Skip to main content
| Debbie Miller | Trip Reports

2023 Trip Report - A Desert Explorers Trip That Was Not Meant To Be

A Desert Explorers Trip That Was Not Meant to Be

By Norma and Danny Siler

We, Norma and Danny Siler, noticed in a recent Desert Explorers newsletter that there were no trips planned for January or February 2024, so we decided we would lead a group. The Bonanza King Mine, Silver King Mine and Providence town site came to mind as places the Desert Explorers would enjoy because Danny remembers how interesting they were when he visited these six years ago. Last week we made a pre-run...

Our pre-run failed in a big way because we didn’t realize that some harsh winters and Hurricane Hilary have been through there since. 4WD roads were in much worse shape than before.

One road was so badly damaged we knew this was NOT a good DE trip, “Uh-oh! What if we get stuck out here!” Another road was so steep uphill that our Jeep Grand Cherokee spun all four tires around and around and couldn’t go up it.

We walked to the Bonanza King Mine opening and saw a HUGE rut across the road and washout down the hill that no vehicle could have crossed over. (See the photo.) We were able to walk all around this 1880s mine. All the foundations, walls, equipment were just fantastic to see. (See the photos.)

It was an easy walk to the Providence town site. One particularly interesting structure is a stone block building with walls and intact steps and a faint trail to the road. (See the photo.)

The only way to go to the Silver King Mine would have been a half hour or one hour hike; Danny was able to drive there on his earlier trip.

When Danny went by himself, he stayed two nights at the Ludlow Motel, so he drove to the mines in less than an hour. For the pre-run we drove from our house, and it took three or four hours.

In conclusion... we decided this trip is not good for the Desert Explorers for three reasons.

1.  It was a very lengthy drive for a day trip; by 3:00 p.m. it seemed the sun had started going down. (See photo of our long shadows.)

2.  The roads were a disaster in some places - ruts and washouts made them impassible.

3.  This would have been a hiking trip more than a 4WD trip.

Our reference book is Hiking the Mojave Desert by Michel Digonnet.

~ Norma and Danny

MD11 Road  Hiking
MD12 Mine
MD15 Mine
MD16 Road out
MD5 Ruins
MD7 Ruins
MD8 Walls