Broken Pick Mine, Death Valley
The broken Pick mine and mill site had previously been recorded as the Nichols Mine and mill site and were worked around 1958. The Tarantula Mine was also previously part of this deposit. All were filed in the hunt for Tungsten a mineral commodity sought during World War II. As early as 1937 the world demand for Tungsten was increasing dramatically, due mainly to expanded uses for the metal. Estimates were made that in 1937 the world production of tungsten would equal the 35,000 tons produced during World War 1.
Records show this area was probably the only profitable tungsten operation in Death Valley during the 1950s boom era and attracted many other miners to the Trail Canyon area. This region soon resembled Skidoo, with hundreds of claims being filed on a network of trails over the hillsides. The Tarantula Mine operators built the road winding down from Aguereberry Point to Trail Canyon but all that is left is a now washed out jeep trail closed by slides. Records show some Tungsten mining occurred as late as 1971 in the South fork of the Trail Canyon area.
Trail Canyon is accessed from the Death Valley Westside Road. Broken Pick Mine and Mill Site is approximately 9.5 miles up the canyon. This is a rough and rocky road accessible only by high clearance 4 wheel drive vehicles. The area is very remote so plan your outing with plenty of water, food, fuel, and essentials. In the tradition of the Old West please this place better than when you found it for future explorers to enjoy.