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Grapevine/Northern Funeral Mountains
Titus Canyon/LeadfieldGF2c. Location/Access:
(36o 50.907’N; 117o 03.556’W) The abandoned mining camp of Leadfield is located on the floor of the valley seen from Red Pass 3.0 miles beyond Site GF2b or a total of 15.2 miles from the pavement.
Best Time: Anytime.
Geology: Leadfield was built on a land swindle in the late 1920’s as speculators promoted lead mining. The road you came in on was built at that time. There are indeed deposits of lead in the immediate vicinity but they are not of commercial concentration. So mines were dug and soon abandoned. There are a few buildings left. One of the greatest secrets in Death Valley lies behind the building on the right as you face the limestone cliffs to the southwest: Titus Canyon Cave. There is a mine directly behind this building which is closed and locked. However, if you gain entrance (as we did with park service personnel in 1978) you will find that the miners broke into a small cave system. Ropes are needed to descend into the main room of the cave but once therein one can see a good variety of speleothems and some rather rare secondary carbonate cave minerals (huntite and magnesite). The climate in the cave is nearly unbearable being well over 90oF and with extremely high humidity. Access to the general public is prohibited. The view up to the surrounding hillsides reveals the same rocks visible from Site GF2b.