Exploring the Eureka Mine in Death Valley National Park
Thousands of abandoned mines lie beneath Death Valley National Park's 5,200+ square miles. Most are closed to the public, but the Eureka Mine has been stabilized, making it safe to follow in the path of the early gold prospectors. Of all the miners who toiled here, only one—Pete Aguereberry—persisted. Beginning in 1907, Pete worked his claim for 40 years, extracting about $175,000 worth of gold (then valued at $20 per ounce). The remains of his camp are nearby if you want a glimpse of how modestly the bachelor lived. Remember to take two flashlights into the Eureka Mine—one for use and one for backup.