Poleta Mine



20.67 acre patented gold mine close to Bishop CA that includes built in owner financing with $2,500 down payment.

City of Bishop views across the Owens Valley to Mt. Tom -- no charge for looking.

This is private land within the Inyo National Forest, although it is not very forested.  I believe the White Mountains were claimed by the USFS to protect the watershed for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. (LADWP)  This is probably the only private parcel of land available for sale in these mountains. 

This property is a great opportunity for several reasons outlined below, find one that resonates with you and let's talk.

1. Proven gold mine - when last mined in the 1920's, gold was at $35/ounce and today it tops $1180/ounce.  The last gold ounce we purchased was $1305 out the door from APMEX, here's an opportunity to own a mountain of gold bearing ore.  Extraction?  Well, that's another story.  The underground workings are substantial and were were heavily mined, my thoughts are simple - if you aren't a professional hard-rock miner then stay out and stay alive.  The mineral value of this property is not being factored into the price, so consider it an extra. For some it is nice to have a piece of land backed up by the high potential mineral value of Au, just keep the kids and pets safe.

Poleta Mine - by Exploring Abandoned Mines

*Mine data and link at bottom of this web page.  The Poleta Mine produced 5,000 ounces of gold and 1,000 ounces of silver.  Try buying that at today's prices.

2. Location and proximity to Bishop, CA - only 7 miles miles to downtown.  Open land is scarce in the Owens Valley and what is left is not affordable.  If you really want this property and find it unreasonably priced I can work with you.  Bishop is a great supply town, (not bad to live or work either and excellent for kids) I happen to know from experience.  Yes, the last two miles to the property are dirt, so AWD or 4x4 highly recommended.  With some last 1/4 mile road improvements a 2WD civic may be able to make it.  With a 4x4 truck, anyone could pull up a trailer or build a small cabin up there over a couple weekends.  There is a nice level pad when you first get 100 yards onto the property, with room for several vehicles and ample turn around.

3. Recreation - this is the number one reason we sell property.  The acreage is land locked by a BLM and USFS open area for motorized vehicles, on the way to the property you may notice many forms of recreation like OHV's, 4x4's, mountain biking, shooting, rock hounding, hiking, and probably some hunting in season.  Challenging trails are everywhere and the single track is smooth as you will see in some photos further down.  On this property you could create multiple downhill mountain bike trails similar to ones bootlegged on public lands around Mammoth Lakes. However, being on your property it would be legal.  And because the whole adjoining area is "open" you are allowed to build new trails.  Also, with the new Adventure trail system you can ride your OHV into town, legally without a license plate.  Plus enjoy world class skiing and riding at Mammoth Mountain in about an hour.

4. Ownership purely as investment - being a USFS in-holding this property has value for a future trade, conservation, or mineral extraction as noted above.  You may have other ideas too and that's what owning land is all about.

Owner financing available with $2,500 down payment.  Buyers will assume a balance of $96,500 to be paid of in monthly installments of $500.49 (4.7% interest over 30 years)  Shorter terms available with larger down payment.  Bring a friend (or family members) to help split the costs of ownership.  It works.

Have many images below, follow along and learn more about the property.  My office upgraded me to an iPhone 6 and it takes decent photos.

This shot was taken to show the BLM sign designating Poleta as an open OHV area.  But look closely at the yellow triangle as the top of it pin points the 20.67 acres for sale.

Redding Canyon road is where you leave the pavement.  There are two miles of dirt until reaching the property.  The first mile climbs slowly, and is graded with some washboard.  At about the 1 mile mark take a left branching road which is also graded, it leads to a prominent lookout and cell tower installation.  I parked at the cell tower below the property and explored the various routes because I was interested in mapping the best road combined with the shortest distance.

Parked at the cell tower, it was not far from pavement and an easy drive.  While I was out and about I could see passenger cars coming up to check out the views.

Another shot looking back at home near Hilton Creek.  These photos were taken a few days before Christmas and the mountains are looking bare.  That's not the case anymore, we haven't seen the sun for about a week as storms come in one after the other.  In the truck is a CRF 150 Honda dirt bike.  It's my daughter's bike, I took it along because it is small and light.

Our backyard before the X-mas storm.  Cheap old beer cans along with a cheap old skateboard that belonged to my wife's brother, Greg.

After the storms.

SW corner of property with the cell tower in the distance.  Truck parked at the base of tower.  Yes, phones get good cell service here.

Looking in a southern direction towards Big Pine, CA.

Zoomed in a little on the City of Bishop, the road you see pointed at Mt. Tom is Line St.  Line St. brings you past the airport and to this property.  I bet the night time view would be an interesting clash of city lights combined with moon lit snowy mountains.

