Tonopah Historic Mining Park
Tonopah, Nevada - Mine Tour ...
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|Silver Top Mine &
|Crossing the Stope Bridge
Tonopah re-energized the Nevada mining industry when rich silver ore was discovered by Jim Butler in May of
1900. The result was a bonanza find with ore valued at up to $600 a ton. Butler eventually staked eight claims at
Tonopah and named the first three the Desert Queen, the Burro, and the Mizpah. All of these eventually
became incredibly rich mines, and you can get an up close look at each of these by visiting the Historic Tonopah
If your family enjoys the "old west" then you know that mining was a driving force, which caused many to flock to
and develop The West, in search of gold and silver. No family vacation to the "old west" is complete without a mine
tour, and Tonopah offers a spectacular mining park. The three mines mentioned above can be found here, along
with other, once rich, mines.
|Inside the Visitor Center
|Outside of Visitor Center
|The Tonopah Mining Park has a very nice visitor center with clean restrooms, lots of mining books and literature
on the area, along with diagrams of the nearby mines and claims. Your tour starts in the theatre with a 10 minute
video that gives you a brief history of the area. It does a nice job of filling you in on who were the main mining
characters, how the mines were discovered, and some interesting information on how the Tonopah area
developed during the boom years. It also provides information on what the major mines produced over the years -
a truly staggering amount in today's dollars.
After viewing the video, you leave the visitor center on a self-guided tour, with a map and brochure that shows
and explains each of the major attractions in the park. This allows you to pick and choose what you want to see
and move along at your own pace. The Tonopah Mining Park has about six different mines, headframes and
hoist houses, mill ruins, tons of mining equipment, buildings, tailings and much more to see. Steel bridges are built
over some of the stopes so you can peer down hundreds of feet into the mountain and see where rich silver ore
was once extracted.
A picture of the Silver Top Mine is shown above. This mine was in operation from 1902 to 1948 and gives
visitors the opportunity to take a view down the lighted 1200 foot shaft. Next to it is the Silver Top Grizzly, which
was built in 1905 and was used by crews to hand-sort the good and the bad ore.
|Desert Queen Mine
& Hoist House
Tonopah Mining Park is located about halfway between Las Vegas and Carson City or Reno. If you are
interested in mining and the "old west" then you are sure to enjoy your visit. When we visited in the summer of 2011
it was very reasonably priced and the weather was quite comfortable. Everything was well preserved and the huge
concentration of mines, mining equipment, buildings and other artifacts rivals anything we've seen in the past. The
tour was very informative, there were many opportunities for great photo shoots and the staff was very friendly and
helpful. So, if you plan to be in the area or are traveling between Las Vegas and Reno be sure and stop by. It will
be a great chance to stretch your legs, learn about history and relive a bit of the past. You will be glad that you did.
Have fun and stay safe!
|Stamp Mill for crushing ore
|Power Magazine for storing
|Mizpah Mine & Hoist
|Mizpah Mine & Mine
|Burro Tunnel Viewing Cage
|Burro Viewing Cage
over 500 ft stope
|Horse drawn whim for
As you can see in some of the photos above, there are some very well done park signs that do a great job of
explaining mining attractions throughout the park. The Desert Queen mine is the third complete set of hoisting
works on the property. This mine and the hoist house sit up on the hillside above the visitor center. There are trails
all through the park that take you past mines, millsites and other mining attractions.
Crossing over the Stope Bridge provides visitors with a rare perspective, as it allows you to cross directly over a 500
foot mining stope and peer down into it. There are a number of these that are visible throughout the park. This is
where rich silver ore was extracted in great quantities leaving behind these cavernous openings. The Burro Mine
Tunnel is a recreated underground tunnel at one of Jim Butler's original discovery sites. At the end of this tunnel is
a steel viewing cage that allows you to peer into a 500 foot mine stope where the original mine was located. Below
are some other photos that we took during our visit in the summer of 2011.
|Tonopah & Goldfield
Nevada Vacation Attractions