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Lincoln Mine Route
Hiking Around Las Vegas, Gold Butte National Monument
Lincoln Mine
Lincoln Mine Route
Lincoln Mine Road at Lincoln Mine Trailhead (view E)

Overview. Lincoln Mine was a copper mine with some sliver and gold high on the west face of Tramp Ridge. Originally operated by H.W. Burgess in the 1900s, USGS Bulletin 648, dated 1916, mentions that work had ceased by 1911. A report by Nevada Division of Minerals, dated 2011, seems to confirm this by mentioning that dynamite, some dated 1910, was removed from the mine in 2011. However, electrical fixtures (e.g., flexible metallic conduit and modern junction boxes) and other debris at the mine site suggest more recent workings.

This hike follows the old mine road up a broad valley until it seems to end at a narrow, rocky wash by a cave used by miners as a camp. Continuing up the rocky wash, the old road eventually resumes on the left, and the steep mine road is followed up the canyon to a landing below the mine tailing pile.

The route ends among interesting mining debris and grand views to the west, but fools like me risk life and limb to climb to the mine, proper. Enjoy my photos, but stop at the landing and enjoy the views. The miners hiked in from the north and used cables to get from the landing to the mine -- even they didn't climb this hillside.

Link to hiking map.

Lincoln Mine Route
Lincoln Mine Trailhead (view E)

Watch Out

Other than the standard warnings about hiking in the desert, ... the hike to the landing is relatively safe, but stay off the tailings pile and stay out of the mine, as mines are never safe to enter.

This is wild and remote country without services of any kind (no restrooms, no water, no gas, no food). Bring what you need to survive. Be prepared and be self-reliant. It is a big place and someone will find you eventually if you stay on a main road, but be prepared to survive alone for a day or two, or even longer on side roads. Consider signalling the tourist helicopters that traverse the area coming and going from the Grand Canyon.

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

Lincoln Mine RouteStarting up the wash (view ESE)

Getting to the Trailhead

Lincoln Mine is located out in Gold Butte National Monument at the northeast end of Lake Mead, about 3.5 hours northeast of Las Vegas in a wild, remote, and scenic area.

From town, drive out to Gold Butte National Monument. From Whitney Pocket, continue south on the unpaved Gold Butte Road to Gold Butte Townsite. From the Townsite, drive northwest on Red Bluff Spring Road 2.3 miles to Lincoln Mine Road.

Turn right onto Lincoln Mine Road and drive northeast 2.7 miles. Here, the road has been ascending a gravel wash, but suddenly turns left to climb out of the wash to the north.

When the road bends left, pull off the road in the wash. Park here; this is the trailhead.

Lincoln Mine Route
The old road becomes apparent (view ESE)

The Hike

From the trailhead (Table 1, Waypoint 01), the route starts up the wash, but soon the old mining road becomes apparent on the right. The route follows the old road, which crosses (Wpt. 02) to the north side of the wash and then crosses (Wpt. 03) to the south side, before just dropping into the wash (Wpt. 04) and following it upstream.

The wash becomes narrow at the base of the mountains (Tramp Ridge). On the left, a cave (Wpt 05) was used as a camp by miners, evidenced by historic cans, a rusting stove made from three, 2-1/2 gallon square cans, other rusting debris, and some old boards.

Continuing, the route climbs northeast through a gap in the cliffs where the wash is choked with flashflood debris. Passing below more caves above on the left, the canyon bends right to run southeast, and shortly the canyon forks (Wpt 06).

Lincoln Mine Route
The old road crosses the wash (view E)

At the fork (Wpt 06), it appears that the old road continues southeast on the far side of the right fork. Instead, however, the road bends left continuing around the corner and heading northeast up the left fork. It is likely, however, that miners approached the mine entrance on foot using the right fork and climbing steep hillsides to approach the mine from the back.

Staying left on the old road, the route ascends the canyon steeply until turning abruptly right (Wpt. 07) and contouring into the landing at the base of the tailing pile (Wpt. 08).

There is some interesting mining debris in the area, including chutes constructed from 55-gallon drums cut lengthwise and welded together, gas canisters, cables, and electrical light fixtures.

The mine above beckons, but the land is very steep and the miners poured tons of loose tailings down the hillside. It is not safe to climb the hillside, and of course, it would not be safe to enter the mine.

