Feb 22

Day 7: Leadfield

Category: Death Valley

When Titanothere canyon bottoms out, there is a broad valley containing the ghost town of Leadfield. There is a lot of info about Leadfield on the net – I won’t repeat it here. Walking around the site gave me an appreciation for the kind of excitement that must have existed back in the day, when anything seemed possible – the youth of the country and all that – but really, it is palpable. Of course, there are plenty of abandoned mineshafts here. Because this site is visited frequently during peak visitor times, the park service has constructed heavy-duty barriers in the tunnel entrances to prevent fools (like me) from going inside. On this day, we had it all to ourselves. Don’t worry – if you are bent on going into a mineshaft, there is no shortage of open ones in Death Valley. You just can’t go into them directly in Leadfield.

Leadfield’s scenery was mysterious; the sun came out, but it started raining, even though there wasn’t a visible cloud in the sky for at least two miles.15 minutes later, it was overcast again. I have no doubt that one could spend a week exploring just this area. A number of trails can take you into the hills surrounding the valley, where sheep and other animals are often seen.

Leadfield is dominated by an enormous flat-topped tailing pile, the summit of which provides a good view of the area.

leadfield

There are maybe 6 decaying structures and a large number of foundation at leadfield. The histrory of the place is well known and various guidebooks explain the function of each building and the layout of the vanished town.

leadfield

Here is a view into the largest mineshaft in leadfield. It’s a real classic, with wood beams in apparently good condition. Many other dot the hills surrounding leadfield.

leadfield mine shaft tunnel

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