View Full Version : Eagle Mountain, CA

02-28-2006, 12:27 PM
Did a search but came up empty-handed, surprisingly. Eagle Mountain is a modern-day ghost town north of Desert Center, CA (between Indio and Blythe, north of I-10). There is a webpage here on this site....I am trying to find out if the town is even accessible these days, or has it been fenced off or guarded with pit bulls that haven't eaten for days? LOL

03-07-2006, 12:43 PM
Just learned yesterday; the townsite is fenced off and locked.


03-07-2006, 10:09 PM
Hey, be nice to pit bulls. I happen to have a very sweet one that also happens to be my ghost-towning buddy.

Rachel in Utah ghost_town_huntress@yahoo.com

03-08-2006, 12:25 AM
Just learned yesterday; the townsite is fenced off and locked.Ack! I missed this thread sorry! I hope you didn't have to drive out there to figure this out!

The town was fenced off last year after the prison was shutdown, as without the prison, there was no one residing in any of the livable houses (out of view from the fence) and entry was no longer needed to non Mine Reclamation Corp. employees; so the fence went up.


03-09-2006, 11:59 AM
too bad, sounds like an intersting townsite. Anyone know the status of the land? Is it for sale or government owned?

03-09-2006, 12:39 PM
It's privately owned by Kaiser. Do a Google on "Eagle Mountain, CA" for some pictures.


05-13-2006, 07:33 PM
Hello.. I just came across this forum. I used to live in Eagle Mountain. My dad used to work at the prison there, and before that, my grandfather used to work in the mine. Believe it or not, I actually miss it. Crazy?

David A. Wright
05-13-2006, 08:32 PM
My father worked in Eagle Mountain often during the 1970s operating a crane and assembling the Terex dump trucks.

05-14-2006, 04:49 AM
Their names were Louise and Charles Babb.

05-21-2006, 07:46 PM
too bad, sounds like an intersting townsite. Anyone know the status of the land? Is it for sale or government owned? The mine/land/city is privately held and plans are and have been in the works to turn the pits into a megadump for trash from LA. Trash would arrive by train.

It's privately owned by Kaiser. Actually, it is owned by Mine Reclamation Corp, in which stock Kaiser Ventures Inc. is the major stock holder.


06-18-2006, 07:51 PM
I hate to say this but I may be there soon to demo the intire town:( it seems that kaiser does not want the liability. I will keep you all posted as this unfolds

06-19-2006, 06:50 PM
Wow, it seems like such a waste to even think about tearing it down.
Several years ago when we lived in Palm Springs, we found Eagle Mountain by accident. We'd been seeing signs from
I-10 saying Lake Tamarisk and thought we'd found a lake in the middle of the desert. Turns out Lake Tamarisk is an RV Park with a 9 hole golf course and two rather swampy looking ponds. The trip wasn't wasted however when we drove on further up the road and found Eagle Mountain. Loads of neat little boarded up houses, a school, a general store, all boarded up but they looked to be in pretty fair condition. We didn't drive too close to the prison, it was still operating as a prison at that time, but we did catch a glimpse of the mine...it looked like a huge operation. After we'd seen the place it weighed heavily on my mind so I did some research on the internet and found a site where former alumni of the town were keeping in touch. They all seemed to share a common bond, their love for the small town they grew up in and the friendships made there.
'Tis a pity so see it all demolished. :(

09-06-2006, 05:18 PM
I was cleaning out some files today and came across this picture we'd taken at Eagle Mountain just below the mine and prison. Not a very good picture, but you can see some of the houses, there were many, many more buildings and lots of houses. Too bad someone couldn't have purchased some of them and relocated the houses, they were all boarded up and looked to be in very good condition at the time. Does anyone know if they've been bulldozed?


