Hike distance: 3.18 miles
We decided to take a quick trip to the southern entrance of Joshua Tree National Park and hiked the Mastadon Mountain Loop. It was a great short hike for a cool and cloudy Sunday afternoon.
No hike was complete this year without some wildflower sightings. These beautiful sand blazing stars
The highlight of the hike was the final climb to the top of the mountain.
Even though we had only gained 400+ feet in elevation, the panoramic views were outstanding from the 3,400 peak.
On the way down we passed the remnants of the Mastadon Gold Mine and could see the inclined shaft that was sunk 45 feet to a gold-containing vein.
The mine was established in the 1930s by the Hulsey family. The operation followed a prominent quartz vein and eventually found high quality gold, but a fault in the primary vein meant the bulk of the gold was never found and mining operations ceased shortly thereafter. Like nearly all of the almost 300 mining operations inside Joshua Tree National Park, the Mastodon Mine never lived up to the initial excitement of its early investors.
On our return we had fun boulder climbing.