Nestled in the San Bernardino Mountains, roughly fifteen miles due east of Big Bear Lake, is a small abandoned community that was built around three area springs, Viscera Spring, Vaughn Spring, and Mound Spring. It is a semi-arid environment, with Joshua Trees, Pinyon Pines, Manzanita and other brush. The homes, cabins and ranches that made up this community are spread out over an area of a little over a mile.
A number of gold mines are within the vicinity, including the Bighorn Mine. In 2010, the National Forest Service is known to have removed a number of historic miner’s cabins from this same general area. It is unclear, if any of the remaining abandoned structures belonged to any of the miners, or if they are from people settled the area after the mines had closed. Some of the structures appear to not be as old as others, while another look to have been a family ranch.
Some of the structures are signed no trespassing, while others are not. Please respect these signs, and stay out of the buildings that are clearly marked. The ones that are not signed, you are more than likely safe to use for camping and shelter. Sadly most of these structures have seen better days, years of abandonment and their remote location have made them a target for vandals.
What I suspect to have been a ranch consists of a large house, a smaller house, and a large barn/shed structure.
Interested in visiting this site?
GUIDE SERVICE OPTION: Jim’s Guide Service may be the right choice for you. Jim can provide you with a single day to multiday tour of the Mojave Desert. Visit the guide website for more details.
BOOK OPTION: Viscera Spring / Vaughn Spring is featured in Secret Places in the Mojave Desert Vol. IV. Detailed maps, and GPS coordinates are included. Order your copy now.