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Black Mts, Amargosa Range, Inyo Co., California, USA

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Death Valley, looking north from Dante's View

Black Mts, Amargosa Range, Inyo Co., California, USA
Death Valley--patterns on valley floor seen from Dante's View

Black Mts, Amargosa Range, Inyo Co., California, USA
Death Valley, looking north from Dante's View

Black Mts, Amargosa Range, Inyo Co., California, USA
Death Valley--patterns on valley floor seen from Dante's View

Black Mts, Amargosa Range, Inyo Co., California, USA
Latitude & Longitude (WGS84): 36° 8' 56'' North , 116° 39' 28'' West
Latitude & Longitude (decimal): 36.14889,-116.65778
Other regions containing this locality:Death Valley National Park, California/Nevada, USA
Köppen climate type:BWh : Hot deserts climate

The Black Mountains are located in the southeastern portion of Inyo County, within Death Valley National Park. They are considered as a sub-range or continuation of the Amargosa Range and are oriented in a generally north-south direction. The range reaches an elevation of 6,384 feet above sea level at Funeral Peak. The Black Mountains lie to the E of Death Valley and to the W of Greenwater Valley.

...the history of mining in the Black Mountains is dominated by the story of various and sundry booms and busts, all subsidiary to the Bullfrog boom to the north. At a glance, therefore, the history of the mines and mining camps in this section is not too different than those related above. But there were two distinct phenomena which showed up in this section. Although neither of these are particularly surprising on their own rights, they both emphasize telling points concerning the success or failure of desert mining camps.

The first was the amazing stampede into Greenwater. That spectacular rush will be described in more detail later, so it suffices to point out here that in Greenwater we see the final culmination of the unbelievable boom spirit which had been prevailing in the desert mining camps since the discovery of Tonopah in 1900. Since that discovery, scores of boom towns had been added to the map in southern Nevada and southeastern California, and each seemed to proclaim to the world that the new era of mining booms was here to stay. Untold riches were buried beneath the desert floor, and all one had to do was dig almost anywhere to secure a fortune. That spirit reached its height in conjunction with the Greenwater stampede--and the subsequent Greenwater bust marked the beginning of the decline of the early twentieth-century mining booms.

On a less psychological note, the mining camps of the Black Mountains also pointed out quite clearly the ever-present handicaps against which desert mining camps were forced to struggle--the search for water, fuel and transportation. At the time of the mining booms in the Black Mountains, Rhyolite was far and away the largest supply center in the entire Death Valley region, and the farther south one moved from Rhyolite, the more expensive food, fuel and supplies became. Thus the farther one moved from Rhyolite, the more expensive it was to open a mine, and the richer one's ore had to be in order to reap a profit. In addition, the fact that water sources grew fewer and farther between as one moved south multiplied the problems of expenses and even survival. Mines, in short, which would have become producers in the Bullfrog Hills were totally unprofitable in the Black Mountains. These dual problems of water and transportation are the constant factors in the determination of the success or failure of mines in this section.
Latschar, 1981

Commodity List

This is a list of exploitable or exploited mineral commodities recorded from this region.

Mineral List

Mineral list contains entries from the region specified including sub-localities

31 valid minerals. 2 (TL) - type locality of valid minerals.

Regional Geology

This geological map and associated information on rock units at or nearby to the coordinates given for this locality is based on relatively small scale geological maps provided by various national Geological Surveys. This does not necessarily represent the complete geology at this locality but it gives a background for the region in which it is found.

Click on geological units on the map for more information. Click here to view full-screen map on

Tortonian - Serravallian
7.246 - 13.82 Ma

ID: 2940839
Cenozoic (Tertiary) granitic rocks, unit 1 (Death Valley)

Age: Miocene (7.246 - 13.82 Ma)

Stratigraphic Name: Kingston Range Monzonite Porphyry; Little Chief Granite

Description: Cenozoic (Tertiary) granitic rocks--quartz monzonite, quartz latite, and minor monzonite, granodiorite, and granite; found in the Kingston, Panamint, Amargosa, and Greenwater Ranges in southeastern California.

Comments: Death Valley region. Mostly granite to quartz monzonite plutons dated at 10-12 Ma

Lithology: Major:{quartz monzonite,granite}, Minor:{monzonite}, Incidental:{hypabyssal latite, aplite}

Reference: Horton, J.D., C.A. San Juan, and D.B. Stoeser. The State Geologic Map Compilation (SGMC) geodatabase of the conterminous United States. doi: 10.3133/ds1052. U.S. Geological Survey Data Series 1052. [133]

Data and map coding provided by, used under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License

Localities in this Region

This page contains all mineral locality references listed on This does not claim to be a complete list. If you know of more minerals from this site, please register so you can add to our database. This locality information is for reference purposes only. You should never attempt to visit any sites listed in without first ensuring that you have the permission of the land and/or mineral rights holders for access and that you are aware of all safety precautions necessary.


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Latschar, John A. (1981), U.S. National Park Service, Historic Preservation Branch, Pacific Northwest/Western Team, Denver Service Center, Death Valley – Historic Resource Study – A History of Mining, Volume II (Parts 1 and 2): Part 2: IV.C.1.

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