Sunset Mine (Dale Mining District)

Looking out toward the Pinto Basin.

Jack Meek was a busy fellow. In the early 1900’s he had his hands in several of the mines in and around the Dale Mining District, the Sunset Mine being one of them. Meek resided in nearby Twentynine Palms from about 1921 until his death in 1951. He is credited as a cowboy, lawman, and miner. He is buried at the Twentynine Palms Cemetery.

The Sunset Mine sits on the south side of the Pinto Mountains overlooking the vast Pinto Basin. Meek discovered the mine in the 1920’s, placing seven claims and forming the Sunset Group. By 1929 the only work on the mine was exploratory, and the mine was considered in idle. Between 1929 and 1944 several shafts were sunk, each between 10 – 20 feet in depth, but again in 1945 the mine fell idle.

In 1956, A.T. Roy of Twentynine Palms began working the claim, and removed an undisclosed amount of copper.

 

A look inside of the hoist house.

A look inside of the hoist house.

 

An unsecured adit located directly outside of the hoist house.

An unsecured adit located directly outside of the hoist house.

 

Ruins of the cabin that once stood at the Sunset Mine.

Ruins of the cabin that once stood at the Sunset Mine.

 

For the most part the Sunset Mine is shrouded in obscurity with very little documentation. After 1956 the trail is lost, with the exception of a brief mention of the mine being worked for a short period in the 1970’s, and a possible “turf war” with the owners of the nearby Mission Mine over land access.

Today the site is a popular stop for off-road warriors making their way through the rugged roads of the Pinto Mountains. The only remaining structure is a large concrete hoist house that looks like a bunker built to withstand just about anything. It is graffitied with both an American and California State flag. A cabin once stood on the property, but all that remains of it is a concrete slab, and some fancy stone casing.

A word of caution when visiting the Sunset Mine, there are several open adits on the property. One is located directly along the road leading to the hoist house. Another is located below the door of the hoist house.

 

Scattered rubbish in the wash below the cabin site.

Scattered rubbish in the wash below the cabin site.

 

Looking out toward the Pinto Basin.

Looking out toward the Pinto Basin.

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.