Founded in 1907 when Bert Shively picked up a rock to throw at some stray burros and discovered gold, the Lost burro Mine is a great destination in Death Valley. The mine was operated from 1907 to the 1970s, with its greatest production of gold being from 1912 – 1917. The road into the mine is just 1.1 mile from Hunter Mountain road located in Death Valley National Park. The trail is very easy to pass and suitable for most stock SUVs, although it does get narrow in two places.
As you approach the site, there is evidence of human occupation and the large amount of tin cans and artifacts gradually increase the closer you get to the mine site. There is a long history of haunting and curses place upon people who remove artifacts from the location. There are at least four structures still standing at the site. The main cabin, a storage cabin, outhouse and the mine located high above on a cliff. You can enter the cabin and storage cabin but posted warnings of Hantavirus warn of the potential danger.
The Upper Mill
The upper mill site is accessible using a steep short trail and well worth the effort. The structure appears to be reinforced with guy wires to help maintain its state. Much of the pulley system remains intact and the terrain and remote location reminds us of what these men endured to survive in this location.
There is evidence of many people returning removed items in the hopes of removing the curse. There are two buildings at the site with the Mill located just to the North. Two short hikes to the hills above offer amazing views of the Racetrack Valley and Hunter Mountain.
Lost Burro Mine Trail Map