Silver Bell Mine in Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Tree National Park doesn’t do a great job of letting you know where things are, I literally stumbled on this mine. This does add to the sense of adventure in the park though, as you are driving through the main road and it will say exhibit ahead letting you know something is coming up. Half the time you don’t know what the exhibit is since it is not on the map but you can slow down and see. This particular one is where we stopped to see the sunrise then when we looked over at the hillside we saw a mine on it in the distance and decided to take a hike.

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Details

  • 2 miles round trip
  • 400 feet of elevation.

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Once you pull out at the exhibit you will be able to see the mine off in the distance on the far hillside. The hike starts out flat for about .75 miles while you will wander through the shrubs and cactus of Joshua Tree. There is not a real path here but try to tread where others have so you do not destroy the landscape.

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As you continue towards the mountain you will see the path up the side of it that leads to the mine. This path is well-worn and easy to see.

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This is also where you will be putting in your elevation as it proceeds straight up for about a quarter of a mile. You can take your time though and as long as you are not there in the heat of summer it shouldn’t be too bad.

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As you start to reach the end of the uphill you will get your first glimpse of the mines.

The Mine

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The mine itself is really well maintained with almost no human interaction, especially since it is off the beaten path. I was so happy to be able to explore it and dive into the history of the area.

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One of the two buildings has a metal ladder fixed to the side that you can use to climb up. It is sturdy but still put a little fear in me. It doesn’t provide much more of a few other then the ability to look in the old mill.

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I found the rocks that lined the area really unique. They were a turquoise color and I am not a geologist myself so I am not sure what the scientific name for them is, but I enjoyed checking them out.

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Here are a few more photos.

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After exploring the area you can continue up the two peaks near it for views of the area or head back down and explore many of the other Joshua Tree attractions. Be sure to watch out for jumping cactus on your way down.

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All in all this was an awesome find, and I liked not knowing much about it. It is one of the rare times where you stumble on something and just get to experience it yourself, instead of knowing all about it before hand. What about you have you been to this mine?

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  • Ryan

    Missed that hike while I was living in JTree, darn. Looks like a good one! Thanks for adding another one to my outdoor to-do list 😉

    • Always good to have something to go back from right! 🙂

  • champ

    If, when standing on the ridge just above the two structures, you look down the ridge to the east, you can see the ruins of two mines.