Lincoln Mine Route Lincoln Mine Route
Lincoln Mine Route
The old road crosses the wash a second time (view E)
Lincoln Mine Route
The old road continue towards the narrow canyon ahead (view E)
Lincoln Mine Route
Approaching the miner's cave (view NE)
Lincoln Mine Route
Miner's cave (view W)
Lincoln Mine Route
Historic debris inside miner's cave (view W)
Lincoln Mine Route
Historic debris inside miner's cave (view W)
Lincoln Mine Route
Historic debris outside miner's cave (view W)
Lincoln Mine Route
Historic debris (stove) outside miner's cave (view W)
Lincoln Mine Route
Route runs up through a gap in the cliff (view NE)
Lincoln Mine Route
Wash choked with flashflood debris (view NE)
Lincoln Mine Route
Wash choked with flashflood debris (view SE)
Lincoln Mine Route
Turning the corner to contour onto the mine landing (view E)
Lincoln Mine Route Lincoln Mine Route
Mining debris at bottom of tailings pile (view S)
Lincoln Mine Route
Landing at the end of the road (view S)
Lincoln Mine Route
Historic mining debris at the landing (view SE)
Lincoln Mine Route
Historic mining debris (view S)
Lincoln Mine Route
Historic mining debris at the landing (view SW)
Lincoln Mine
Flexible metallic conduit and modern junction box
Lincoln Mine
Chutes constructed from 55-gallon drums cut lengthwise
Lincoln Mine Route
Chains used to haul gas cylinder up to the mine
Lincoln Mine Route
Dangerous hillside below mine opening (view SW)
Lincoln Mine Route
Top of the tailings pile (view E towards mine opening)
Lincoln Mine Route
Approaching mine opening (view E)
Lincoln Mine Route
Mine opening -- read the sign: danger, stay out!
Lincoln Mine Route
At the mine opening (view NW towards Sheep Range)
Lincoln Mine Route
Wooden timber at end of ore car rails (view N)
Lincoln Mine Route
Tailings pile (view N from top looking down to landing)
Lincoln Mine Route
Green copper ore scattered on the ground
Lincoln Mine Route
Top of the cableway (view SW)
Lincoln Mine Route
Timbers outside the mine opening (view E)
Lincoln Mine Route
Tramp Ridge Summit (view NE past Lincoln Mine)

Inside the Mine. Yes, I went in, but that does not make it smart or safe. Enjoy my photos, but stay safe yourself.

Lincoln Mine Route Lincoln Mine Route
Lincoln Mine Route
Ore car tracks
Lincoln Mine Route
Unused timbers
Lincoln Mine Route
Stick in the wall; used to hold electrical wires?
Lincoln Mine Route
Pipes, probably used to pump fresh air into the back of the mine
Lincoln Mine Route
Ore car tracks with split tree trunks for cross-ties
Lincoln Mine Route
Ore car tracks
Lincoln Mine Route
Mine bends right; short alcove goes straight
Lincoln Mine Route
Historic debris in alcove
Lincoln Mine Route
Historic debris in alcove
Lincoln Mine Route
Historic debris in alcove
Lincoln Mine Route
Mine continues right, then bends left
Lincoln Mine Route
Tracks end at barrel; lateral tunnel on the right
Lincoln Mine Route
Looking up lateral tunnel under chute
Lincoln Mine Route
Tracks end at barrel
Lincoln Mine Route
Wooden planks continue past barrel
Lincoln Mine Route
Wooden planks and tree-branch timbers
Lincoln Mine Route
Wooden planks end at tree-branch timbers
Lincoln Mine Route
End of the adit; desert woodrats made a home here
Lincoln Mine Route
Don't touch anything inside mines
Lincoln Mine Route
Side pocket
Lincoln Mine Route
Another side pocket
Lincoln Mine Route
Inside the second side pocket
Lincoln Mine Route
Returning: approaching first alcove
Lincoln Mine Route
Inside first alcove looking out

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

Wpt. Location UTM Easting UTM Northing Elevation (ft) Point-to-Point Distance (mi) Cumulative Distance (mi) Verified
01 Lincoln Mine Trailhead 751183 4024263 3,756 0.00 0.00 GPS
02 Cross Wash 751511 4024144 3,843 0.23 0.23 GPS
03 Cross Wash 751804 4024048 3,928 0.20 0.43 GPS
04 Enter Wash 752032 4024091 3,997 0.15 0.58 GPS
05 Residence Cave 752233 4024065 4,058 0.15 0.73 GPS
06 Exit Wash onto Old Road 752334 4024075 4,109 0.10 0.83 GPS
07 Exit Wash to Contour South 752744 4024317 4,418 0.35 1.18 GPS
08 Lincoln Mine Landing 752784 4024252 4,463 0.05 1.23 GPS
09 Lincoln Mine 752800 4024202 4,576 0.07 1.30 GPS
01 Lincoln Mine Trailhead 751183 4024263 3,756 1.30 2.60 GPS

Happy Hiking! All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate.
copyright; Last updated 151102

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