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EXPLORE AWARE!

Milford, Utah

Beaver County

Though not a ghost town, Milford is surrounded by old mines and ghost towns. Ranchers settled the area in the 1870's but it wasn't until the San Pedro, Los Angeles and Salt Lake railroad passed through the area in 1880 and built a station that it became a town. The population is somewhere between 1400 and 1500 people and the town is now a minor facility for the Union Pacific Railroad. With a half dozen local restaurants and a couple of hotels, the town makes for a perfect base camp to explore the old mines in the region. My first night there I headed west into the Star Mountains to see what I could find. Almost instantly, the GPS lit up and started me towards the Maud-S Mine. It was an easy trail and I found it within minutes. The mine appears to have had some sort of tramway at one time. The mine goes down 160 feet and then has a main tunnel of about 400 feet. There was no sign of a headframe but there were 3 distinct holes with ladders going down. I did drop rocks and I believe them when they say it went down over 100'. I find it very interesting that this mine is still wide open. Access is simple and shows up on GPS maps. 

Maud-S Mine

After I finished snooping around the Maud-S, I headed west into the Star Range and headed up a trail. No mines showed up on the GPS but there were tailings all over. I got to the point that I had to go into 4-low. Trail was getting nasty and it was headed up to an unnamed mine. I got to the tailings and parked and found a nice mine that had once had ore cars but no real buildings to speak of. I headed to the entrance and found that it had been brick and mortar sealed. An entrance above the main one had received the rebar gate of shame. This had me confused. It was an effort to get up to this mine. Unlike the Maud-S, not a lot of vehicles could go it. So, why was this mine, out of the way and hard to get to, sealed up while a mine with open entrances that went strait down, a Prius could get to wide open? I don't get it. 

Sealed no-name mine

Just a mile or so west of Milford lies and old abandoned precious metal extraction plant. I am not an expert on the ways it worked or even if this one did use cyanide. Odds are in my favor but I have been known to be wrong. A basic explanation is this: Cyanide makes the gold soluble and separates it from its host rock. The rock is placed in a ball or bar mill which crushes it to a basic dust. This is then mixed with the cyanide and over a process separates all the gold out. As I said, I am not sure this one used cyanide, but I believe it was.  So, this is another no trespassing area of historical interest. Again, I would advise anyone from breaking the law just to check it out. Weird part of my tour was the owl I scared up. He was down in the basement and when I walked over that area, he flew across the room and sat and watched me. 

Processing plant