The Ivanhoe Mine is part of the Dale Mining District, outside of the town of Twentynine Palms, CA. Very little remains at the mine site today with the exception of a few concrete buildings slabs, and a small metal headframe.
For the underground explorer there is far more to explore below the surface. A report by the explorer group, The Underground Explorers, from March 2011 indicates that there are, “three levels filled with interesting artifacts, minerals, chutes and timbering.” The group had descended on rope 270 feet, and was able to explore 95% of the Ivanhoe. As of my visit in July of 2013 the main tunnel appears to still be open, as well as numerous other cuts.
At the height of Ivanhoe’s operation the quartz vein that they had worked, average 1 1/2 troy ounces of gold per ton.
The most exciting part of visiting the Ivanhoe Mine for us above ground types is the ride and the views. Ivanhoe Mine Road, while only a mile to the mine, climbs over 500 feet. The road is steep and rocky, but worth the drive. The views along the way are stellar, and only get better as you approach the mine (watch the above video for a short snippet of the drive to Ivanhoe Mine). Less than a quarter of a mile past the mine is a breathtaking lookout over Wonder Valley, which is nearly 2000 feet below.