Mines, Joshua Tree National Park
This is a great hike with a surprise in the end. From Keys View Rd, turn east on the dirt road when you see the sign. Leave your car in the parking lot and it's a 2-mile hike (one way). Last time I did it was in summer 2000. There's no shade and I didn't carry water, so it felt like 20 miles instead.
The mine was active between 1894 and 1931, producing 10,000 ounces of gold and 16,000 ounces of silver (worth $5 million today). Before you go, read the story about Johnny Lang, William Keys, and J.D. Ryan. Their story is a Western tale full of gun slinging cowboys, cattle rustlers, and horse thieves.
This two mile round trip hike leads to an old mine atop a mountain. There is no shade, which wasn't a problem in the cool January sun, and the hike moves on a slow uphill gain. Once you get up to the mine, there is a short path you can scramble up to reach the top of Lost Horse Mountain. More beautiful vistas, showing Pleasant Valley, Wonderland Rocks, and much more.
Joshua Tree National Park also has the remains of a couple of old mines. Shown is an old abandoned structure that was part of the Queen Valley mine.
The remains of the Silver Bell Mine reminds us of another resource found here in the Mojave Desert and another part of our past in the US.
The remains of the Queen valley mine are a short hike off of a dirt road that leads from the main park road. Follow the signs for directions.