Attractions return to Death Valley

Attractions return to Death ValleyThe reopening of a historic landmark and an annual encampment are among the coming attractions this month at Death Valley National Park.

The ’49ers Encampment, a week-long western heritage festival that includes music, history presentations, art, vendors and more, will take place Nov. 5-12.

Headlining this year’s entertainment will be Mary Kaye and the Old West Trio — which, along with the recently released “Ride a Wide Circle” album, have won numerous awards and distinctions.

Experts on the historic and natural resources of Death Valley will also give presentations.

For a more detailed schedule of events, and information on membership and entrance fees, visit

In conjunction with the festival, the Park Service will also reopen the Keene Wonder Mine starting Tuesday, Nov. 7.

The ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held at 10 a.m., followed by site tours with Historian Jeremy Stoltzfus. Rangers will be on site until 4 p.m. to answer questions.

“Keene Wonder Mine is one of the best examples of historical gold mining in Death Valley National Park,” said Park Ranger Abby Wines.

“The photogenic aerial tramway still has ore buckets hanging from cables. In the early 1900s, miners used the tramway to lower 70 tons of gold ore per day down the steep Funeral Mountains.”

“We’re so excited to be able to open this site up to the public again,” said Superintendent Mike Reynolds.

“The mine, tramway and mill are charismatic.”

The mine, one of the most popular sites in the park, was temporarily closed in 2008 to address safety concerns — which have since been allayed.

Because of limited parking, carpooling to the site is recommended.

Pictured: Above is a ’49ers Encampment reenactment of wagon trains crossing Death Valley. -- Courtesy photo

Story First Published: 2017-11-03