Take it easy
  Marble Falls Canyon

N 38.9833° W117.80514° Ellsworth, NV Quad

VISITED July 9, 2016
Our breakfast: Eggs and breakfast meats at Middlegate Station.

Head east on US-50 E for 47 miles to Middlegate Station; turn right and head south on SR 361 towards Gabbs for 34.9 miles; turn left and head north east for 7.7 miles; turn right up Marble Canyon for about two miles.

From Fallon: 91.6 miles


Frank McPherson, of Ellsworth, has discovered a new ledge in the Marble Falls Canyon averaging $231 per ton. Character of ore- horn silver, chloride and sulphureta.
-1882 March 16, Reno Evening Gazette

Near the head of Marble Canyon, above Marble Falls, in the northwest part of the district, much shallow work has been done on narrow veins containing partly oxidized agentiferous galena. Small shipments have probably been made by "chloriding" the silver-enriched surface ores. The lead content of the ore is usualy around 10 percent.
Mineral Resources of Nye County, Kral, 1951

Production information from the district is very sketchy. In the western part of the district, high-grade pods and lenses in limestone at
the Piute and Marble Falls mines, near the head of Marble Falls Canyon, were mined from 1872 to 1903, and then sporadically from 1945 to present (McKinney, personal commun., 1989). According to "Mac" McKinney, the current owner, over 8,100 oz gold and 1,870 oz silver have been produced from the two mines. During recent years, ore was concentrated at an onsite gravity mill then shipped to Cominco's smelter in British Columbia.

Sulfide rich pods and lenses in limestone were also mined at the Lime Dyke mine near the mouth of Germany Canyon. One 53-ton shipment in 1945 assayed 0.53 oz gold, 11 oz silver, 10.6 percent lead, and 2.2 percent zinc (Kral, 1951). Near the head of German Canyon, quartz veins in limestone and marble were mined at the Last Chance mine. During 1876 and 1877, 166 tons were produced which had a gross yield of $5,461 (Couch and Carpenter, 1943). The Engle-Stouder Iron mine produced a small amount of iron ore during 1961 and 1962 (Moore, 1971) from iron-rich lenses associated with a granitic intrusion. Based on the field study, it is likely that many other mines along the range front in the Ellsworth district produced small amounts of ore, similar to those cited above, but unfortunately no reference to them was found in the literature.

-MLA 4-91 - Mines, Prospects, and Mineral Occurrences in that part of the Paradise Range, Nevada, Administered as Toiyabe National Forest (1991)




Someone up here is still digging, presumably. The road is blocked with a large steel gate, and if you continue up the steep road you will find another gate past that. No "No Tresspass" signs, though. We were ill-prepared for hiking the day we visited, but managed to cllimb the steep road to the first gathering of buildings without having a stroke. More buildings are further up the canyon, according to the satellite view. Someone is obviously hanging out here, everything looks to be in pretty good shape. Be respectful if you decide to hike up here.

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