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Desert Queen Mine Trail

Intermediate
 3.1 (8)

A short trail to an abandoned gold mine with a fascinating history.


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Map Key

0.9

Miles

1.4

KM

89%

Runnable

4,455' 1,358 m

High

4,311' 1,314 m

Low

123' 38 m

Up

146' 45 m

Down

6%

Avg Grade (3°)

20%

Max Grade (12°)

Dogs No Dogs

Features Views · Wildflowers

Description

The trail to Desert Queen Mine starts at the end of Desert Queen Mine Road. Follow the trail for about half a mile until you reach a backcountry registration board. Continuing straight takes you to an overlook where you can view the mine and its tailings; turning right leads you down into a ravine to the mine's rusting ruins.

Several old mine shafts are sealed to prevent entry. The remains of the Desert Queen Mine are a decaying memorial to the scandalous gold-mining era that flourished in Joshua Tree a century ago. The man who discovered the Desert Queen Mine, Frank L. James, was shot and killed by local outlaw Jim McHaney, who took control of the mine and earned a small fortune. But when the mine ran dry, McHaney started counterfeiting gold coins - a crime that ultimately landed him in San Quentin Prison.

Thanks to guidebook author and photographer, James Kaiser, for sharing this trail description. To learn more about visiting Joshua Tree, check out his .

Contacts

Shared By:

James Kaiser

Trail Ratings

  3.1 from 8 votes

#21959

Overall
  3.1 from 8 votes
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Trail Rankings

#2,346

in California

#21,959

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Photos

View of Desert Queen Mine and its tailings.
Jun 9, 2016 near Twentyn…, CA
Moon setting near Desert Queen.
Jun 8, 2017 near Twentyn…, CA
The beginning of the Pine City Trail is hard to see, but heads down into a wash.
Jun 14, 2016 near Twentyn…, CA

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