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theksmith

Eagle Mountain, CA - the neatest place you can't go!

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eaglemountainca.jpg

 

While looking around for things to do near Joshua Tree National Park, I found out about Eagle Mountain ghost town and the Eagle Mountain Mine. Unfortunately the entire area is now owned by a corporation and completely fenced off. However, I wanted to share the info because it's just so neat.

 

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To appreciate the size of this ghost town, and the size of the adjacent mining operation, take a look at google maps:

http://maps.google.com/maps?q=eagle+mountain,+ca&oe=UTF-8&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=Eagle+Mountain,+Riverside,+California&gl=us&ei=p3FOS5uNKIOasgObk6DwBw&ved=0CAwQ8gEwAA&ll=33.854166,-115.480449&spn=0.033323,0.065961&t=h&z=15&lci=com.panoramio.all

 

The town was founded in 1948 and died in the 1980s, that makes it a very recent place and not your typical ghost town, most everything is still intact and in somewhat decent shape. It is probably one of the nations best preserved ghost towns. It has wide (once nicely landscaped) streets and over 400 homes. There was a school, auditorium, swimming pool, 2 gas stations, bowling alley, tennis court, baseball diamond, and more.

 

It was founded by Henry J. Kaiser to support the iron mine, and had a peak population of 4,000 people. The town's fully integrated medical care system was the start of the Kaiser Permanente health organization.

 

Increased environmental concerns in the 1970s led to a reduction in iron output and a drop in population. In the summer of 1980 the mine shut down briefly. Later that year, 750 workers were brought back to the town with an additional 150 in Indio.

 

In 1981, Kaiser Corporation announced the phasing out of half the Fontana works and the entire Eagle Mountain Mine operation over several years. The population dwindled as layoffs began. The grocery store closed in October 1982 and the post office, which had been active since 1951, closed in January 1983. In June of that year the last official graduating class celebrated their commencement at Eagle Mountain High School, followed by closing of both the mine and mill.

 

The town re-opened somewhat in 1988 when the California Department of Corrections converted the shopping center into a low-risk prison, which operated until State budget problems led to the closing of the prison in December 2003.

 

1988 also saw a proposal to turn the gigantic 1.5 mile long by half-mile wide open-pit mine into a massive landfill. Trash would arrive by train from L.A. Due to numerous lawsuits regarding the environmental effects of the landfill, the project was repeatedly delayed. As of 2009, much of the litigation had been resolved, but the project has questionable future.

 

The site has been used in at least 7 films. Terminator 2's 3D Attraction at Universal Studios was partially filmed there. The entire crew spent weeks at Eagle Mountain. This was the site for some big detonations, reportedly the largest explosion ever done in film.

 

As of July 18, 2007, the town of Eagle Mountain is no longer openly accessible. The perimeters of both the town and mine have been fenced.

 

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It's kind of sad to find a cool place where we can't go. Nice find though, K-Dude!

 

d :rolleyes:

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How ironic....I was just researching the same thing!

 

According to wikipedia: The perimeters of both the town and mine have been fenced and gated, with a site manager appointed to handle access requests.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eagle_Mountain,_California

 

If true, this would be a good future expedition! :)

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How ironic....I was just researching the same thing!

 

According to wikipedia: The perimeters of both the town and mine have been fenced and gated, with a site manager appointed to handle access requests.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eagle_Mountain,_California

 

If true, this would be a good future expedition! :)

 

 

yeah i wondered how we might find a contact for that and try to get permission to enter for a trip sometime too

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when i was going to high school in the small town of calipatria,ca. we traveled to eagle mountain and i played football and baseball on those fields in 1968 and 1969.small world !!

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when i was going to high school in the small town of calipatria,ca. we traveled to eagle mountain and i played football and baseball on those fields in 1968 and 1969.small world !!

 

Wow Dennis your old. George:cool::D

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yeah i wondered how we might find a contact for that and try to get permission to enter for a trip sometime too

 

I would sign up for that one too.

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I wonder how easy / difficult it is to get permission? Maybe I'll research it a little.

 

I can understand why they fenced it off because of vandalism, liability, etc. It's a shame that the a few bad apples ruin it for everyone else.

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psst... You can hike in the back way. It is at the end of Black Eagle mine road.

 

4226196665_124788086b_m.jpg

The last 6 photos are relative to your interests

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psst... You can hike in the back way. It is at the end of Black Eagle mine road.

 

The last 6 photos are relative to your interests

 

nice, i saw that road on google earth and how far it goes up to the mine area, looks like still quite a hike to get to the town?

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