Lost Horse Mine

Joshua Tree’s Most Productive

(2D photos and slideshow first. 3D Galleries further down the page will require redcyan glasses to see the full 3D effect. Click Photos to Enlarge.)


Trek date: 2014 Jan 01. Wayfarers Cali49 (a.k.a. “E!”) & Murbachi

Associated Galleries:

Queen Valley Overlook

Loop Trail

Lost Horse Loop marker

THE FIRST OF THREE LOST HORSE MINE galleries covers the mine. This is followed by a scenic hilltop vantage point about 100ft elevation above the mine (top photo), and concludes with an enjoyable Lost Horse Loop excursion in 3D covering a varied landscap.

From start to finish including the viewpoint, our Loop Trail hike traversed 8.4 miles. (The mine is 2mi. from the car lot.) Total elevation gain: 588ft. Since our intention was to do this area comprehensively, we devoted the entire day. We chose a clockwise direction.

Elliot on Lost Horse Mine Loop Trail

Turns out this was ideal for our purposes (and lazy bones), since going CW requires only moderate effort with perhaps one or two mildly strenuous grades. The counter-clockwise direction on the other hand includes some strenuous, steep uphill slogging before you get to the mine.

It being the New Years holiday, there were many others sharing the trail with us. See Elliot Koeppel’s Cali49 web page describing Lost Horse Mine. My friend has made a close study of the mine’s history and recounts it in superb detail HERE.

Hilltop view, Lost Horse Mine

The next two galleries provide 3D coverage of the Queen Valley and Pleasant Valley overlook, and then the Lost Horse Mine Loop Trail through some stark and beautiful terrain that includes rugged hills followed by blackbush-covered fields whose thick stands of Mojave yuccas, nolinas and (in the final mile through a sandy wash) old and photogenic stands of Joshua Trees will draw attention.

At the end of the page is a discussion of Lost Horse Mine’s activity. Whether or not it actually made a profit is anyone’s guess, but there is no escaping that Lost Horse Mine is one of Joshua Tree National Park’s star attractions!


2D Slideshow ♦ Lost Horse Mine

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2D Gallery ♦ Lost Horse Mine

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  • Use glasses to view 3D Anaglyphs
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3D Anaglyph Gallery ♦ Lost Horse Mine

Please feel free to download as many of the 3D Anaglyph or 3D Half Side-by-Side photographs as you wish. Share them with your 3D friends. (You may share them also with any 2D friends you have.) Note: 3D H-SBS images should only be saved if you have access to a 3D TV. Otherwise viewing them properly will be futile.


3D Half Side-by-Side Gallery

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Thanks for coming along!


1897 Liberty $20 Gold minted in San Francisco (click to humongify)

Addendum. History writers tell us Lost Horse was Joshua Tree’s most productive mine. Something bothers me. I am not convinced. Maybe they are telling the truth in terms of raw ounces. Maybe. Or maybe if you go wading in the Florida mangrove for an answer it’ll jump up and grab you. Maybe. But from what my partner in this adventure, Cali49 writes on his website, “The Lost Horse Mining and Milling Company was incorporated in 1897, with a capital of $500,000.” If so, they convinced some savvy investors [cough-cough] to part with the gold-equivalent of 25,000 U.S. $20 gold Double Eagles to finance the scheme. Which is just shy of 25,000 ounces of gold back in those days, give or take a $4 Stella.*

E! mentions in another section: “The majority of the gold that was mined at the Lost Horse was found from 1896 to 1899, some nine thousand ounces.” Now maybe if I’m calculating correct-like, with the San Francisco Mint back in those halcyon Gold Standard days paying $18 an ounce for gold “sponge”—which is partially refined bullion—”some nine thousand ounces” equals $162,000. Deduct wages, overhead such as stabling the horses, taxes paid [cough-cough], likker and other incidentals, and some investors somewhere got short-changed. Maybe. And lest we forget about Johnny Lang (night manager at the mine for several months, who nicked a good portion of the bullion under his watch before he got caught and, um, was read the riot act by his partners), that still doesn’t amount to a profit. Of course, in those days, “capital” in a corporation often consisted of watered stock, stock without real honest money behind it. Disharmonious to now. Maybe.

  • *that’s a U.S. coin, what were you supposin’?


Posted 2015 Aug 30

Updated 2017 Nov 7