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Nevada Mica Mine Camp
Hiking Around Las Vegas, Gold Butte National Monument
Nevada Mica Mine Camp
Nevada Mica Mine Road
Scanlon Road, approaching Nevada Mica Mine Road (view E)

Overview

Nevada Mica Mine Camp, on Nevada Mica Mine Road off Scanlon Road, is located out at the far southwest end of Gold Butte. Little remains in the area except several junked historic vehicles that lie about rusting in the desert sun. Various kitchen and other debris are scattered about too, but everything of value was removed years ago. This is an historic land with lots of grand scenery.

The mine site, up at the end of Nevada Mica Mine Road, is visible from below as a white outcrop on the ridge above the camp. The mine is an exposure of remarkably abundant mica, but there are no pits or mine openings (one may have collapsed).

The lower portion of Nevada Mica Mine Road is fairly smooth and without too many rocks and is passable in a 2WD high-clearance vehicle, but the upper portion requires 4WD because the road is steep, narrow, and quite rocky.

Link to map.

Nevada Mica Mine
Nevada Mica Mine Road, approaching Nevada Mica Mine Camp

Watch Out

Other than the standard warnings about being in the desert, ... there are no unusual hazards here. However, this is a wild and remote area 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, such as in this area. Consider signalling the tourist helicopters that traverse the area coming and going from the Grand Canyon.

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

I don't know if it's enough to matter or not, but radioactivity was measured at the mine site and found to range from about 0.03 mR/hr (background) to 0.1 mR/hr (highest reading; US Atomic Energy Comm. Prelim. Reconn. 3333. Longwell et al., 1965).

Nevada Mica Mine
Old gear and vehicles (view NE)

Getting to Nevada Mica Mine Camp

Nevada Mica Mine Camp is located out in Gold Butte at the northeast end of Lake Mead, about 4.5 hours northeast of Las Vegas.

From Las Vegas, drive out Interstate 15 to about five miles before Mesquite (Exit 112). Turn right towards Riverside. Just across the Virgin River bridge, turn right and drive southwest on the paved Gold Butte Road to Whitney Pocket, then continue south on the unpaved Gold Butte Road to Gold Butte Townsite. In total, it is 44.9 miles from Interstate-15 to Gold Butte Townsite.

From the townsite, continue southwest on what is now Scanlon Road. A 4WD vehicle is required farther out. Drive south on Scanlon Road for 11.3 miles to Nevada Mica Mine Road, which is on the hillside across the wash from the main road. Turn left onto Nevada Mica Mine Road and drive east then south about 0.6 miles to Nevada Mica Mine Camp (Table 1, Site 1730).

Nevada Mica Mine
Old vehicles (view NE)

Nevada Mica Mine Camp

From Nevada Mica Mine Road, the old camp (Site 1730) is recognized by the plethora of old vehicles and historic junk scattered about on the desert hillside. The area burned in 2005, and most of the old equipment and debris lie plainly visible on the surface. This is historic junk, so leave it for future explorers to see.

Below the road, the most obvious artifact is the burned out trailer, but here is also an old refrigerator, a stove, parts of a tractor, and the old Keno car.

At the bend in the road, an old pickup truck sits on the shoulder, and up the road an old old flatbed truck and an ore sled adorn the hillside.

Up at the end of the road, the mine site appears to be just a surface outcrop, but the mica is extraordinary. Consider hiking up to the mine and taking a look, but the old road is quite steep.

Nevada Mica Mine Road
The burned out trailer
Nevada Mica Mine Road
Refrigerator, trailer, and stove
Nevada Mica Mine Road
Stove
Nevada Mica Mine Road
Trailer interior
Nevada Mica Mine Road Nevada Mica Mine Road
Nevada Mica Mine Road
Trailer exterior
Nevada Mica Mine Road
Frame for the old trailer
Nevada Mica Mine Road
Debris on hillside below the trailer
Nevada Mica Mine Road
Parts of an old tractor
Nevada Mica Mine Road Nevada Mica Mine Road
Nevada Mica Mine Road Nevada Mica Mine Road
Nevada Mica Mine Road
Debris on hillside below the trailer
Nevada Mica Mine Road
Keno car
Nevada Mica Mine Road
Keno car (not spray paint on rear fender)
Nevada Mica Mine Road
Keno car
Nevada Mica Mine Road
Debris on hillside below the trailer
Nevada Mica Mine Road
Old pickup truck at the bend of the road (view W)
Nevada Mica Mine Road
Old pickup truck at the bend of the road
Nevada Mica Mine Road
Old pickup truck at the bend of the road
Nevada Mica Mine
Old pickup truck at the bend of the road (view NE)
Nevada Mica Mine Road
Sled and flatbed truck along NV Mica Mine Road (view NE)
Nevada Mica Mine
Approaching the flatbed truck (view NE)
Nevada Mica Mine Road
Flatbed truck
Nevada Mica Mine Road Nevada Mica Mine Road
Nevada Mica Mine Road Nevada Mica Mine Road
Nevada Mica Mine Road
Flatbed truck
Nevada Mica Mine Road
Ore sled
Nevada Mica Mine Nevada Mica Mine Road
Nevada Mica Mine Road Nevada Mica Mine Road
Nevada Mica Mine Road Nevada Mica Mine Road
Nevada Mica Mine Road
A bit of ore spilled on ground below the sled (view E)
Nevada Mica Mine Road
Nevada Mica Camp (view E from near the sled)
Nevada Mica Mine Road Nevada Mica Mine Road
Nevada Mica Mine Road Nevada Mica Mine Road
Nevada Mica Mine Road
Back to the jeep (view E)
Nevada Mica Mine Camp
Mine site at the top of the road (view S)

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

Site Location UTM Easting UTM Northing Latitude (N) Longitude (W) Elevation (ft)
1730 Nevada Mica Mine Camp 749569 4007940 36.18593 114.22480 3,337

Happy Hiking! All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate.
copyright; Last updated 170904

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