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 during a recent trip since it was not on the map. This does add to the sense of adventure in the park though, and when you are driving through the main road, it will say exhibit ahead letting you know something is coming up. This particular exhibit was 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. Here is all the information.
- 2 miles round trip
- 400 feet of elevation
- More Joshua Tree National Park recommendations.
- Information from my visit in 2015
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 National Park. There is not a real path here, but try to tread where others have so you do not destroy the landscape.
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.
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.
As you start to reach the end of the uphill, you will get your first glimpse of the mines.
The mines are 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.
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 view other than the ability to look in the old mill.
I found the rocks that lined the area to be 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.
Here are a few more photos.
After exploring the area, you can continue up the two peaks near it for views of the park 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.
All in all, this was an excellent find and I liked not knowing much about it. It is one of the rare times where you stumble on something and get to experience it yourself, instead of knowing all about it beforehand. What about you, have you been to this mine?