Widow Mine rails back over to Ryan Camp

Been on a recent trip? Here is the place to share it.
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Death Valley Dazed
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Widow Mine rails back over to Ryan Camp

Post by Death Valley Dazed » Mon Apr 23, 2018 7:20 am

Mid April I took half a day walking the railroad tracks south to the Widow Mine, up that canyon, crested the ridgeline, discovered a 1995 private plane crash site, descended back down north to the tracks again, crossed two aging railroad tressels, turned around at the Ryan Camp no trespassing sign and then cut cross country back to the car park on Dantes View Road. 95% of this hike was technically outside Death Valle National Park boundaries to the east, but for me, it was close enough to call it Death Valley.

I think many viewers may find this video too long and boring but I took this many images and shot the videos to digitize the rapidly eroding and decomposing artifacts for future DV devotees to enjoy. Especially the railroad trestles. If I had a few spare millions of dollars I'd donate to Ryan Camp to restore the old narrow gauge railroad engine and track lines out to the Widow Mine and back. DV visitors would love the ride and scenery.

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bluegreen kayak
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Re: Widow Mine rails back over to Ryan Camp

Post by bluegreen kayak » Mon Apr 23, 2018 12:44 pm

That was terrific - thanks for posting the video, and for warning about the its length. I agree it would make a great train ride. Would it also work as a rails-to-trails project?

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Death Valley Dazed
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Re: Widow Mine rails back over to Ryan Camp

Post by Death Valley Dazed » Mon Apr 23, 2018 3:00 pm

bluegreen kayak wrote:
Mon Apr 23, 2018 12:44 pm
Would it also work as a rails-to-trails project?
Thanks and rails-to-trails is more realistic due to the expense of restoration, safety codes, and maintenance to bring a steam engine/diesel engine up to modern standards. I would not like to see the rails and ties torn up like they are on the northern leg of rail, but since I'm not involved monetarily I'll wait and see.
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Randy O
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Re: Widow Mine rails back over to Ryan Camp

Post by Randy O » Mon Apr 23, 2018 4:56 pm

Nice! My wife and I also hiked up there in February to the railroad and walked to that sign where we turned around. Pretty cool stuff. Did you find the switch up there? It still works, splitting the rail line smoothly. Next time we go back I will make it a point to walk the other way to the Widow Mine. By the way, that video wasn't too long for me, I really like that area.

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Death Valley Dazed
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Re: Widow Mine rails back over to Ryan Camp

Post by Death Valley Dazed » Mon Apr 23, 2018 7:59 pm

Randy O wrote:
Mon Apr 23, 2018 4:56 pm
Did you find the switch up there? Next time we go back I will make it a point to walk the other way to the Widow Mine.
Randy, thanks for the comment. On the way to Ryan and over the trestles I did not find the switch because I was gawking around at the eye candy scenery.

You will certainly have a great time hiking the rails to Widow. I stuck to the main rail all the way to Widow but you will see two lower rails below the main one. I did not explore the lower Widow Mine works below that rail but they appear to be extensive. I did explore the works at the upper rail level and above all the way up the canyon and they are extensive as well. Near the top of the canyon, the natural geology actually resembles the tailing from the mine below. The early morning light adds beauty as opposed to midday when the sun washes out the colors somewhat.

On the way back on the track from the Ryan no trespassing sign, I was walking the rail and fumbling with my camera and nearly stepped on a rattlesnake who did not like me so near to it and to its burrow. While rattling away in retreat as I took a step back it was gone before I could recover and shoot some video. LOL.
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MojaveGeek
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Re: Widow Mine rails back over to Ryan Camp

Post by MojaveGeek » Thu May 10, 2018 3:48 pm

Yes that switch is really cool. We threw it as well :) The trestles too. That's a surprisingly nice little hike!

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