Continuing our trend of summiting infrequently climbed peaks, we took off Monday morning to hike Shadow Mountain. The route began from our camp area at the Shadow Mountain Mine and followed old mining roads and eventually the southwest ridge to the summit. It is a rather small and insignificant peak compared to its neighbors Kingston and Clark, and that combined with the bad roads make it a rarely visited summit.
To start out, we followed an old road past the mill building ruins and machinery pads and into the hills that flank Shadow Mountain. We could have driven most of this road, but a large washout about 1/4 mile past the mine site blocked progress by vehicle. No problem – we don’t mind walking!
We followed the road into the hills past several diggings and mine shafts. David went down into one only to be greeted by a junior rattlesnake. It’s an odd time of year to find snakeys, but if I were a snake that’s where I would go. All those mice and rats that live down mine tunnels would make for some fine cuisine.
Eventually the road went the wrong way so we left it and climbed to the ridge. At the top we found more ruins of an old mill site. Again, most of the equipment had long been removed (probably to a more lucrative site) and/or destroyed by vandals. It sure would have been interesting to see what this area looked like when operating back in its prime time (1890s-1920s).
Beyond the mining distractions, it was only a few small (but steep) bumps to get to the summit of Shadow Mountain. From the top we finally got a clear view of the area; storms had finished clearing. There was a generous coating of snow on Clark, and in the distance Telescope and Charleston looked heavily blanketed in the white stuff. The snow line looked pretty low and we began to fret about our upcoming plans in Red Rock. But first, we had to get off of Shadow and back down those icky roads (the roads were more of a concern than the hike).
Like usual, David scurried down quickly and was happily digging through the old mine ruins by the time Robin and I got back to the cars. He had found another building, this one a bit larger and more durable than the corrugated tin wall shacks that had crumbled in the main town site. Perhaps this one belonged to the foreman of the mill around the corner.
Promise of a cold beer at the Pioneer Saloon in Goodsprings, NV, got us moving and soon we were heading back out the washed out road and back to the sandy powerline road. When we got to the powerline road we employed the ‘gun it and go’ strategy of driving through deep sand. Wheee.
About 7 miles north of highway 15 outside of Jean is the town of Goodsprings, an old mining town that is slowly turning into a ghost town. But the Pioneer Saloon is going strong and is a fun stop if you’re passing through. A basic menu, beers served in mason jars, pressed tin tiles on the ceiling, a raging fire in the pot bellied stove, and plenty of locals all give this place a lot of character. This was our second visit, but I’m sure this will become a bit of a traditional stop after summiting local desert peaks!