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Rockefeller Miner's Living Quarters
Hiking Around Las Vegas, Hiking Lake Mead NRA, Hiking Wilderness Areas
Rockefeller Miner's Living Quarters
Rockefeller Miner's Living Quarters
Miner's Quarters in low knoll (view SW)

Overview

This point of interest along Rockefeller Mine Road provides visitors with a site to stop, get out of the vehicle, stretch the legs, and recall a time when men, with hopes for a better life just like ours, toiled in the desert trying to dig gold, copper, and silver from these hard-rock mountains. Mining activity here probably dates from about 1910-1920, and at this site, miners converted a shallow adit to living quarters.

This point of interest offers great solitude, grand scenery (Ireteba Peaks Wilderness Area lies just across the road), and the chance to visit an historic mining area. Please leave things as you find them: all items here are protected by the National Park Service.

Link to route map.

Rockefeller Miner's Living Quarters
Adit (left) and Miner's Quarters (view S)

Watch Out

Other than the standard warnings about hiking in the desert, ...the area near the road is fairly safe, but there is an unmarked 8-ft-deep pit on the east side of the hill. While holes in the ground are inherently interesting, old mines are never safe -- Stay Out, Stay Alive! Remember that this area is remote and visitors are far from help, so be careful. Access to this area requires a high-clearance vehicle.

While out and about, please respect the land and the other people out there, and try to Leave No Trace of your passage. This site is near Wilderness, so pay particular attention to respecting the land. If visitors wander from the road, nobody will find you, so be sure to bring the 10 Essentials. Cell phones don't work.

Rockefeller Miner's Living Quarters
Cement door frame at Miner's Quarters (view S)

Getting to the Site

This point of interest is located in Lake Mead National Recreation Area, about 2 hours south of Las Vegas, east of Searchlight.

From town, drive south on Highway 95 to Searchlight (Table 1, Site 0927). In downtown Searchlight, turn left onto Cottonwood Cove Road and drive east for 7.8 miles) to Rockefeller Mine Road (Site 1320) on the left. Drive generally northward on Rockefeller Mine Road for 10.4 miles to a small pullout on the left (southwest) side of the road (Site 1357) adjacent to a gray hill. Watch for the mine openings. Park here; this is the site.

This site is 0.7 miles past the signed intersection of Rockefeller Mine Road with Camp Dupont Mine Road and Opal Mountain Road.

Rockefeller Miner's Living Quarters
Can dump records historic cans

The Site

The low gray knoll adjacent to the road is penetrated by six prospects (3 adits, 1 prospect, 1 trench, and 1 pit). The largest adit, which is not too large or deep, was modified to living quarters by the addition of a door and perhaps widening the back.

An extensive can dump, with cans dating to the 1910s or 1920s, provides evidence that this site was living quarters rather than a storage area. No other gear or equipment remains at the site.

Desert Woodrats, or "packrats," have taken up residence here and for decades have armored their nest with the spines of teddybear cholla, so if people enter the adits, their shoes will be filled with cactus spines.

Rockefeller Miner's Living Quarters
Living Quarters Knoll (view SW)
Rockefeller Miner's Living Quarters
Living quarters (center) and two shallow adits
Rockefeller Miner's Living Quarters
Cement door frame and roof timbers
Rockefeller Miner's Living Quarters
Inside living quarters
Rockefeller Miner's Living Quarters
Back of cramped living quarters
Rockefeller Miner's Living Quarters
Extent of can dump
Rockefeller Miner's Living Quarters
Historic cans
Rockefeller Miner's Living Quarters
Historic cans
Rockefeller Miner's Living Quarters
Atop Living Quarters Knoll (view NE)
Rockefeller Miner's Living Quarters
Unmarked pit on east side of Living Quarters Knoll (view SW)

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) Verified
0927 Hwy 95 at Hwy 164, Searchlight 688813 3926424 35.46519 114.91921 3,500 Yes
1320 Cottonwood Cove Rd at Rockefeller Mine Road 701103 3928204 35.47882 114.78341 1,982 GPS
1323 Rockefeller Mine Road at Opal Mtn Rd 702755 3937877 35.56564 114.76280 1,768 GPS
1357 Rockefeller Mine Road at Miner's Quarters 701986 3938594 35.57226 114.77110 1,924 GPS

Happy Hiking! All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate.
copyright; Last updated 121024

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