Deep Creek Mountains, Goshute Canyon
Many cabins, Mines, equipment, amazing views, great 4x4 crawling
12 miles round trip to the top tram and back
Decent sized creek in the canyon during spring. It was dry by the second week of June in an extra dry year. There are large full time streams in nearby canyons
Late spring, summer, fall
Full sun most of the ride
VERY rough 4x4 road. Should only be attemped by 4x4 ATV's or high clearance 4x4s with lockers
This canyon/mine is in Goshute Canyon in the Deep Creek Mountains. I visited these for the first time in June and really fell in love with this place. It was gorgeous, quiet, and surprisingly lush. There is a lot of variety as each canyon we explored was very different from the last. This definitely is not a day trip. For one its very remote, and for two there is just so much to explore. If you come to the area be extra prepared to be self sufficient. Its one of the most remote areas anywhere and its unlikely you would get any timely help with any issues. We explored the area on ATV’s but this canyon could also be done as a long day hike, or in a modified 4×4 vehicle. I doubt any truck or SUV without lockers could make it very far in this canyon. I just popped the grizzly into low range and crawled my way through the whole thing with no issues. No sport quad would make this trip without lots of partner assist and it really wouldn’t be fun since you would just get beat up. The Deeps are a very high range that is very scenic. Goshute Canyon is in the red cliffs on the right side of this photo. This area is extremely important to stay on the obviously traveled roads and trails. The area is actively trying to be made into wilderness and was actually recently reopened from the Wilderness Study Area after the locals won a lawsuit showing historical use of the roads in the areas. It is extremely important that we treat this area with respect so we can all enjoy it for years to come.
You enter the canyon right next to the large red formation seen above. Right in the mouth are the remains of an old ore bin.
The canyon starts out rough but nothing like it will soon be.
You will soon make it to the first cabin. This is maybe the coolest of the cabins in the canyon. It is impossible to miss.
There is lots of equipment around around the yard, as well as 2 sheds. Inside there is still a stove, closet, and even the old shower.
Across the road from the cabin there is an old truck being overgrown with plants. I always love to see these things.
From this cabin up to the switchbacks is the tough part of the canyon. The trail is literally a stream bed and in the spring has a lot of water coming down. We were here in the second week of June and it was all dry. This was a very dry winter though. I suspect some years it flows into July. This area is pretty jarring even with independent suspension. So just take your time and be safe. There are a few steep spots but mostly its just rocky rough.
This is a very thin canyon with beautiful red cliffs on both sides.
You will soon be to the second set of cabins. These are two right together. There is a spring on the hill behind them which had great water if you want to fill up here.
Just above these cabins the canyon gets more forested for a few minutes.
Shortly after the cabins you will reach the switchbacks which bring you to the mines. These very quickly switchback up the mountain gaining ground very quickly. They are much smoother than most of the canyon though and only have a couple tricky spots.
On the last switchback you will see the remains of an old ore chute.
Just after this ore chute look into the trees and you will spot my favorite cabin on the trek. This one would be very easy to miss since everyone but me flew right on past it. Talk about a house with a view!
The coordinates are:
Just in front was a sizeable collection of cans from the past miners.
If you walk down the hill just a ways past the cans you will come to the remains of a second canyon. Remarkably the closet is the only thing still standing. Notice the incredible views of Ibapah Peak these miners were treated to.
There were lots of cool old relics at this cabin sight.
I think this was an old clock, but I’m not sure.
An old radio
Continue back up the last switchback and you will see an old ore chute and tram. This was the best preserved relic in the canyon. It still had a large engine on sight and again the views of the surrounding peaks just blew me away.
Continue on up the trail to what appears to be an old office or cabin of some sort. With the exterior gone it made for some awesome picture of vast desert 5000 feet below. The views were amazing. You could see nearly to Salt Lake and all the way to Notch Peak to the south.
There were the remains of 4 different trams right by this sight.
Continue past this office down a very treacherous trail to the first open mine. I would recommend walking this part. It isn’t far and the trail was pretty high stakes. The open adit was several hundred feet deep with some equipment still inside. While a couple of our group were inside a jet flew by and a sonic boom went off. Our friends inside were terrified and told us it felt like all the air was sucked out of the mine. Im sure they thought the mine was coming down! Haha. We had sonic booms go off 5 or 6 times while we were visiting the range. It is very close to the air force range and Dugway. I couldn’t believe how low some of them were flying. It was cool to watch. The coordinates are:
Return back to the main trail and it will take you to the largest tram at the top of the workings area. The views just kept getting better the higher we climbed.
Here is a picture I had seen of this same spot just one year before we visited. This goes to show you how quickly these areas can deteriorate.
There was one adit just under this tram that theoretically could be entered with a little work but we determined that it would be too dangerous. I would advise everyone else to avoid going in as well. Don’t worry there is plenty of mine if this is your reason for visiting the canyon. Past this tram area there is a little more trail that takes you to some more pretty views of the valley and range but no more mines or cabins. We were perplexed where the large mines were since there was so much going on in the canyon. We just thought we had missed it but on our way back down the switchbacks I noticed a trail going east at the first switchback. Take this trail to get to the main mine. There is an old out house right on this trail.
It will take you to what I assume is the main workings of Oro Del Rey. The view of the cliffs from here show you just how rugged and beautiful these mountains are.
The coordinates are:
Only the lowest level is open here. There were many chutes and ladders to higher levels but all were deemed too dangerous to try. Please be safe and don’t try. The openings to the upper levels on the outside are all gated. The lower level was cool enough and split into two sections. This is some of what you see in the first.
The first section ends at this very large opening.
This area was cool because the opening pops you out onto a huge exposed cliffside. If you walk along the cliff then you will come to the second opening where the mine keeps going.
There is no way out of this second section so you must return back the way you came. All in all I would guess there is about a half mile to explore on this level of the mine. It was really cool and a great way to end the day. Remember to stay safe and only go in prepared. This mine is low risk for gasses since there is a ton of air flow the entire time but still make sure to be smart and bring plenty of light.
Update: After reading this trek I received an email from a very nice woman who is the grand daughter of the original miner of the Oro Del Rey. She gave me 2 pictures from the 30’s of the mines in operation. She also gave me permission to add the stories that she could remember that were interesting.
The only way out of this canyon is back the way you came. Enjoy the ride. Be sure to also check out these areas in the Deep Creek’s:
I absolutely loved this canyon. I loved the whole range but this canyon had a lot to offer. I always love seeing the old history and relics. There is a lot to see in this canyon with great views. You get to see an area the very few people ever get to see or even know exists. Our whole trip we ran into 0 people on our different rides. This canyon and range are a must do for anyone with the means to visit safely.