Exploring The Labyrinth Of An Abandoned California Gold Mine

Exploring The Labyrinth Of An Abandoned California Gold Mine

This video takes us exploring to the Sacramento Gold Mine in the White Mountains near Chalfant, California on 5-4-2018. The trip starts with a drive across the foothills followed by a hike to the lower terminal of a tram that carried ore from the mine to a lower area where it could be trucked away. We continued up the trail to the upper tram terminal to find the source of the ore.
We found three different entrances to the very irregular collection of diggings. There seems to be drifts that were excavated following rich ore veins going in all directions. The mine is quite low in many parts where you are unable to stand up straight. We explored as best we could with the time we had, but were unable to finish, and didn’t even get up to the upper areas where an ore chute was coming down from above. The 5½ mile hike/exploration took us 4½ hours to complete and gained a total of 2100 feet in elevation.


  1. MTwoodsrunner on May 31, 2021 at 6:43 pm

    I’m with Julie…i wouldn’t like it either…you are braver than me…the name Floyd Collins would keep coming to my mind.
    Old Floyd came to an untimely end in a sandstone cave many years ago despite herculean efforts to save his life…poor Floyd.
    That story haunts me to this day and helps to keep my curiosity in check…LOL…be safe and blessings…woods

  2. Act Naturally on May 31, 2021 at 6:43 pm

    Fantastic video, keep them coming!! Thumbs UP +1 😊

  3. Timothy Russell on May 31, 2021 at 6:43 pm

    looks to me like this mine was not as organized as others loks like sloppy rock cutting compared to others

  4. James Schwitalla on May 31, 2021 at 6:44 pm

    You need better lighting….

  5. Michael Rietz on May 31, 2021 at 6:45 pm

    Hello Tom and Julie my good friends what is important to have when you explore mine army stick light put it when going to two different tunnel right hand rules put a stick like those Mark your so you know where you at

  6. Max Stephens on May 31, 2021 at 6:51 pm

    Tom, I still have a mine near Bishop. I spend my winters there working at the mine. I have a small milling operation in town. It keeps me out of trouble most of the time. When I’m not at the mine, you can usually find me at the VFW. Come on up and I’ll give you the grand tour. I’m there Jan through May.

  7. Lapew Mo on May 31, 2021 at 6:52 pm

    when You’re climbing the Ladder all the Ore is Sparkling!! Makes me shudder thinking how much Gold is in there Still!

  8. Redstar Redstar on May 31, 2021 at 6:57 pm

    Going to need to invest in better flashlights if you’re going to explore abandoned mines just an FYI

  9. Michael Rietz on May 31, 2021 at 7:01 pm

    Tom and Julie that was a good long wonderful hike I enjoy the beautiful desert view that you showing us

  10. Lowell P0fahl on May 31, 2021 at 7:01 pm

    your lighting sucks

  11. Damian Butterworth on May 31, 2021 at 7:02 pm

    I always try and find the places on google earth at the same time as watching these vids.

  12. Roy Reyes on May 31, 2021 at 7:03 pm

    Hello again and thank you

  13. Nerding for Nature on May 31, 2021 at 7:03 pm

    Loved it, and I commend you for trying out the ladder. The wood in there seems to have held up fairly well.

  14. R.E. Nunez on May 31, 2021 at 7:04 pm

    If you two see a White Wabbit, do not chase the Wabbit, I repeat, do not chase the Wabbit. Just ask Alice.

  15. John C RV on May 31, 2021 at 7:06 pm

    Good morning!! as usual the scenery is great, Those caves are amazing they still safe and solid. I’m always wondering if there is any snakes in them, I hate snakes LOL. If you do get lost in there you can watch the video that was funny LOL. Julie has a lot of patience waiting, my wife would be screaming in that cave to make sure i was ok LOL
    Thanks for the thrill

  16. David Raines on May 31, 2021 at 7:11 pm

    Some minerals wow! What is the blue light?, a little distracting

  17. blipco5 on May 31, 2021 at 7:11 pm

    Julia got pissed you took too long.

  18. Max Stephens on May 31, 2021 at 7:12 pm

    I held the claims on this mine from about 1980 to 1990 or so. We did a lot of mapping and sampling and hauled out a lot of ore down that trail on a tin skid to process at our small mill set up in Bishop. The US Bureau of mines was in there in the late 70’s and took a lot of samples and made a case study out of it with graduate geology students from Stanford University. I was able to obtain all this info from the bureau and we were able to block out about 4000 tons of ore averaging over a half ounce of gold per ton not to mention silver, copper, etc. There were some assays as high as 30 oz per ton AU. Then it all got turned into rare II wilderness area and that was that. The mine has 5 levels all interconnected. There is one exploratory drift that heads east of of the 3rd level that has bad air! Stay out of that one! Looks like a lot of Rock has fallen since I was in there last. I thought that the earth quakes would have done a lot of damage in there. I guessed that right! The cabin used to be in good shape and had water piped down from the canyon when I took over the claim from Eric Banta years ago. We all thought we were going to get rich back in 1980 when gold hit $600! Now I’m to damn old to climb that trail! I still have all the assays and maps of this mine in my collection if anyone’s interested.

