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The Lost Goler Mine


The El Paso Mountains are an east-west trending range that consists of an uplifted block of igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary rocks. The southern flank of the range is bounded by two major faults, the El Paso and Garlock Faults. The western half of the El Paso Mountains consists mostly of Mesozoic granitic rocks. Near the center of the range, a small exposure of ancient Precambrian schist crops out at the surface. This exposed basement rock is located just southwest of Mesquite Canyon. The eastern half of the El Pasos is comprised of Paleozoic marine sediments and minor metavolcanic rocks with younger Paleocene non-marine sediments.

The head of Goler Gulch is underlain by these Paleocene sedimentary rocks. Further down the

canyon, approximately 2 miles above the mouth of Goler Gulch, the contact between the younger Paleocene sediments and the older Paleozoic sedimentary and metavolcanic rocks is encountered. Goler Canyon cuts into this uplifted wedge of Paleozoic rocks all the way to it mouth. The northeastern wall of the canyon is comprised mostly of Paleozoic marine sediments while the southwestern wall is made up mostly of Paleozoic metavolcanic rocks. The fault-bounded southern flank of the El Paso range is therefore composed of Mesozoic granites to the west and older Paleozoic marine sediments (with minor metavolcanics) to the east. These units abut the El Paso Fault.


It is an interesting fact that many famous mines throughout history and many legendary lost mines occur near springs! In every account of the Goler Mine, a spring is mentioned in association with the gold deposit. The spring should be the focus of any search, but it is quite probable that it has dried up, so that landmark is gone.

The source for much of the Goler gold is a gold-bearing conglomerate that crops out further upstream. Prospectors may want to map the outcrop and then concentrate on the dry washes and arroyos that dissect the formation.

In general, a search of the many canyons that drain the southern edge of the range is probably the best plan of attack. In addition to the canyon floors, the alluvial benches and terraces that lie along the southern flank of the El Pasos should also be investigated. A metal-detector would most certainly be useful in the search.