Cargo Muchacho Mountains
In The Desert
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Right next to where the gentleman found the nuggets are 3 retention ponds that were used for the mine. Sometimes they have water in them (like here) and sometimes they're dry. Just to the right of the ponds is a foundation for the old ore mill.
And just above the ponds in this canyon is the mine. Also there's a road that coninues over the mountain. They tell me that this road is un-passable; I don't know and after walking up there
I don't want to find out. There is equipment laying on the ground part way up the canyon.
While here we met up with a couple of guys out for day time run in the area. This rail had a V-8 in it and he said he had over $40,000 tied up in it. WOW. Nice looking and it didn't have any problem getting back out.
Here's one of the back ways to get into the American Girl mine. This wash is called the American Girl Wash and is quite rough. This section although it looks bad - if your careful it's not.
Here's what happens when you go cross-country; which is illegal to do. It tears up the washes like shown here, and makes no sense either. There are plenty of roads in this area.
The road here was washed out! We hiked into the area and there are some interesting mines, and glory holes in this area on the Northwest side of the Cargo Muchacho Mts.
Here's Linda at the American Girl Mine. The tailings piles here are huge and this must have been worked for a long period of time. It did produce a lot of gold. A lot of the smaller mines in the mountians here didn't fare as well. See the map below.
This is only one small section of the mine -- a pit. It had quite a bit of water in it when we were there. The sides of the mountains in here have been terraced and there are shafts all over the place. So be careful, but look the place over, it's part of the history of the area.
This is an interesting area right next to the mountains on the Western side. It's one of the main ore milling sites and was probably used by the Tumco Mine, which is another big mine in these mountains. Just look for the signs for Gold Rock Ranch and turn down that road to the West. 1/4 mile into this road on the South side is where the ore mill was. Behind Linda here is an extensive tailings pile.
Here's something interesting. Old wooden water tanks - or should I say what's left of them? These were old tanks with steel straps wrapped around them. A lot of people drive right by this site and never realize that it exists.
This ore mill was pretty big in it's day, with a lot of buried tanks, and above ground concrete foundations for the milling equipment. Also on the East side of Ogilby Rd. is the Tumco Mine. This is a park and you have to walk a ways to get to the actual mine site on the side of the Mountains.
While your in the area you might as well continue to the Gold Rock Ranch and take a look at their rather large collection of rock specimens from around the area. There's enough in these mountains and surrounding areas to keep you busy for a couple of days. There is also a lot of large RV camping sites in this area. This is also close to the Imperial Sand Dunes and Yuma, Az.. Have fun....
This area is noted for it's gold production. This guy (photo on the right) found a couple of nice little nuggets at a mine South of Stud Mountain. He dug 18" after a hit on his Minelab Metal Detector to get these. This is a really neat area, and you need a 4 wheel drive to access the area. On Interstate 8 you'll turn North on Sidewinder Rd. to access the mountains. This is very close to Yuma, Az.
Southeast California, Gold Mines
Mining Map, 1942
1942 Mining Map of the Cargo Muchacho-Tumco Mining District
This is a really neat area to explore, with all the mines and off-road trails. Some of the roads are not shown on this map. This map is from 1942.
Content including photographs are Copyright © 2011 - Present - Don & Linda Gilmore
Map, courtesy of Perry Marchant