Looking due west at the Coyote foothills.  One thing that should be mentioned is all day the winter sun warmed this property, a little too much making me over dressed in snowboard pants.  Full solar exposure for generating power, anything built up here would have to be self contained, aka off-the-grid.  I like off-the-grid cabins and have one near the June Lake Junction.  No water or electricity so we brought our own, and everyone gets a kick out of using an outhouse in the 21st century. (except in the middle of icy cold nights)

Panorama.  I suppose this property is most photogenic during early morning hours when the sun is at your back.

Close to the SW corner this is the entrance road the leads to the tailing pile that can be seen from all around.

End of the line for this little bike, from here I'm hiking about and exploring.  This area is wide and level, plenty of room for multiple vehicles, a cabin, trailer, tent, anything you'd like to bring.

The level area drops off quickly, would make for fun skeet shooting but there are too many roads below.

Other end of flat plateau.  In the youtube video the mine explorer mentioned there could be a caved in mine entrance here.  It is possible, the amount of fill material in this canyon is tremendous.  I was surprised to find no evidence of flooding on the property.  With the mine established in 1881 that is a long time to present day of not having everything washed down to the valley in a terrific flood.


Handy looped bolt to pitch a tent off.

Leaving the tailing plateau to check out the rest of the property.  By the way, the NW corner is off somewhere in that black rocky hillside. (mid screen left)

On a fairly steep mining road now headed up and looking back, on the cell tower road there is a passenger car driving up.

Claiming this as the steepest paved road in Inyo County, unfortunately it has a Volkswagen sized boulder erupting from it mid way.

Looking back again to catch my breath, you can see a dirt biker's plume in the distance and parts of the Owens River and other warm fishing ponds.

Green rocks?  That gets a picture.

Green rock nursery.

Looks like calcium build-up.  Or Calcite?

Vertical shaft nearby, fenced, but probably the single most dangerous feature of this property, about 1/2 way up the draw.  Keep children and pets away!

Headed up higher, that little bike would have been nice around here.  The red patch top mid screen is near another corner of the property.  I'm about in the middle of the property.  The 20+ acres are rectangular, quarter mile from one end to the other and an eighth mile from side to side.

Checking out the hillside, NE corner up there somewhere.

Owens River and a fish pond reflecting some sunlight.

Road turns to the ridge, posts mark adits.

This one has a wooden bridge inside.  I kept a safe distance, that's partly why I'm alive to tell the tale.

Another opening.

Some of the ore hauled out, plenty heavy and almost metallic.

Checking out the veins.

Looking back at the red rocks and NE property boundary.  Not much further to the top.

Another adit, this one looks sturdy being built through bedrock.

The entire ridge line was excavated so I walked over to the other side and found more diggings.  This one was fenced off but looked very tame, maybe the ground was getting thin and it connected to the other side.  It was on my mind as I explored, don't need to fall through the earth into a shallow stope.

Almost at the top of the property looking down across Bishop.

Looking towards Redding Canyon.  Over there a single track trail (Woodcutters) goes all the way to the top of the Whites.  

The Poleta Mine road contours over the hills leading to the mine.  Incidentally, this road is in great shape but it is easier to take the cell tower road up.  Anyhow, good to have options.

This 4x4 post could mark the SE corner but is most likely something else.

Back at the truck for a quick snack.  Bishop just opened an El Pollo Loco, and below is my $2 BRC (bean rice cheese) burrito hack.  I took their burrito to the salsa bar and filled it with chopped serranos, onions, cilantro and salsa effectively doubling it in size.

Burrito down, it was time to explore some of the flowing single tracks I've been eyeing all day.  The track below blends into the topography like an animal trail.  Some parts had minor exposure, but with solid footing and a small bike there was little risk.

I got a kick out of this section because the upper hillside showed years of boot drag and/or motorcycle pegs.

Would be fun on a mountain bike too.

Went on for miles and the sun was getting ready to set.

Back at the cell tower this photo shows the easiest and quickest route to the property.  As you come up the cell tower road make a right, and then another quick right.  Get to the ridge top and then follow on up.  Note the single track mid screen left.

Looking at most of the 20.67 acres from the cell tower.  The road in the middle looks like the easiest way but is not.  The hard right turn it makes to reach the property has a dry waterfall on it, not for the faint of heart.  The steepness and minor rock ledges could turn it into a slide for life if traction is lost.

Topo map of the area, Poleta mine center screen (grey rectangle).  If you need more detail I can email a file upon request.

BLM land use map, green = USFS, yellow = BLM, white = private lands and those which are owned by LADWP.

Recreational map - the opportunities that surround Bishop can engage you for years.

