Big Tujunga Prospecting


Guest keninla
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Guest keninla

Not too far from where I live there are several old mines in the mountains above Big Tujunga Canyon (North LA county). I went out today to see what I could find in the creeks and washes below the area where the mines are.

I took my Garrett Infinium because I need more practice with it. It has a nice feature that gives a two tones signal that usually gives an indication of what the target is. High to low probably not gold and low to high maybe gold. I dug everything anyway since I am still not 100% sure.

All of the high to low tone signals turned out to be trash as expected, nails , wire and so forth. I finally hit a very strong low to high tone signal and figured sure it was big gold. I dug down about 10 inches and pulled out a nice piece of wire that somehow was bent into a circle.

A little farther down the creek I was searching on the bank and got another even stronger low to high tone signal. The more I dug the stronger the signal. I finally got down a little over a foot and got below the water table so water started filling the hole. I kept digging anyway until I had a hole about 2 feet deep with water in the bottom 1 foot - still a very strong signal. I finally gave up because whatever was down there had to be about the size of a 52 buick and most likely not of any value. At least that is what I told myself when I quit.

Anyway, I had a good day of finding nails, wire, and interesting rocks. I decided to leave all the gold for someone else. ;)

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Before you give up on that big 'ol "trash" target, read Robbs story above about the undug trash target!

Digger Bob

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Bring a team of several people along next time, maybe a herd of boyscouts, and dig out that cadillac, maybe you'll find Elvis at least :blink: or a motherlode, or trash galore. Make sure you're wearing gloves. Bring out or rent a sump-pump.

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  • 10 months later...

I've explored this area a lot, and I'm interested to compare notes with others.

Has anyone ever been able to get to the Gold Bar mine site, in Lynx Gulch canyon? I have tried a few times, but had to give up due to thick growth. The river valleys are positively lush with poison oak throughout the area, and I am susceptible to the stuff, so it is slow, dainty going, trying to avoid the stuff.

There were a lot of tungsten claims around Iron Mountain; it must make detecting tough. The washes are full of heavy black rocks. (Tungsten= Swedish for "Heavy rock") Some of the claims appear to still be actively held.

It looks like there is an active mine just east of Mill Creek summit. The roads look well used down there, and there are no trespassing signs all over.

Also, I have read about the Falcon mine, which appeared to be worked until a cave-in a few years ago.

The Monte Christo mine is still active, or at least actively guarded.

The Black Cargo is all gated off. One of the tunnels looks collapsed not far inside.

I'd be interested to know what a detector would find in Monte Christo/Mill Creek, Lynx Gulch, and Alder Creek watersheds. I'll bet there are restrictions on prospecting in the area.

Anyone been exploring this area lately?

-Goldmember

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I've explored this area a lot, and I'm interested to compare notes with others.

Anyone been exploring this area lately?

-Goldmember

Goldmember --- sound like ya got the Gold fever ! ---- are you Swedish ?

the black rocks in that area were used to cast the first street lights for LA , and the area is full of history.

from the Tataviam Indians - Spainish Missions --(monte Cristo) ---and the gold rush era.

Many of the mines are active ! or patented, such as the Monte Cristo, Gold Queen, Lumis etc.

so be careful where you go ! .........Berry lives at the Monte Cristo and Ottis is working the black Cargo,

---and for the mine you say is east of mill creek summit --- well the Gold Queen is just north of Mill Creek summit with bladed road and is private property.

Take your map to hidden springs and ask for Ottis --he can tell you where you'll get shot at and where you can prospect - also call the Angeles Nat Forest about detecting !!!!!! and dont get caught diggin in a recorded Archaeological Site !!!!!

if your new to prospecting --- the thick brush, snakes, poision oak, mountian lions, are the least of your worries, and poision oak is best handled by washing anything that may have come in contact with it,

including yourself ---get some old laundry soap bars (fells napa ?) and shower three times with full lather each time - before getting out of shower -- also look up Sqaw bush ! and learn what it looks like !!!!

as an old timer in these hills sqaw bush -- maybe what your tippy toe-n around more then the Ivy

happy huntin ..............Tom

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Did I say East? Oh, other East! (points North.) :blink: That (gold queen) is the one I mean.

