Exploring Old Mines

Back when I was young (way back, like 1969 or so), I was attracted by seeing old mine entrances in the Mojave Desert, and the Mountains of Colorado. Much as I wanted to explore, my parents had too much good sense to allow it. I had to wait a few years, and then do it on my own.

I have been exploring old mines for the last 50 years or so, and along the way I have learned a lot. I have had a few close calls that luckily turned out right. But anyone who trusts to luck will eventually get nailed. These pages exist to provide information to those who feel that life involves adventure, and who understand that adventure involves risk.

You can get killed or seriously injured exploring old mines, even if you do everything right.
If you want a guarantee of safety, then stay out and stay alive!

A person who understands the dangers, has learned about them, and is willing to accept some risks that cannot be eliminated may choose to do some exploring. That is what these pages are all about.

The first set of risks are legal. What may appear to be an abandoned mine may not be abandoned at all. A mine that seems to be on public land, may be private property, or may be restricted in some way. Entering an old mine on private property could quite possibly be viewed as trespassing (ask and get permission).

I am not in any way trying to encourage people to casually explore old mines. Some are dangerous and some are so much so that they should be avoided as outright deathtraps. However, there are plenty of them that can be visited with acceptable levels of risk if you are properly equiped and sufficiently informed and alert. Only you can define "acceptable level of risk". You and you alone are responsible for the consequences that arise from the decision that you make to enter an old mine, and the decisions you make once inside.

Here is an index to what I have so far:

Feedback? Questions? Drop me a line!

Uncle Tom's Old Mine Info / tom@mmto.org