Follow an old mining road to a desert spring.
|Total Distance: 1.2 miles out & back||Elevation Gain: 331t. (3,622ft. to 3,853ft.)|
|Difficulty: Easy||0-5 Mile Difficulty: Moderate|
|View Rating: 2.0 out of 5.0 stars||Author’s Rating: 2.0 out of 5.0 stars|
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|Pets: No||Horses: Yes|
|Best Seasons: November-April||Special Permits: None|
|Water Availability: No potable water||Overnight Options: Dispersed camping is permitted|
|Trailhead Amenities: None||Crowd Factor: Solitude|
|Trailhead Access: 2.4|
Mile-by-Mile: Keane Spring
0.0 Old mining road along the Chloride City Road (3,622ft.). An old water tank is nearby; go to the water tank and then take the wash northward. There are several mining roads in the area; if the road ends in an old prospect, go back to the water tank and try again. You may be able to locate and follow the old pipeline between the spring and the water tank. The old mining road you want will cross over the hill and then eventually drop down into a wide wash. (36.738101°, -116.907793°)
0.45 Wide wash (3,779ft.). Turn right (northeast) up the wide wash toward some greenery. You may find some foundations from the Keane Springs Townsite. (36.743695°, -116.903869°)
0.6 Keane Spring (3,853ft.). A few ruins are nearby. (approx. 36.745206°, -116.902177°)
Note: An alternate route begins about 36.739385°, -116.912986° and travels northeast via the old road to the townsite and Keane Spring. However, this route is fairly washed out and may be difficult to follow.
History & More
The Keane Spring was a very important part of the mining efforts on the Chloride Cliffs. Reliable water was vital for life, let alone for processing the ore. The spring was not capable of running a large stamp mill, but over the course of several mines, it produced enough water to run a small stamp mill, mercury mill, and more. The water was also piped down to the Keane Wonder Mine at times.
The town of Keane Springs was the site of a tent city with two wood-frame buildings. Lots were sold at $25-$100 each. Establishments (mostly in tents) included a saloon, a boardinghouse, a stable for the Kimball Brothers Stage Line, and a branch of the Porter Brothers store. The latter two businesses were run out of Rhyolite.
Most of what remained of the town – which was very little – was destroyed in a flash flood in 1909.
Download Trail Map
Take the Chloride City Road 2.5 miles from the Daylight Pass Road. The non-existent parking area is 0.3 miles beyond the turnoff for the Monarch Canyon Road. Be sure to park in such a way that you don’t obstruct traffic.
Camping in a canyon is discouraged due to the danger of flash floods.
Remember, it may be easier to climb up dryfalls than down them (or vice versa). Be sure you can climb in the other direction before climbing up or down a dryfall.
Camping is not allowed within one mile of a paved road, developed area, or dirt road that is closed to camping.
Camping is not permitted within 100 feet of a flowing stream, spring, or other natural body of open water.
No camping is permitted on the floor of Death Valley, within one mile of Darwin Falls and Greenwater Canyon, on the active/shifting sand dunes, and certain other canyons and backcountry areas.
Camping is also prohibited within one mile of the Ubehebe Lead Mine, Leadfield Mines, Keane Wonder Mill, and Skidoo Mill.
Camping is limited to 30 days per calendar year within the park.
Fires are permitted in NPS-provided fire grates or grills ONLY.
Leave No Trace Principles are enforced
Drones and model aircrafts are prohibited
Camping is permitted only in designated sites or in areas open to dispersed backcountry camping
All park rules and regulations
12 Month Pass: $55/Death Valley Annual Pass (valid at Death Valley National Park). $80/America the Beautiful Annual Pass (valid at all national park and federal fee areas). $20/Annual Senior Pass (62 years or older US citizens; valid at all national park and federal fee areas). Free/4th Grade Pass (Valid Sept. 1-August 31 of the child’s 4th Grade school year). Free/Military Pass (valid for all active military personel and their dependents with a CAC Card or DD Form 1173).
Lifetime Pass: $80/Lifetime Senior Pass (62 years or older US citizens; valid at all national park and federal fee areas). Free/Access Pass (available to all US citizens with perminent disabilities). Free/Access for Veterans and Gold Star Families Pass (valid for all military and veterans with a CAC card, Veteran HJealth Identification Card, Veteran ID Card, or veteran’s designation on state-issued drivers license or identification card.)