The Loomis mine is active? From what I have read, Capt. Loomis never made the mine pay, I remember reading 1/4-1/2 oz per ton. I DID read of a hiker trying to locate the Loomis mine a few years ago, and he came upon a picnic of the Loomis family (I guess) they still own the ranch there but it is unclear whether there is mining. I tried to follow an old road from Big Tujunga up Alder Creek. The road is now simply a trail; I didn't walk far up it.

The Black Cargo, are you sure about that? The mine is gated and I found the proceedings of the final hearing online a long time ago. The state geologist testified (basically) that the ore body would yield (say) $87,000 in gold, not counting extraction, transportation, processing etc at a cost exceeding the yield. It doesn't look like it has been worked since then I think around 1982...? They had a cabin and were processing ore until the 1979 Sage fire in the area.

Otis, isn't he one of the owners of the hidden springs cafe? A guy named Hugh Blanchard told me he owns the Lucky Strike mine not far from the Black Cargo, and that there was a major theft there in recent years. It gave me the impression that he would not exactly be chatty with strangers about mining, but I could be wrong. Do you know this Otis fellow, and does he like to talk about mining or no? I hiked to the Lucky Strike last fall, and it was gated with a stern warning sign, but did not look active. For the record, Iron Mountain is NOT a good shortcut to the Gold Bar area.

Have a look at Hugh's website: http://www.lagoldmines.com/index.php?page=557265.txt Lots of great hardrock mine history.

What, if anything, is going on at the Monte Christo? I'd sure love to visit the site, if they ever wanted a visitor. From what I have read, the tunnels are collapsed, and Hugh Blanchard said the guy is mad at him for going there years ago when it was unposted.

I'm not Swedish, but people always ask. I'm really a Euromutt. :lol:

That's fascinating about the first streetlights coming from there! I KNOW the mountain is called Iron Mountain, but according to mindat, there are lots of tungsten claims, and magnetite... (wracking brain and girlfriend just called again, are you still on the dang computer...) I tried melting one with an oxyacetylene torch, it kind of melted but was slaggy not metallic, and I was only playing with it so I didn't exactly make a bessemer converter. ;) Do you know where the iron diggins were? There look to be some VERY old roads up the south/southeast flank of Iron Mountain, above where Lynx Gulch road does the 180. There are some claim posts on the SOUTH side of B.T. road, due south of Iron Mountain in a wash, no diggins.

Gotta run for now but VERY interested in talking about the area.

Cheers,

Goldmember

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[quote name='GoldMember' date='Nov 27 2006, "That (gold queen) is the one I mean."-----

the gold queen is on private property --the owner has correls etc. on the mill site.

"The Loomis mine is active? "---- no but the mine and old arrastre are on the Loomis property and you would need permission ---same as the gold queen, monte cristo, and any others that are on private property

Ottis is one of the Sons of the owner of hidden springs , and has the first mill to opperate in mill creek for many years and loves to talk about minning - gold ! - and the history of the area --tell him he still owes tom a cup of coffee, and tom told you to talk to him first --- he'll know !

as for the black cargo - lucky strike etc -- I've lived in this area all my life (born in big T 1940) and would only go to these mines if Ottis was with me -- the FS ran off the man that was working the B. C. and some real bad blood - has taken place in that area -- so watch your P's & Q's so to speak !!!!!!

and thanks for the link ---will read it soon ............Tom

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I'm interested to hear more, if you can. What kind of bad blood exactly? You mean the forest service running the Bagwells out of the Black Cargo?

And that supposed 2000 oz/ton Tujunga vein... you guys were joking, right? (said the gullible newb)

Those black rocks... one of the reasons I bought my Geiger counter. Years after collecting a bunch, I started to wonder.... what if they are pitchblende or something? One rock from there (not black) was (subjectively) about 50% "hotter" than background radiation, which isn't much. Glad to find out it wasn't. Polonium-210 dust, anyone? (sorry, getting punchy after 12.5 hours at work)

Cheers,

-Goldmember

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