Pnx Jay
09-26-2006, 08:46 PM
I had to go to Ontario, CA for training this week so I took a drive up to Eagle Mountain last evening. It is still there. I got there right at dusk, so didn't see much. One of the houses (maybe an office ???) had lights on and a newer looking truck in front of it. Some of the houses next to the fence had very green lawns. Apparantly something is still going on there, maybe just a watchman?? That would be a lonely job there. I noticed some groups of houses on the road out to the mine. Are these considered Eagle Mountian also or were these separate communities? Driving in on that road at dusk and out at dark gave me the creeps. I can be perfectly comfortable in the middle of nowhere in the woods, but isolated paved roads always make me paranoid, ie: Texas Chainsaw style. :rolleyes: You think I would have grown out of that by now.


09-26-2006, 08:57 PM
Texas Chainsaw or Rambo, I'm not sure which. One of those houses/compounds on the road before you get to Eagle Mountain has an old Army tank and a cannon in the yard. They're not connected with the Eagle Mountain development, neither is Lake Tamarisk on that same road.
It's good to hear that the houses are still there, it would be a waste to see the town demolished.

11-16-2006, 04:36 PM
I am looking for a good ghost town to visit somewhere outside of LA and just came upon Eagle Mountain. I was going to make the drive one week removed from Thanksgiving. Would going there be fruitless or is there a way to get into the town and take a look around?

Simply a look, no mischief.

11-17-2006, 06:11 AM
Chris, It's been several years since my husband and I drove out there. At that time we were able to freely drive through and look around. I believe the prison which was operating at the same location has since been closed and I've heard that the town is now inaccessible and fenced off...but I'm not sure about that. If you just wanted to drive out and take a look, it might be worthwhile. Even if you couldn't drive through, there are plenty of backroads in that area with abandoned ranches and homesteads and small mining sites. If you decide to go, please come back and post the current condition of the town. (photos would be nice too) :)

01-17-2007, 03:39 PM
I've yet to take my trek out, but I'm planning to within the next month. I'm also planning on video blogging the trip. When I do I'll make sure to post a link to the video here.

High Desert Drifter
01-17-2007, 07:41 PM
I've yet to take my trek out, but I'm planning to within the next month. I'm also planning on video blogging the trip. When I do I'll make sure to post a link to the video here.

Please be carefull who has access to your video blog and directions... we wouldn't want the town to get vandalized or become a hang out for drunks in search of cheap thrills... would only make access for those of us who appreciate history tougher, or seal the towns fate for destruction.
we all would appreciate it!

01-23-2007, 01:12 PM
I was searching for Eagle Mountain info in the net as i was sent there in 2005 to train for Iraq. I have a bunch of pictures that I would gladly post. We where there for two weeks. The town and prison are both deserted, but Kaiser keeps a small office open as well as a caretaker for the grounds. There where at the time still a few folks living in the town itself and there was a Gradeschool that was still in use. Here are the pics I took


01-23-2007, 06:35 PM
GunnyD, Thank you for sharing your pictures. Also, thank you for serving in Iraq.
Does the desert out by Eagle Mountain look like Iraq?

01-24-2007, 06:59 AM
No I cannot say that it looks much like Iraq. The intense heat was the same, and the patrolling was very similar, back in the mining area itself were lots of old half falling apart buildings. That was like iraq.
I have done a small amout of research on eagle mountain and it would seem that it gets used now and again my the movie folks. Opening scene for Terminator II was shot there as well as a some modern rock group called green day? they did a video called when september ends, not a very good video, but also shot at eagle mountain.

01-24-2007, 10:13 AM
You're right, the desert out that way is miserably hot and there's not much shade.
There's been some talk about tearing down the town, houses and all. It seems like such a waste. The last time I was there, the houses looked useable. I don't know if it would be worthwhile for someone to try to move them, they're all single story ranch type, mostly small so it looks to me like they could feasibly be moved.

01-24-2007, 10:59 AM
I would say that at this point the houses are not in great shape. I had heard that there was talk of turning the old kaiser mine, into some type of landfill?

