Shoshone Mountains near Battle Mountain, Nevada
Tons of Mines, Tons of Mine Ruins, desert mountains
I went 16.7 Miles
Bring 2-3 liters of water
Lots of sun exposure
Rocky Dirt Road
In Lewis Canyon
Bring snacks and a meal
ATV or dirt bike
Trailhead: 40.46108 N, 116.88232 W
Betty O’neal Mine: 40.45591 N, 116.88959 W
Mill: 40.46013 N, 116.89410 W
Cabins: 40.42546 N, 116.85574 W
This ride is a great place to see a lot of mining history. This canyon also has a lot more vegetation than the other mountains in the area. For history of the mining in the area here are a few links. There is lots of cool information about the ghost towns of Lewis and Betty O’neal.
This is what the opening of Lewis Canyon looks like.
There is a large parking area if you aren’t driving in a truck. I rode the area on a side by side.
Just past the parking area you will take a right for a very short road to the mill sight. Much of it was burnt down but a lot still remains and for me was the highlight of the day. This is a mill for the old ghost town and mine called Betty O’neal. I had previously read that this was on private land but I saw no No Trespassing signs or anything of the sort. Don’t try and go in the building as it could fall over any day. The main supports in the last picture are burned and someone has even tried shooting through some of them. Just be respectful and don’t shoot historical sights. It really amazes me how dumb people can be and they in turn can ruin things for the rest of us.
Just above the mill is the Betty O’neal mine. It has all been blown except for a very large and fenced off shaft that does say no trespassing. This would be very dangerous to try and enter. I enjoyed seeing the old equipment at the mine and was perfectly fine with no access to the tunnels.
Once done seeing the sights head back to the Lewis Canyon road and start to head into the canyon. This is a really pretty canyon and has much more vegetation than others in the area. Especially in spring and summer. There are also a couple nice campsites here.
There are a ton of old mining roads in the area. I had fun exploring lots of them. You could easily spend a day riding all of the side roads here. This area is insane how many mining roads and mines there are. They are everywhere. The whole canyon is full of different mine debris and building foundations and the mountains are criss crossed all over with mine roads. If you do find open mines the best policy is to stay out but if you do go in at your own risk make sure you have proper equipment and lights and use extreme caution. There are very few things more dangerous than old mine exploration and again stupid people can take the opportunity away from those of us who prepare for things. My favorite area of the canyon was at the upper mine camp. There are still three cabins and lots of equipment intact up here.
Here is the very large tailings above the camp.
Here is a view of the lower part of the canyon and the cabins as seen from the top of the tailings pile.
Return to your car back down the canyon the way you came. It is the only way back to the parking area.
This is a really cool area to explore. There is an insane amount of mine history and ruins here. This is also a beautiful great basin cabin worth the scenery alone. None of it is too rough an experienced rider or driver would have no trouble getting to the main sights here. If you added this canyon to the Mount Lewis and Hilltop Canyon treks it would make for a great weekend trip and you can camp in Lewis Canyon.