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Ubehebe Lead Mine
Hiking Around Las Vegas, Death Valley National Park
Ubehebe Lead Mine
Ubehebe Lead Mine

Overview

Ubehebe Lead Mine is an interesting, but dangerous, mining area located just northwest of the Racetrack Playa. The area was a LEAD mine, so there is a lot of toxic lead and other heavy metals in the soil, and therefore camping in prohibited here. Keep this in mind if you hike here and don't stir up the dust too much. The mine area is not in wilderness, but the surrounding lands are included in the Death Valley Wilderness Area

Link to map.

Ubehebe Lead Mine

Watch Out

Other than the standard warnings about hiking in the desert, ...this is a dangerous mining area. There are lots of scary holes in the ground that are fun to look at, but not safe to enter.

While hiking, please respect the land and the other people out there, and please try to Leave No Trace of your passage. Also, this is a remote area, so be sure to bring the 10 Essentials.

Ubehebe Lead Mine

Getting to the Trailhead

Racetrack Playa is located in Death Valley National Park, about 5-6 hours northwest of Las Vegas.

From town, drive out to Death Valley. From the Furnace Creek Visitor Center (Table 1, Site 0712), drive north on Highway 190 for 17.4 miles to Scotty's Castle Road (Site 0763). Turn right onto Scotty's Castle Road and drive north for about 33 miles to Ubehebe Crater Road (Site 754), which is just past the Grapevine Entrance Station. Turn left (west) onto Ubehebe Crater Road and drive northwest for 5.7 miles to Racetrack Road (Site 0756), which cuts off to the right (west) just before the Ubehebe Crater parking area. This is the start of the Racetrack Road, details of which are on the Racetrack Road webpage.

Ubehebe Lead Mine Turn right (west) onto Racetrack Road and drive about 19.5 miles to Teakettle Junction (Site 0757), which has a well-adorned road sign. From Teakettle Junction, continue southwest on the main road for 2.1 miles to Ubehebe Mine Road, which continues straight when Racetrack Road bends to the left. Drive onto a low saddle about 0.2 miles out. In a 2WD vehicle, consider stopping here and walking to the trailhead. Otherwise drive another 0.5 miles to the Ubehebe Lead Mine area (Site 1058). Park here; this is the trailhead.
Ubehebe Lead Mine
Old mine entrance

The Hike

This is an interesting area with lots of holes in the ground, mining structures, the remains of a tramway, and even an old truck body. Much of what remains can be seen from the end of the road. Miner's trails lead to all of the mine opening and to the top of the tramway, but I'll leave it up to the adventuresome to find things and explore the area, but the easier trail to top starts at Waypoint 01.

When here, remember: there is toxic lead in the soil, and some of the holes in the ground here are the most unsafe I have even seen. I would not be surprised if the top of the mountain were to cave in.

Ubehebe Lead Mine Ubehebe Lead Mine
Ubehebe Lead Mine
Old ore car tracks
Ubehebe Lead Mine
Cable still in place
Ubehebe Lead Mine
Ore loading structure
Ubehebe Lead Mine
Ore loading structure
Ubehebe Lead Mine
Old truck body
Ubehebe Lead Mine
Ore car tracks and pipe leading back into a mine
Ubehebe Lead Mine
Top of tramway on south side of mountain
Ubehebe Lead Mine
Top of tramway on north side of mountain
Ubehebe Lead Mine
Trail to a hole in the ground
Ubehebe Lead Mine
Scary hole in the ground; note the colors
Ubehebe Lead Mine
Scary hole in the ground
Ubehebe Lead Mine
Vertical scary hole in the ground
Ubehebe Lead Mine
Old miner's trail to the top of the tramway
Ubehebe Lead Mine
Even with the mining artifacts, the scenery is grand


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
0612 Racetrack at Ube Mine Rd North 36.74551 117.57431 448729 4066593 3,992 Yes
0613 Racetrack at Ube Mine Rd South 36.74408 117.57416 448741 4066435 3,973 Yes
0712 Furnace Creek Visitor Center 36.46159 116.86574 512030 4034954 -186 Yes
0754 Scotty's Castle Rd at Ubehebe Rd 36.99863 117.36605 467429 4094580 2,292 Yes
0756 Ubehebe Crater Rd at Racetrack Rd 37.01291 117.45699 459345 4096199 2,515 Yes
0757 Racetrack Rd at Teakettle Junction 36.76008 117.54142 451674 4068192 4,143 Yes
0763 Hwy 190 at Scotty's Castle Rd 36.63910 117.03531 496843 4054636 104 Yes-2
1058 Ubehebe Lead Mine Parking 36.74868 117.58370 447893 4066950 3,925 GPS

Table 2. Hiking Coordinates Based on GPS Data (NAD27; UTM Zone 11S). Download Hiking GPS Waypoints (*.gpx) file.

Wpt. Location Easting Northing Elevation (ft) Verified
01 Base of Miner's Trail 448002 4066900 3,911 GPS

Happy Hiking! All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate.
copyright; Last updated 110327

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