A popular historic attraction in Death Valley National Park has been closed to human entry. The Keane Wonder Mine and its associated complex of mines, mining structures, equipment and ruins is now off limits to both motorized and foot travel.
The rather large closure of approximately 4,250 acres was issued by the Park Service in the interest of public safety. The closure area does not include the Chloride Cliffs and Chloride City sites above the Keane mine complex, but does includes the Big Bell and King Midas Mines, as well as the much visited springs to the northwest of the mill site.
The Keane Wonder Mine was one of Death Valley's most prolific gold mines, rich in both history and production. During our last visit in February 2002, the lower mill site was largely in tact and well interpreted with signs and displayed.
The closure order remains in effect indefinitely and will not reopened, according to the Park Service, until "the site can be made safer while preserving its historic features" and "it is hoped that funding is available within the next few years."
For more information on the Keane Mine closure order and closure area, see the National Park Service release dated September 11, 2008 .