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The remains of the Red Mask Mine are some of the most accessible in the Snowy Range. Here is a quick video with some highlights of what you can find there today.

Headframe and Boiler from the Red Mask MineThe Red Mask Mine was one of the later attempts at mining in the Snowy Range. As near as I can tell it was started by James McLachlin who filed claims in this area as late as 1924. Like nearly all the mines in the Snowies, this one didn’t pay very well. But that didn’t stop very many from trying.

The remains of the headframe and the boiler are all that’s left to tell us about the incredible effort that went into pulling gold and silver out of the ground here.

It’s amazing to think about how much hard work and optimism it took to operate a mine like this and then how sad it must have been when the miners finally had to admit defeat.

Historic Miners CabinBelow the mine about 1/4 of a mile by trail is what remains of the cabin where these miners lived. This cabin is in much better shape than many others in the Snowies but even here it’s easy to see how over 90 winters and no maintenance have taken their toll.

You can’t go inside to have a look anymore because of the roof damage. But there are a couple windows that let you peek at the old bunks and benches. If you happen to be up here on a windy day you’ll know why they picked this spot. It’s much more protected from the elements than the mine site itself and it’s much closer to water.

While doing research at the University of Wyomings American Heritage Center I came across the picture below of the Red Mask Mine taken in 1964.

col3654_MBNF_box13_fol4Photos - Version 2

Red Mask Mine, 1964, Box 13, Folder 4, Coll. 3654, Medicine Bow National Forest, American Heritage Center, University of Wyoming.

Because this mine is located so close to the Snowy Range Highway, we have opportunities like this to see it in various states of decay.

If you know any more about the Red Mask Mine or know where we can find more pictures tell us in the comments below or through the contact us page.

To get here drive west from Centennial (or East from Saratoga) on Wyoming Highway 130. Turn into the Medicine Bow Peak Observation Point (not to be confused with the Libby Flats Observation Point) near the summit. Then follow the Miners Cabin Trail from the parking lot. The Miners Cabin Trail makes a loop of a little over 1/2 mile.

If you do visit please remember to take only pictures and leave only footprints.

Guides

If you are looking for a guide to get you to the Red Mask Mine:

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