The start of the California Gold Rush in 1848 and the sudden influx of miners in search of their fortune spread out across the Sierra Nevada. With so much gold being found in the streams, miners expected that somewhere in the mountains was the “Mother Lode”, the veins of gold in hard rock. This search in the streams and rocks extended all the way south into what is now the Sierra National Forest. More..
A view of the Garnet Dike Mine after reclamation was completed in 2008. Only the waste rock produced from underground excavation and concrete foundations from the mill building remains.
One of a number of gates preventing access to unsafe underground works on the Sierra National Forest. This underground entrance was partially flooded most of the year.
Forest visitors may find old mines with openings while hiking though the forest. While it may seem attractive and low risk to enter it, they should stay out. The mine workings are not maintained which leaves them unsafe. Where possible, these openings have been sealed or gated. Please leave these enclosures in place for everyones safety. A national safety program called Stay Out and Stay Alive produced a video explaining why it is best to follow this recommendation. Video