  19. Exploring Abandoned Mines and Unusual Places on May 31, 2021 at 7:12 pm

    I had always planned on hiking up to this one but never made it yet. It is quite a hike to reach those uppermost levels that you didn’t get to. Maybe I’ll get there one of these days. So glad to have found your video of this mine. It was hard to tell looking at the satellite imagery exactly what was there or how extensive it might be. Another great video, Tom!

  20. Pallon dor on May 31, 2021 at 7:13 pm

    super like 9
    Welcome to my Channel

  21. Eric Muetterties on May 31, 2021 at 7:15 pm

    I have seen you identify the locations pretty specifically on a lot of videos. Don’t you worry about the government following where you are finding mines open and dynamiting them closed? I know a lot of the mine explorers try to keep a tight lip to prevent that. Just curious and love following your explores along with a few other notable explorers.

  22. Arbitrary Exploration on May 31, 2021 at 7:15 pm

    The views up there are amazing! I love looking across the desert towards the snow covered mountains.

  23. Allen Oxendine on May 31, 2021 at 7:15 pm

    Thanks for sharing guys, yeah, I’m this far behind on viewing… I enjoy your videos so I’ll stay at it and try to catch up…

  24. ronnie cardy on May 31, 2021 at 7:15 pm

    That was a long hike to the mine loved the information from one of the past clame owner the walls in the cabin was built to last nice area with a good picture of the snow capped mountains

  25. Chris Ackerley on May 31, 2021 at 7:16 pm

    Tom – Great video! You have the best characteristic I know of for a good mine explorer – an innate sense of curiosity! If I may make a respectful suggestion, watch a few of the YouTube videos done by TVR Exploring. Justin uses a video light, a headlamp, and a flashlight with an adjustable beam made by Coast Industries. That combination is not too expensive, and it really lights up the interior of a mine! I don’t know what state you guys are from, but we’ve had so much rain and snow on the desert this Winter that the wildflowers should be awesome when you come for your Spring visit! If you ever come to Arizona, post a response to this comment and let me know. I will be happy to show you some cool places in the Western Arizona desert.

  26. Everyday Projects on May 31, 2021 at 7:19 pm

    I’ve really been enjoying watching your videos! These are adventures that few can take. I’m glad you share them on video. I see that you hiked a long way from your vehicle. Do you have a GPS messenger? I have one called SPOT that I use when I go off track (not into mines. That’s for you) and it gives me peace of mind. With a SPOT device you can send 4 different messages: An "OK", sent to people on your contact list. A "need non-emergency assistance at this location," an "S.O.S emergency at this location", and another custom message (I don’t have that last one set up on mine). You both seem very prepared and you probably already know about these things. Just thought to share it with you. They would be of absolutely no use underground, but work brilliantly anywhere you can see sky.

  27. CPR Computer on May 31, 2021 at 7:20 pm

    Great vid can u do more??

  28. 001DesertRat on May 31, 2021 at 7:22 pm

    Tom & Julie — Great explore , liked the old Cabin . Tom , you just barely scratched the surface of the Lower Workings , look on Google Earth , follow the road & trails up the mountain , theres lots more to see up there . That mountain has to be honeycombed . Both of you take care & be safe in your adventures . — < Doc > .

  29. eqlzr2 on May 31, 2021 at 7:23 pm

    I think you made a passing comment that you’d found a "modern" Bible. How modern? And did you open it to check if anyone had written a name and date in it. Didn’t seem odd to you that you would find a Bible way back in a mine like that?

  30. Viviana Bunea on May 31, 2021 at 7:24 pm

    My like 7! Nice!

  31. david sul on May 31, 2021 at 7:26 pm

    You need a floodlight for mine video recording, not those spotlights. And that added in will make the recommended three independent sources of light.

  32. PaPa's Page on May 31, 2021 at 7:30 pm

    Thank You for Sharing Your Adventure. Thumbs Up

  33. Backpacking With Jason on May 31, 2021 at 7:34 pm

    Awesome video. In Kentucky we have tons of caves. Love going exploring. Thanks for sharing and have a good day. 😃👍

  34. davidcline123 on May 31, 2021 at 7:34 pm

    Great job guys, love the desert view, amazing mine.lots of hiking

  35. Pidasian Hippie on May 31, 2021 at 7:38 pm

    You cracked me up when you said that you were going to have to watch your video to find your way out. It reminded me of some of the earlier computer games that only had commands to navigate and no video. I died every time because I could never navigate my way out. I bet Julie wasn’t very happy with you when you finally came out. Hahahahah.

  36. clifford maxwell on May 31, 2021 at 7:40 pm

    Wow that was awesome! Thank you folks so much for posting this video I loved it. The labyrinth of tunnels was confusing on this one watching from home, I can see how easy it would be to get lost or turned around inside there yikes! Julie you are smart to be cautious love her big smile at the start of the video great hiking partner I am sure. The rainbow of colors from the different minerals were just beautiful in there. On one of the other series I watch the gentleman has these LED flashing dog collar attachments different colors that he places at the entrances in the forks in the tunnels so that if something were to happen to him the rescuers would know which way to go to find him much quicker. Be safe we wouldn’t want to lose any of you. Keep up the great explorations.

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