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Thread: How to get to the Lucky S mine; a guide

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    Tsarevna's Avatar
    Tsarevna is offline Rawk Crawlin GPS Totin Ghost Towning Expert
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    Default How to get to the Lucky S mine; a guide

    -Date of exploration: July 5th, 2008
    -Status of the town after the 2007 Moonlight Fire: Intact, minus 2 structures
    -Total structures still standing: 14 (15 if you count the explosives shack...and there may be more down side roads)

    -Route: Western Approach off Diamond Mountain Road

    -Recommended vehicle: 4x4 small to medium sized pickup, Jeep, Kia Sportage, or Land-Rover sized vehicle. Tahoes, Blazers and Escalades are too wide. (It might be technically possible to take a wider vehicle up the road, but the driver would sweat bullets at certain narrow points.)

    The Essentials:

    -Maps are deceiving. Using a key it appears that from Diamond Mtn. Road the unmarked forest road is only 3 miles or so to the town. That is as the crow flies, but the road has literally dozens of switchbacks, I counted 15 and gave up keeping track. The climb is nearly 3,000 feet! The grade is an average of 5-6%, and requires slow going. The milage was approx. 7.3 miles from start to finish! Because you will be travelling about 10 mph, allow for 1 hour for travelling the road!

    -The Garmin nuvi 650 GPS navigator (with maps that came with it out of the box) was quite a help.

    -The google maps that show the satelite images are not correct. It shows the main town road going through a bog! I have corrected this, see my maps below.

    -The entire region near the town has been scorched by fire. Prepare for your car to be coated by a fine layer of ash. Check your air filter after the trip.

    -I was impressed with the status of the road, it is hard-packed, and generally free of rocks. Bring a small shovel, as every once in a while you must move a pinapple-sized rock out of the road. The road has virtually no ruts, and could be traversed in rain.

    -There are many, many tiny hazards around the town. Nails, screws, jagged bits of metal, old tin cans etc. Bring a spare tire! Sturdy hiking boots are recommended as boards with nails sticking out of them are scattered everywhere near the buildings.

    -There are no nearby clean water sources. Bring plenty of water, food, and toilet paper! (Bug spray too!)

    Below is the google map set of directions I created:
    http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UT...,0.071068&z=14

    Here begins the pictorial guide:

    If you follow the directions above, you are at Diamond Mtn Road, in the North arm of Indian Valley. It's hard to find the place to turn right, so I have taken a photo.

    -GPS: Diamond Mtn Road and Ford's Wagon Road intersection:
    Elevation 3,688'
    N 40 09.891
    W 120 47.538



    The boulder is a house address. You turn R onto the un-marked forest road here. (The road is a public road, but the area off the road is privately owned, so please don't leave your vehicle until you are in the mountains out of respect for the landowner.)

    You will shortly come to a fork in the road, keep left (north). When I was there, a black arrow on a tree pointed the way.



    This is where you really start to see the burn damage up-close. After turning here, you will come to another fork. Turn right (east) and head towards the house with the green roof.





    Once you are past the house, there aren't any more forks. Put it in 4 wheel drive and start climbing. Fred Creek will be on your right. When you actually cross it, it will be quite a ways up the side of the mountain, small enough to fit in a culvert under the road.

    This is the start of the climb.



    Enjoy the slow climb and the hellish scenes of infernal destruction that once was a forest.
    Last edited by Tsarevna; 07-16-2008 at 12:06 AM. Reason: correction

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    Exclamation Lucky S mine part II

    If you have a Garmin GPS car navigator, chances are it will tell you that at some point you are on Ford's Wagon Road. This is cute, but meaningless, as there are no road markings anywhere here.

    After an endless series of switchbacks, you will eventually come to a crossroads. It won't matter which one you choose, but here's my recommendaton.

    The x-roads are at the "big loop." Going right (up an incline) is a waste of time, as it's a burned and devestated area without any structures. It's the long way to get to the town. Going left takes you past a tin shack that says "DANGER EXPLOSIVES" written on it's side. At the next fork in the road, you can keep left to go to the hotel area, or turn right to go to the mine area. You'll need to visit both so it doesn't matter.



    (Click this link here for a blown-up image, I can't make it larger on the forum post.)

    http://i203.photobucket.com/albums/a...s_area_big.jpg

    I've highlighted the areas I have visited in yellow. Burned-out areas are indicated by flames. (We got really, really lucky that the firefighters saved the town, it came close!)

    I didn't go down the grey roads, feel free to explore them and perhaps find new structures!



    Link to larger image here:
    http://i203.photobucket.com/albums/a...tailed_map.jpg

    If you look carefully at the maps above, google mistakenly placed a road across the bog. I assure you, no such road exists. I spray-painted the real road going north around the bog, and blacked out the false road.

    Another road connects the hotel area to the mine area, and I spray-painted it into existence. There is a mud hole in the center of the road, so be careful and check it's depth before proceeding.

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    Exclamation

    Here are the GPS coordinates.

