Keane Wonder Mine Reopening
Articles, Blog

Keane Wonder Mine Reopening

October 10, 2019


November 2017 nine years after the
closure we are finally reopening Keane to the public. You know this has been a long
time coming there’s a lot of work that was put into
this so we here at the park are very excited about this and we know the
public will be too and you know things get closed they don’t always get
reopened our intent was always to reopen the site took a while but we’re glad
it’s finally actually happening. Keans a really cool site it’s it’s one
of our bigger mine sites in the park it was a gold mine and it’s also one of the
most profitable hard rock mines in Death Valley but what really makes the site
unique is the aerial tramway. This tramway is just about a mile long from
top to bottom difference in elevation of over a thousand feet and what’s really
unique about it is that it was built in 1907 and the cables are still attached
that’s pretty rare for a tramway that old. The other really neat thing about
this mine in addition to the cool mining stuff it’s just an amazing natural
setting the tramway goes up this kind of deep gorge like canyon and you have
great views of the valley from most places on the site. In 2007 there was an audit done of
abandoned mines on Department of Interior lands and the group doing the
audit came out visited Death Valley and number other places. Keane Wonder was one
of the sites that was specifically called out by name in this report and as
a result the park management decided to close the site until it could be made
safe. The first work that was really done was in 2010-2011 and during that time we
mitigated 50 mines mostly with bat gates. Also had work done
on the aerial tramway there was extensive work done on the upper and
lower terminals and also on two of the towers that had been leaning quite a bit.
At Keane Wonder as with a lot of other mining sites in Death Valley they were
identified some hazards and it took us about nine years to secure the funding
and to secure some of the most dangerous spots but people should know
it’s always a little bit hazardous visiting abandoned mines. Even though
we did stabilization work these are still very old very fragile structures
and people can help us preserve them by not climbing on them that’s that’s a big
thing. Even with all the sights I’ve seen here
Keane Wonder is still one of my favorites. This tramway is so impressive so unique
the amount of ruins and infrastructure that’s still here is really amazing
there’s an awesome network of trails that connects Keane to all the
surrounding mines and it’s just a naturally beautiful setting. Amazing
geology. Yeah this is one of my favorite places in the park. You know there’s over 17,000 abandoned
mining sites in Death Valley but so many of them are hard to get to but the Keane
Wonder Mine you can drive right to it and walk a short distance up and see all
this infrastructure that’s still here from the turn of the century mine.
I would encourage visitors to plan maybe half a day to come up here and explore
the mine sites go see the spring go see some of the cabins that you can still
see and if you have more time if you have all day there’s actually a whole
bunch of mine and old mines from different eras going all the way up five
thousand feet to Chloride City there’s old miner trail that’s still totally
intact. It’s a really cool site and we’re glad to be reopening it today.

4 Comments

  • Reply Happy Trails Hiking November 16, 2017 at 4:17 pm

    Looking forward to visiting in December! Thank you for preserving and restoring our Country's historical places.

  • Reply Ken Johnson February 21, 2018 at 5:46 am

    Thank you public servants, and remember the land and structures belong to the People, not the Park Service. Have a wonderful day.

  • Reply amelia caballero March 10, 2018 at 2:15 pm

    Im so excited, i will be visiting this mine today. My sixth time going to Death Valley! Love it

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