Spanish Smelter


Located at an elevation of 6,161 feet, in the San Bernardino Mountains, this smelter is speculated to have been built in the early to mid 1800’s by Spanish miners. The Spanish were the earliest known people to have mined in the San Bernardino Mountains, their earliest exploration of this region dates back to the 1770’s.


A peek into the top of the smelter

A peek into the top of the smelter


A deposit of Cinnabar (Mercury), is located near the site of the smelter. It is likely that the smelter was used to recover the mercury. The mercury was then used to recover fine gold.

The smelter is in impeccable condition for its age, you can almost image the miners returning at any moment to fire it back up.

As with any historic landmark, enjoy it, but don’t disturb it. This smelter has likely survived for nearly 200 years, and without our interference it will hopefully stand the test of time.


About the author

Jim Mattern

Jim is a scapegoat for the NPS, an author, adventurer, photographer, radio personality, guide, and location scout. His interests lie in Native American and cultural sites, ghost towns, mines, and natural wonders in the American Deserts.