01-24-2007, 12:57 PM
Yes, there was talk of turning the mine into a landfill when I lived in California. I believe the idea was shelved because of invironmental issues, plus, the folks living in Palm Springs didn't want the state's garbage being hauled on I-10 right past the city. (it's not the image Palm Springs wants to portray) :rolleyes:

1996 Article discussing the landfill.
Eagle Mountain gets a jump start Public Record, The - Find Articles (http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa3656/is_199608/ai_n8754815)

02-06-2007, 01:12 PM
On the first few days, some of my Marines and I did a recon of the mine, just to check it out. We found this after driving way back in the mine. Any idea what it is?




bad bob
02-06-2007, 01:23 PM

Pretty sure the structure is called a "header" for bringing ore up out of the mine. The piles of dirt and rocks nearby are known as "tailings".


02-06-2007, 04:19 PM
Was there a shaft below or right nearby it? Because it does look like a head frame, but with no obvious shaft in the pics, and set up almost makes it look like some kind of hopper/material transfer or similar. Especially with the concrete foundations right nearby, suggesting heavy equipment use, though it might have been just water storage. The last picture, the foundation to the left looks like where the motor/winch was for the load line.

I've seen headframes used to make gravity fed ore sorters/rock crushers before. Seems like a lot of work, but I guess they did what they had to.

02-06-2007, 05:03 PM
There was a shaft right under the rig, we could look down into it, there was a series of ladders and shelving that went down a long way. The wood itself was so old that it was spongy to the touch. What do you suppose they where after?
Also about 50 yards away were the remains of a house. How the heck did they get there in the first place? It was in the middle of nowhere and about as inhospitable a place as I have ever been.

bad bob
02-06-2007, 05:18 PM
There was a shaft right under the rig, we could look down into it, there was a series of ladders and shelving that went down a long way. What do you suppose they where after?

According to Google, it is a former iron mine, I guess run by Keiser Corporation.


02-06-2007, 05:36 PM
Those pictures and the description sounds like this mine might have been in place before Keiser took over the place. The Keiser operation was a huge open pit just in front of the prison IIRC.
Gunny, do you recall how you got to the mine in your photos, was it past the prison area? Do you think Joe Public would have access or were you permitted to go there because of your military status?

02-06-2007, 05:51 PM
We drove deep into the mine, maybe half and hour in a humvee. Then about a 30 minute hike up the hill. The Kaiser mine was a huge strip mine. The mine in the pictures was towards the back of the strip mine, way up on a hill.

02-07-2007, 06:37 AM
Gunny, thanks for the pics. Really enjoyed them....Speedy

bad bob
02-07-2007, 09:06 PM
Jes bumpin' a few sidekicks out of the way!

02-08-2007, 06:43 PM
I've been to eagle mountain several times, and have about a billion pictures of the place. I went a few months back and if you go on a weekend you can still wander around the old school, and the fences to the old houses are very easily hoppable. I found some really cool old text books from the 70's in one small room of the abandoned school (which is seperate from the elementary school...which i think is still in use...) and have taken some really fun photographs there.

I also heard about a year ago that it was going to be torn down, but to my knowledge that hasn't happened yet.

11-05-2009, 12:57 PM
great discussion about Eagle Mountain - a fascinating place/history. 1stSgtD, I went to look at your pics on your photobucket but it wanted a password, would be interested in seeing those though - thanks for sharing.

any update on Eagle Mountain? looks like the last post was 2007. I see on Google Earth its still there.......

11-05-2009, 06:00 PM
Really enjoyed everyone's feedback and experience with Eagle Mountain. Did a google search and found lots of interesting facts about the place. Reminds me of another ghost town near me here in Colorado called "Gilman". They also closed down this mining area and buildings in the early 1980's. I'll bet there are a lot of rattlesnakes in those old buildings too!

bama miner 92
02-11-2014, 02:57 AM

Pretty sure the structure is called a "header" for bringing ore up out of the mine. The piles of dirt and rocks nearby are known as "tailings".

bb. its called a head frame and the piles are tailings or spole