On the way out I spot new signage for the Adventure Trails program.  It's a nice option to be able to drive into town legally on an off highway vehicle for supplies provided it is during daylight hours, you are an adult, responsible, etc.  Many of these routes connect other Owens Valley communities, some people like it, others hate it.  But either way it doesn't seem to amount to much.

Please get a hold of me with any questions you may have.  I enjoy reading emails and providing needed information.  Time permitting, I am available to walk the property.

*Various internet cut and paste regarding the Poleta Mine.  Best information found here: 

 - by JH Dover - ‎1979

The Poleta mine (loc. 6), adjacent to the Black Canyon Roadless Area, is one of the oldest mines in the area and provided the mining excitement of 1881 (Chalfont, 1933) when it was patented. By 1896, ore was being processed by water driven arrastra. During the following 50 years, several people owned or operated the mine and mill and by 1938, a 12-ton per day ball mill with a 96 percent recovery rate had processed 4,000 tons of ore (Tucker and Sampson, 1938). The Poleta mine lay idle from 1941 to 1958, was in operation from 1958 to 1962, and is currently idle.

The Poleta mine lies on the southwest limb 
of an anticline that plunges steeply to 
the south. Country rook is thin-bedded 
limestone and phyllite. A quartz fissure 
vein, localized along a bedding plane, is 
located in the hanging wall of a zone of 
highly altered gouge that is up to 6 ft 
thick. The vein strikes northeast, dips 
20° to 50° NW, and ranges in thickness 
from 2 in. to 2.5 ft. Gold-bearing pyrite 
in the vein is altered to iron oxide 
pseudomorphs carrying free gold. The vein 
pinches out to the east and is truncated 
on the west by a highly brecciated fault 
zone that strikes northeast and dips 35° 
to 45° NW. (Bateman, 1956).

Mine workings consist of 15 shafts, four adits, and numerous prospect pits; most shafts and adits are caved or are less than 100 ft long. The main working consists of a 400-ft long adit with six levels and a 600-ft-deep winze. Bureau of Mines files show that about 5,000 oz of gold and 1000 oz of silver have been produced between 1892 and 1961.

Twenty-one chip and five grab samples were taken of quartz and shear zone: five chip samples of quartz assayed 0.066 to 1.10 oz per ton gold; two grab samples of quartz contained 0.124 to 0.616 oz gold per ton. Two chip samples and one grab sample of quartz contained 0.4 to 0.6 oz silver per ton. Five chip samples of quartz contained 0.07 to 0.51 percent lead. Potential for gold-silver-lead resources.

And more...

Polita Mine near Bishop was operated by H. W. Van Loon, of Bishop. Ore was treated in a 25-ton amalgamation and flotation plant.

This mine had gold, some free-milling, associated with pyrite and carbonate in narrow quartz vein in limestone. It was worked by a 400-foot adit and a 600-feet, inclined winze (Norman and Stewart, 1951, Table 4, No, 73, p.160)

The mine is in Cambrian Poleta formation, near a contact with the Cambrian Harkless formation (Bateman, 1965)

Mineral Survey 2065 for the Poleta Mine was conducted in 1881.

A former Ag-Au-Pb-Fe mine located in secs. 7 & 8, T7S, R34E, MDM, 4.0 km (2.5 miles) SSW of Dan Peak, N of Poleta Canyon, on National Forest land. Property consisted of 4 claims (1 patented). MRDS database stated accuracy for this location is 10 meters.

Mineralization is a vein deposit with a vein from a few inches to 2 feet thick, hosted in limestone. Local rocks include Cambrian marine rocks.  Gold, Quartz, and Limonite.

Poleta Mine, White Mountains — One of the oldest mines in the Bishop District. The mine was operated in the late '30s by H. A. Van Loon of Bishop but has been idle since 1941 (ostensibly because of the WW2 edict prohibiting precious metal mining). A segment of the vein exposed in the deeper part of the mine with a thickness of eight inches contained about $1500 a ton in gold (today's prices)

Poleta Post Office Ledger – Register of Money Order Advices Received, for the period of time commencing Apr 1, 1909 to about 1917. Poleta was located not far from the present site of Laws. It is 9 miles east of Bishop, and sometimes spelled Polita. Poleta was a small gold camp that was based nearly entirely on the Poleta mine, discovered in the 1880’s, but pretty dormant after 1920. This is a very rare ledger in very good condition with a few of the interior pages separating but the ledger cover and binding are all solid. The ledger details the money orders drawn at Poleta from about 1909 to 1917. Some pages are missing, and most are loose. Contains names of the people cashing the money orders, which was usually Mrs. O. Hampton.  Who may have been conducting a small mail order business.  The post office was active there from 1895-1923. [ref: Crawford, 1896; Frickstad] 

Production data are found in: Goodwin, Joseph Grant (1957); and, Tucker, W. Burling & Reid J. Sampson (1938).