Camping in an old abandoned mining camp out in the Mojave Desert.
On a recent trip out to the Mojave Desert, my friends and I decided to set up camp in an old abandoned mining ghost camp near Ridgecrest, CA. Since information about this particular camp is scarce, I thought I’d let the photos tell the story.
The camp sits between three small living ghost towns along Highway 395 between Ridgecrest and Boron, CA. Atolia, which was the source of large amounts of tungsten ore during the two world wars and the Korean War, is also located nearby.
There are several roads, some paved, some not, that lead to the camp. The one I took came with the following warning: This road is not maintained. San Bernardino is not responsible for any loss or injury suffered by reason of its use.
These two large tires marked the entrance to the camp.
Like most mining areas I’ve visited, the roads leading into this camp were littered with broken glass, nails and other sharp debris that could easily puncture a tire if you’re not careful.
We set up our camp next to an old abandoned building that was most likely used as a machine shop back when the mines in the area were still in operation.
After setting up camp it was time to explore.
There’s a wide variety of abandoned structures that surround the area.
Old RCA boxes were used as insulation inside this structure.
Time and weather have taken their toll.
Decoupage near the front door of another abandoned cabin.
An old outhouse…
…that had recently been rebuilt. Thanks Drake Friel.
Watch your step, abandoned mines are everywhere.
Back in March of 2015, a 20-year-old Red Mountain man was convicted for the 2014 rape and murder of a 71-year-old victim whose body was found deep within a mineshaft, the same mineshaft we would later explore during our weekend here.
The biggest house in the area sits on a hill and is a bit more contemporary.
A curved concrete stairway…
…leads up to an impressive wraparound porch…
…and front door.
Green carpet, graffiti and trash litter the inside of this once beautiful hillside abode.
Somebody obviously was a Pac-Man fan.
This structure has seen better days.
Won’t you be my neighbor?
This green concrete home looked like it would’ve been a great place to live back in the day.
With its lovely fenced in yard…
…and wallpaper throughout, who wouldn’t want to live here.
There’s even a small cemetery out back.
I heart the dead.
Another old, abandoned contemporary home sits next door.
It may be modern but there’s still a shitter out back.
Trashed and Thrashed
Come to my Window
Before the sun went down, we did a little more exploration east of where our camp was set up. These crazy looking formations were created by sediment runoff from the processed ore that was mined here.
An exploratory shaft.
Found this cute little guy hanging out in a collapsed shaft.
The nocturnal Barn Owl likes to hunt in areas such as canyons and washes near trees where it can perch. This 15-20 inch tall predator prefers small mammals such as antelope squirrels and mice, but when scarce will attack small birds. After being caught the prey is torn apart and swallowed bones and all. Mostly white with yellow, tan and buff speckled markings, the distinctive heart-shaped white face is rimmed by curved tan feathers.
Camp at sunset.
The sunset was spectacular…
…and brought a whole new light to the abandoned structures that surrounded our camp.
As night fell, we enjoyed some homemade pasta under the stars and got some much needed rest before another full day of exploration began the following morning.
Good night ghost camp.
Protecting and preserving historic, sacred, and sensitive sites should be practiced by all. Locations, directions, and names to some of the places found on this site are not listed, please don’t ask for them. Tread lightly, leave no trace and always respect the wonder that surrounds you.