd at Leadfield 36.84842 117.05852 494782 4077856 3,993 GPS
1066 Titus Rd at Klare Spring 36.84098 117.09005 491971 4077033 3,094 GPS

Happy Hiking! All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate.
copyright; Last updated 130316

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