12. Gold Mountain (10.8 Miles) also known as “Lucky Baldwin” Mine

Watch for the crumbling wooden structure on the right or south side of the road – this is an ore bin, built in 1945, a more recent attempt to make Gold Mountain profitable.

     The last major gold discovery occurred in 1873 when Barney and Charley Carter were enroute to the Rose Mine.  While camped on the north shore of Baldwin Lake , Barney went to inspect the “shiny stuff” in the quartz ledge immediately above their camp.  His brief exploration led to a mountain of gold ore!  Elias J. “Lucky” Baldwin purchased “Carters’ Quartz Hill: for $30,000.

     By 1876, Baldwin had 180 men working his mine and a 40-stamp mill was in place.  The concrete footings can be seen to the west.  The site of a large mill and cyanide processing plant was added in 1899.  The mill was in operation as late as 1923.

     In the fall of 1875, William F. Holcomb returned once more to the Valley, a visit inspired by sentimentality and curiosity.  Bill witnessed the death throes of the mining camps, the final and futile last search for more gold.  Before long nature would creep back, reclaiming the land.  The clapboard villages were abandoned, leaving only decaying ghost towns.  Holcomb could never have guessed that when he shouldered his rifle to hunt bear in 1860, he would precipitate the largest Gold Rush in Southern California .

Here is the view of the ore bin.  You can see we are up very high in elevation.  The white area to the right of the photo is Baldwin Lake , which is now mostly dry.  There are all sorts of roads off in the distance.

I really enjoyed this last stop.  As you can see the rock formations have a wonderful richness in color.  Here I am standing on a small footpath leading up to the top of this ridge.  From here I am looking at the ore bin which is across the road.

Here is a second view of the ore bin as it looks out over the valley below.  This is a very interesting stop for sure.  The ore bin is quite large and impressive looking.  The beams are very big.  The view from up here is so beautiful with the blue sky and the valley below.

1. Holcomb View Trail - 2. Last Chance Placer
Wilbur's Grave (Not on the tour)
3. Two Gun Bill's Saloon - 4. Jonathan Tibbett's Grasshopper Quartz Mill
5. Hangman's Tree - 6. Original Gold Diggings - 7. Belleville - 8. Arrasters
9. Ross' Grave - 10. Pygmy Cabin Site - 11. Metzger Mine
12.Gold Mountain A.K.A. Lucky Baldwin Mine