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All That Glitters Is Not Gold
Discovered in 1880 the Ingersoll Mine produced a variety of minerals over the years since but not gold. In the early years tons of lithia ore, mica, beryl, and one very large mass of columbite-tantalite were extracted. It was also one of the biggest producers in the United States of the mineral lepidolite used in making Pyrex cookware. The mill was constructed in 1942 and several minerals were used in the world war 11 war effort. The mine ceased operations in 1980.
The trailhead is unmarked and unremarkable, only room for 2-3 cars just off the road. Several large rocks block what was once a rugged road up to the mill site. The road has been reclaimed by mother nature and for the most part is a singletrack, rough, rocky and criss crossed with tree downfall. Its a steady uphill trek thru various pine trees with great views in the distance when the forest opens up. Not much more than a stones throw away is Mt Rushmore with scores of visitors. Chances are you will be the only one(s) at this South Dakota Adventure.
Soon a huge blue building appears thru the trees. The trail to the right approaches the mill. Its a huge building several stories tall. Use caution exploring as the wood floors, stairs have quite a bit of rot. What an endeavor to build this, the engineering, supplies needed and location. Its still standing. At times it might seem haunted as the tin roof rattles in the wind. Littered about for several acres is beautiful rocks that glitter in the light. Its a rock hounders paradise. Mica, crystal, quartz is everywhere, you'll want to take some with you but you quickly realize how heavy it is. Behind the mill are several roads which were used to bring material off the mountain to the mill. Tons and tons of beautiful tailings will surround you. Follow these roads and work your way up the mountain to search and find mining tunnels.
Use caution exploring these tunnels (bring flashlights) as I observed at least one keeper hole in the floor of one tunnel with seemingly no bottom. Explore the area to your hearts content following the roads in a counter clockwise direction will complete a lasso loop.
Check out the Triplog.
This hike is listed as One-Way.
When hiking several trails on a single "hike", log it with a generic name that describes the hike. Then link the trails traveled, check out the example.