"I finished up looking around the old dumps, headed back over the pass, coasted downhill through Manhattan and back to Highway 8A, and then I turned left, to cruise south toward Route 6. My route would take me through Tonopah, past the Divide district, into the Palmetto Mountains, and on to Silver Peak."
When I drove into the Klondyke district back in 1976, the only existing maps for the area consisted of the 1962 Goldfield 2° sheet (an AMS sheet) and the 1952 Mud Lake 15' map (in this case, also an AMS sheet; see more about these maps at an earlier blog post in this series). Both maps show U.S. Highway 95 on an old alignment that took it just west of the Klondyke area. These were the days before 95 was rerouted around Hasbrouk Peak in the 1970s (the route change appears to have taken place sometime between the issuance of the 1976-77 and 1978-79 Nevada road maps), and so the maps showed the Highway 95 I knew at the time. And, continuing with the theme of my thesis hunt taking me to, through, and by areas I would come to know more about in the future, it turns out that Hasbrouk Peak is essentially a small hill of gold, one that Former Mining Company would come to drill in the mid or late 1980s.
The 2° sheet shows very little detail; the 15’ map shows a little more:
|Goldfield 2° sheet from the USGS via MSRMaps. The hills in the north-central part of the map comprise part of the Tonopah-Divide district, with Tonopah just off the map to the north. The Klondyke district sits in the center of the map in an area marked "Numerous mines."|
|A portion of the Mud Lake, NV 15' map, via the USGS Map Locator & Downloader. The hills of interest are nearly dead center. Only a few of many prospect pits, cuts, trenches, adits, and shafts are shown.|
I did finally arrive at the white, pale orange, and brownish low hills of the area, hills underlain by Paleozoic carbonate and siliclastic units intruded by granite and alaskite.
I banged on a few rocks, shook my head with wonder a few times, looked around the dumps for old bottles and such, and went back to the paved highway.
I revisited the Klondyke area a few years back while on my way into western Esmeralda County to check out a land sale. I got onto the old highway easily, and I nearly immediately found a decent road heading into the low hills. The old right-of-way fence was gone (or moved to the new alignment), and the turn into the area was quite obvious.
|Looking north along old U.S. 95 toward Tonopah.|
|Looking south down old U.S. 95 toward Goldfield.|
|This turnoff to the low hills of the Klondyke district is obvious, and the fence has been removed.|
|The partly marbleized carbonates suggest a complex history of deformation and veining.|
|A piece of jasperoid shows a reddish brown color that I now think of as fairly typical of base metal or silver – base metal districts.|
|Old junk and mine workings and dumps. There are two shadowed cuts on a low hill in the distance to the left of the 55 gal drum, and a small cut in the dark area to the left of that.|
|This is the small cut in the dark area mentioned above. Ooh, what’s that I spot just below the bush on the right?|
|A sample tag. Someone has been here!|
|Anyone want to claim this sample number?|
|The old alignment joins the current alignment just beyond the first hill, and goes off toward Goldfield.|
Previous Posts in this Series:
Thesis: Finding an Area
Finding a Thesis: Battle Mountain to Austin to Gabbs
Finding a Thesis: Pole Line Road
Finding a Thesis: Pole Line to Belmont