I recently wrote an article entitled “An Oasis in the Mojave” which ran in the December 2013 issue of RV Life magazine. While China Ranch was an enjoyable stop, the main reason for my wife and I being in the area was the Tecopa Mines located just up the road from the ranch. For the history buff and adventurous, the Tecopa Mines offer days of exploring. The Tecopa Mines consists of the Noonday, Columbia, War Eagle and others. The many ruins attest to the years of toil by the miners. You will find old mine workings*, hoists, head frames, mill works, cabins, can dumps, and the old mine camps where the miners once lived.
The Upper and Lower Noonday Camps were in use into the early 1970’s providing plenty of remnants for the ghost town aficionado. Off roaders will enjoy negotiating the many dirt roads that radiate throughout the area. Best of all is the availability of boondocking sites along the old (previously paved) road to the mining area. There are even a couple of old gnarly cottonwood trees along China Creek Wash that provide shady campsites in this otherwise barren, but beautiful, landscape. Boondocking among the ghosts of the mining past, one of the best adventures in RVing!
*Entering old mines can be dangerous and best left to experienced explorers.