Thanks to the help of UER members I was able to make a dream urbex vacation come true. Before I get into the details of the trip, I just want to say that without your help it would have been a fool's errand to explore this place without your input. Thank you so much.
My trip began with a long hike from the closest inconspicuous spot north of the intended location. A service road leads up to it separated by a river, which opposite has a defunct railroad line. The views along the way were gorgeous.
Eventually the natural serenity gave way to the mine's brutal industrialism.
Straddled across the river was a generating station that provided power for the 70 miles of tunnels underneath the mountain.
Mining operations continued until 1984, but not before the area became contaminated with arsenic, cadmium, copper, lead and zinc. In 1986 the EPA stepped in to manage the environmental contamination.
After a quick lunch and a short rest it was time to head up the mountainside toward the company town. The hike along a service road, a somewhat obscured trail, and then a drainage pipe was brutal at the 8,500 - 9,000 foot elevation. At first sight of the town, I must admit that I was beyond exhausted.
The point at which I arrived was the most exposed to traffic from the nearby highway, so I snaked down to the southern end. It was there I came across a few other explorers who had parked close to the town. I feared they would attract attention, so I decided against spending time with them. But they were very nice and had been to the area before. They gave me some useful information for exploring the numerous buildings. The southern portion of the town had the store, a rudimentary clinic, a bowling alley, and garages.
The above photo was shot with a Mavic Air, which I almost lost attempting to take aerial photos. For whatever reason the drone never picked up a GPS signal to mark an updated Return to Home marker. When I sent it up in the air it lost connection, at which point it will automatically return to home. EXCEPT the previous return to home marker was all the way down by the mine. The drone began to ascend and zoom towards the mine. I panicked, screaming NO NO NO NO NO NO! But fortunately a connection was reestablished and I returned it home. Phew!!!
After that panic I headed north.
As I headed into the dense overgrowth surrounding the homes in the middle of the community, the strenuous nature of the exploration started catching up to me. I was beginning to feel exhausted, running low on food and water, and had severe cramps in both of my feet. I pressed on not wanting to miss a thing.
Eventually it became time to leave. I decided to exit via the main gate.
At the point of total exhaustion, I decided to hitchhike back to my car parked several miles north. I am ever grateful the nice couple that drove me back.
I regret not having the time to search inside the buildings more in depth. This place definitely warrants another visit some time in the future to accomplish that. But I am quite happy with the results.