• LOCATION 14 | Joshua Tree National Park Audio Driving Tour

    Rustlers and Gold

    Welcome to the land cowboy rustlers, gun slingers and gold miners. Just short of 2 centuries ago traveling this very road might have put you in the sights of some sharp shooter among the rocks. The ole West had many a story that grew among the rocks and sage brush.

    One of the most lasting stories of the cowboy lore involves this very area. Here, among stolen cattle and horses, the gold prospectors came to what is known as the "Klondike of Southern California."

    Just in the hills to the right of us is an area that produced the equivalent of about $5 million of gold and silver, called The Lost Horse Mine. It was named by the famous cowboy Johnny Lang. He came out after his brother and 6 other cowboys were gunned down in New Mexico. Johnny's horses were stolen by a band of horse-thieving cowboys called the McHaney brothers, who lived on the left hand side of this valley.

    After striking it rich with some 10,000 ounces in gold, Johnny Lang became one of the most famous goldminers in the area.

    Of the 300 plus gold mines that are within the park boundaries, the Lost Horse Mine was by far the most profitable.

    Carry on driving straight through the park.

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Joshua Tree National Park Audio Driving Tour