    Elevation: 6,742 ft


    Hotel Section:

    N 40 09.847
    W 120 44.708


    Mine area:

    N 40 09.804
    W 120 44.900

    Sluice area:

    N 40 09.679
    W 120 44.546


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    Hey Tsar hows it going. I didn't know about this thread. I think we will go up the Hungry Creek Rd and follow your directions down as Hungry Creek is closer to Antelope Lake and Its the way I know. Is the road you took to rough for a rental suv?

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    Sweet Tsaverna! Yeah..what Ted asked I will have a rental SUV...go or no go the way you went in? I think we can come at it from the east and it may be a smoother ride?

    Also, I believe there is at least one more structure on satellite map I found down one of the gray roads. I will post in a few with circles -- things that may want to be checked out...
    Last edited by onederwomyn; 07-16-2008 at 08:09 AM.

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    Ok, let's see if this works. I am attaching two pictures...both are of the same thing. It is the area south of the the old site of the honeymoon cabin that burned. You said you didn't get a chance to explore down that way...on the satellite map I see two possible structures. Let me know what you think. The first is a more elevated view and the second is a blurry honed in view. The pink dot is the honeymoon cabin (well, not a char pile), and the yellow dots are the interesting things that may or may not be other buildings.
    Attached Images Attached Images   

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    One last question Tsarvena...where are the pics?? You said you would post them....

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    The more we discuss this it looks like a whole day or more exploring. I know the 2 main sections of the town but it looks to be more to it. When I was up there and headed out I found the sluce but other than that I haven't seen it all I guess.

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    Exclamation

    Quote Originally Posted by onederwomyn View Post
    Sweet Tsaverna! Yeah..what Ted asked I will have a rental SUV...go or no go the way you went in? I think we can come at it from the east and it may be a smoother ride?

    Also, I believe there is at least one more structure on satellite map I found down one of the gray roads. I will post in a few with circles -- things that may want to be checked out...
    A rental SUV would be fine, but I'd be sure to wash it afterwards. Just make sure it's not going to be a huge wide one like a Tahoe.

    The road was very nice and easy, there were very few bumps. It's tamped down solid. It's just slow going as the view is magnificent, so you want to stop for pictures frequently. There was one burned-up tree branch that stuck out on the road, so we stopped and held it back while the driver went through. Stops for kicking a few fallen rocks out of the way. Slow turns around the switchbacks.

    The kind of vehicle that would be great is the jeep, the toyota highlander, kia sportage, subaru outbacks etc.

    Just leave behind the giant SUV's.

    But, I highly recommend this road. I think it would take forever and a day to go from Antelope Lake. I was warned that logging crews were using those eastern routes, and they were careening around corners, and that it was dangerous. They are taking huge amounts of timber from fire salvage out right now, desperately trying to get at it before the bugs do.


    The western route would not be able to accommodate a logging truck as it's too long a vehicle for the switchbacks. It seemed they were doing logging by helicopter on Fred Creek, as some great logs were downed. But I was there on the holiday weekend, so I didn't see any crews.

    I wouldn't do the eastern approach without a guide of somebody that's already been there. I just can't imagine it being faster.

    If I was at Antelope Lake I'd just get on the highway, take the 15 mins to get to the western approach through Genesse.

    You will be amazed at the climb and how slow it is to get to the top. I'm not sure but it seems you would have to go up and down and up and down from the eastern way. But I could be wrong!

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    Quote Originally Posted by onederwomyn View Post
    Ok, let's see if this works. I am attaching two pictures...both are of the same thing. It is the area south of the the old site of the honeymoon cabin that burned. You said you didn't get a chance to explore down that way...on the satellite map I see two possible structures. Let me know what you think. The first is a more elevated view and the second is a blurry honed in view. The pink dot is the honeymoon cabin (well, not a char pile), and the yellow dots are the interesting things that may or may not be other buildings.

    edit: You're right about the pink one, that's the spot where the cabin was at.

    Looking at the yellow dotted ones: The one in the bottom right is sitting in a burn devestation area. I would doubt it's survival, but it would be worth scouting. If I had to take a guess...it is the 2nd "outbuilding" that was lost in the fire. The first being the Honeymooner's cabin.

    The top left yellow dot...It's either gone or wasn't a building. (I think it might have been a little trailer or a piece of sheet metal in this sat image.) The big loop was a huge disappointment, the only thing I saw was a cable sticking out of the ash somewhat near that indicated yellow spot. Down near the valley I found a burned out aluminum trailer that somebody might have used, maybe a forest service agent or a logging crew manager. I know they were in the area, so that's what makes me think about it.

    They could have picked it up and towed it away before or during the fire.



    The pictures will come soon, I have them enhanced, uploaded and sized on photobucket. I think i'll just make a slideshow then post the link.

    edit: Here's the link!
    http://s203.photobucket.com/albums/a...t=d512db1a.pbr
    Last edited by Tsarevna; 07-16-2008 at 08:21 PM. Reason: added link

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