Brooklyn Mine is a former mine located in a remote area just north of Joshua Tree National Park. It takes some time to get to the Brooklyn mine. It is 17 miles away from the nearest paved road (Pinon Road in Joshua Tree). The dirt roads headed out are all washboard and will rattle more than your teeth.
This former gold mine was first established in the late 19th century. It is located in the former Dale Mining District, which was once among the most productive gold mining areas in California. In 1899 it was sold to the Brooklyn Mining Company, which is where the mine’s name comes from. Brooklyn Mine operated on a limited basis until the 1940s, when it was permanently closed.
If you follow Brooklyn Mine Road for a bit, it will more or less disappear into a rock garden. When the trail disappears there are two ways to get to the mine. Follow a wash due north or follow a wash that goes west by northwest. The north wash route will take you past a handful of other mines and old buildings. The northwest route will take you by the remnants of some old mine camps then a last climb up and down to the mine.
Once you get to the rock hut look for the mine tailings and the old wooden tank frames to find the mine entrance. The mine entrance is about 100 yards north and 40 feet up from the rock hut. You will come upon a vertical shaft first with the mine entrance a few feet behind it.
The mine itself is an amazing mine network with multiple levels but as with any mine enter at your own risk. There are a couple of items that look like ladders in the mine, they are not ladders so don’t use them as you will fall. The main vertical shaft is over 100 feet. There are at least three levels in the mine.
The noise and light pollution is minimal so enjoy the silence. The view of night sky is amazing, and not many get to see such a sight. The only noises we heard that night were from the bats striking the antenna tip and the occasional jet passing by.
Know Before You Go
You can reach the mine with an off road vehicle or by hiking. A high clearance vehicle is best. The area is very remote and no cell service. Go with friends or let people know where you are headed. Summer will have temperatures over 100 so plan accordingly. Practice good stewardship in trying to leave the site in better shape then when you arrived.