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Lost Mine of the Sheep Hole Mountains


The Sheep Hole Mountains consist of an uplifted core of early Mesozoic granitic and metamorphic rocks. The range trends northwest-southeast as do many of the mountain ranges in the Basin and Range Province of North America. The northern half of the range contains numerous faults, most of which trend northwest-southeast. The western flank of this part of the range is fault-bounded with non-marine Pleistocene sediments butting up against early Mesozoic metamorphic country rock. Northwest of the Amboy Road, in the broken country that forms the northwestern spur of the Sheep Hole Mountains, occur slightly younger Mesozoic granitic intrusives. This area is highly faulted; at least three northwest-southeast trending faults cut through the igneous and metamorphic rocks here.

The Sheep Hole Mine is located on the northwestern flank of the range, just east of the Amboy Road. It is hosted in early Mesozoic granitic and metamorphic country rock. Several other smaller mines and prospect pits occur in the area.

Just south of the Sheep Hole Mountains lie the east-west trending Pinto Mountains. This highly-mineralized range consists of a core of uplifted ancient Precambrian igneous and metamorphic basement rock (in the western portion of the range) and younger Mesozoic granites (in the eastern part of the range). Many of the mines in this district are hosted in these younger Mesozoic granites.


The Sheep Hole Mountains are home to one important gold deposit, the Sheep Hole Mine. It is located in the northwestern portion of the range near Sheep Hole Pass. Prospectors may want to probe the gullies and canyons in this area with a metal-detector. Prospectors may also want to focus on the western flanks of the Sheep Hole Mountains, especially the slopes adjacent to Dale Lake. This

area may have served as a source for at least some of the placer gold found in Dale Lake. Again, a metal-detector may prove to be useful in the search. Finally, prospectors may want to examine the western face of the Calumet Mountains, located about 7 miles east of the Sheep Holes. Some accounts of the story place the gold placer in the Calumets.