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Chloride Cliffs & Big Bell Mines - DVNP, CA

Guide 2 Triplogs  0 Topics
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Difficulty 3.5 of 5
Distance Round Trip 5.5 miles
Trailhead Elevation 5,040 feet
Elevation Gain -1,408 feet
Accumulated Gain 1,700 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 6-7 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 14
Interest Historic & Peak
Dogs not allowed
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
32  2010-02-15 gpsjoe
45  2010-02-15 Grasshopper
Author Grasshopper
author avatar Guides 46
Routes 483
Photos 8,859
Trips 547 map ( 5,404 miles )
Age 75 Male Gender
Location Scottsdale, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   May, Sep, Oct, Apr
Sun  4:52am - 6:55pm
Official Route
1 Alternative

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With the discovery of Silver ore (Silver Chloride)at the CHLORIDE CLIFFS in August,1871, Chloride City reportedly became the first mining venture on the east side of Death Valley in the Funeral Mountain Range. The Chloride Cliff Company was active on and off producing silver ore until finally closing down for good in June 1912.

On this 8 mile 4x4 drive in, one of the things you will not want to miss is the excellent viewpoint from the 5279 foot Chloride Cliffs highpoint. You will be looking down the length of Death Valley, more than 5000 feet below, a breathtaking panorama perhaps surpassed only by Dante's Viewpoint high above Badwater Basin.

The main attraction and focus of this hike description is the remote and scenic hike down from the TH/Parking Start location at way point N36.69947 W-116.87886 to the BIG BELL MINES COMPLEX located 2.75mls and -1408 feet below your TH Start (between the popular Keane Wonder Mine Complex and the Chloride Cliffs). This Big Bell Complex has a very interesting and educational Gold Mining History. The majority of its remains date back from the 1935-37 time period with tons of old surviving mining equipment to view and numerous, large audits you can carefully walk into. A well preserved mining site once fought over by a real western gunfight.

IF you enjoy:
..scenic 4x4ing to reach a remote destination;
..mining history with old structures, tons of old mining equipment, and numerous audits to explore;
..a scenic highpoint at 5279' to view the depths and length of Death Valley;
..and are a capable GPS user who can download and follow the attached GPS hiking "and" GPS driving route attached to this hike description;
..visiting this area of DV in only Dec-Jan-Feb-early March;
..hiking downhill -1408' in the beginning of the hike, then uphill coming back for a total of 1700'AEG;

THEN, this hike and exploration area is a "must do" when visiting Death Valley National Park;

Please Note: As of this writing, the more popular and easier driving route to access this hiking area via the Keane Wonder Mine Trail (off the Beatty Cutoff Road), is presently closed due to recent Mercury contamination finds at the Keane Wonder Mine, so this hike description is the present recommended route to access this most interesting area of Death Valley history.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

Leave No Trace and +Add a Triplog after your hike to support this local community.

2011-03-17 Grasshopper
    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 $$

    Map Drive
    Strictly 4x4

    To hike
    Furnace Creek, CA: Drive north on SR190 for 12 miles to the intersection of SR190/The Beatty Cutoff; Take the Beatty Cutoff north for an additional 10 miles to its end at the intersection with Daylight Pass Road(SR374); Continue NE(right) on Daylight Pass Road for 3.4 miles to easy to miss, non-marked Monarch Canyon 4x4 High Clearance with upgraded tires-Primitive Road on your Right side(east) at way point N36.75058 W-116.93658;

    Please Note: To correctly navigate this total 8.0 mile 4x4 road, which includes a short drive up to the scenic Chloride Cliffs 5279' high point parking area at N36.69533 W-116.87957, then a short drive back to the "official" TH/Parking hike start location at way point N36.69947 W-116.87886 for the Big Bell Mines Hike, IT IS MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED that prior-to this trip, you enter into your GPS these above referenced key way points "and" also download from HAZ (and closely follow) the Driving Directions GPS Route posted to this Hike Description;
    page created by Grasshopper on Feb 24 2010 11:11 pm
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