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Burro Schmidt Tunnel, CA

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HAZ reminds you to respect the ruins. Please read the Archaeological Resources Protection Act of 1979 & Ruins Etiquette
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Difficulty 1 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance Round Trip 1 mile
Trailhead Elevation 4,127 feet
Elevation Gain 20 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 1 hour
Kokopelli Seeds 1.1
Interest Ruins
Backpack No
varies or not certain dogs are allowed
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Photos Viewed All Mine Following
12  2004-02-08 slegal
Author slegal
author avatar Guides 74
Routes 102
Photos 2,962
Trips 56 map ( 351 miles )
Age 59 Male Gender
Location Thousand Oaks, CA
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Apr, Oct, Mar, Nov → Any
Seasons   Late Autumn to Early Spring
Sun  4:59am - 6:56pm
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Hiking in the dark
by slegal

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The Burro Schmidt Tunnel is located in the El Paso Mountains in the Mojave Desert, near the ghost town Garlock, CA. The tunnel was single handedly built by William Henry "Burro" Schmidt and took 38 years to complete. The tunnel is a half mile long.

Schmidt was rumored to have said that that he would not haul his or from his mine through the back route to Mojave and that was his motivation for building the tunnel. However, it would have been difficult for him to make a short climb over the mountain to figure out that the tunnel would exit the other side of the mountain high above a very steep slope. More likely, Schmidt found an ore vein and followed it into the mountain. Thus began a 38 year obsession.

Traveling through the tunnel requires a light. The tunnel has two 90 degree bends in it making for a very dark trip. It’s also only about 6 feet tall, meaning that tall people like me have to duck down a little to avoid hitting the ceiling.

Both ends of the tunnel afford good high desert views. On the north side is Burro Schmidt’s cabin. There are views of the surrounding mountains, the desert near Robber’s Roost, the infamous hideout of Pancho Villa and the southern Sierra Nevada Mountains. The southern end of the tunnel rests about 2,000 feet above the desert below, with distant views of the San Gabriel Mountains, Mojave and California City.

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2013-07-18 slegal
    WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

    Permit $$
    Special Use

    Map Drive
    FR / Jeep Road - Car possible when dry

    To hike
    Take SR 14 to the turnout to Last Chance Canyon Rd., which is located at N35 30.055 W117 56.931. There is a hand painted sign that says “Burro Schmidt Tunnel”. From here to the tunnel is all dirt road. Autos can make it but four wheel drive is highly recommended. There are signs along the way to help you find the way. From SR 14 to the tunnel entrance is about 9.5 miles.

    There is a BLM office at the entrance and there is a fee to enter the tunnel.
    page created by slegal on Jul 18 2013 2:53 pm
    90+° 8am - 6pm kills
    Avoid Heat Illness - stay cool
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