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Lost Treasures

During the course of the past five hundred years, countless explorers, prospectors, traders, trappers, settlers, and the legendary Mountain Men spent their lives in the vast wilderness of the American Southwest. Enduring the hardships, and exploring the extremes from over 14,000 feet of altitude along the Continental Divide in the Colorado Rockies to the desert hardpan below sea level in Death Valley, they discovered gold, silver, and other mineral riches, sometimes literally stumbling across their finds.

Arguably, the more fortunate of these discoverers worked their finds and reaped the benefits until a natural death took their secret to the grave. Among the less fortunate, an equal number are reputed to have lost their lives to a variety of causes both accidental and otherwise.

The Sangre de Cristo Mountains
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But beyond this, there are yet others... perhaps the majority, upon which neither of these fates could be served, for many of these riches were just as quickly lost when their discoverers next discovered that they could not relocate their finds in the vast wilderness!

Despite their best efforts, often spanning a lifetime, the location of these elusive treasures remains hidden yet today. They remain there to this day -- for you to find!


Southwest Treasure Tales

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The lore of the American Southwest is rich with legends of lost treasures. But often the details of any given legend vary in significant ways from one account to another; other tales seem little more than fireside stories told as entertainment. However, the tales presented on this site are among the most reliable -- researched by our staff over the course of more than two decades, cross-checked between multiple sources, the locales explored in the field, and have each been critically evaluated from the geological perspective, that is, an examination of the local mining history and an assessment of the potential that the underlying lithology of the area can actually produce a deposit as described in the legend. We pay particular credence to those tales for which historical assay records exist!

We've documented those tales which meet this criteria and they are presented here. This equates to just about 100 Lost Mine tales, culled from the countless lost treasure legends that we've encountered throughout the course of the past two decades. More than 85 of these are now published on this website, and we are adding more on a periodic basis. So check the What's New section of our website regularly!