Techatticup Mine is a hidden gem that was spoken of by a fellow traveler one morning in camp. Having been looking for something historic and engaging to investigate while we were in the Boulder City area, this seemed like the perfect place so we booked a tour.
The moment I arrived I felt as though the modern world had just slipped away. The rustic appeal of old buildings and forgotten mining apparatus nestled within a beautiful desert landscape, drew my attention in all directions. It is easy to get lost in the wonder of it all. If it hadn’t been for the group forming outside of one of the buildings I probably would have missed my reservation time.
History of Techatticup Mine
Techatticup mine is located in the Eldorado Canyon in southern Clark County, Nevada. The name Techatticup was created from two Paiute Indian words “hungry” and “bread.” The canyon was named in 1857 by Captain George Alonzo Johnson, a local steamboat captain.
Johnson had come up river and made a deal to deliver supplies to the mines with his steamboats at the cost of $100 per ton. Johnson’s steamboats could only make the Eldorado Canyon landing between the months of May and October if they were to carry enough cargo to make it worth the trip. Starting in November the ore had to be transported by land to ships waiting in San Pedro. Otherwise they had to wait at the landing until the high water of May when the steamboats returned.
In the early years of Techatticup the nearest Sheriff was 200 miles away. As a result Techatticup was rife with crime and murder. It was the epitome of Wild West lawlessness. At one point in history, Lawmen were unwilling to even enter the Eldorado Canyon.
The mines in this area continued to produce ore until World War II. The Techatticup Mine was in operation from 1861 until 1945 and is one of the oldest, most profitable mines in Nevada. There is still gold in the Techatticup mine. However it would cost more than it is worth to extract it.
About the tour
I’m not going to give away too much about the tour because it really is worth seeing for yourself and I don’t want to spoil it for anyone. The tour costs $15.00 per person which I felt was a great price. It will last about 1 hour and 10 minutes. You should come prepared for a 1/4 mile walk round trip on gravel. This includes entrance into the actual mine. You will learn about the tools and methods that were used as well as the daily challenges that men and beasts of burden shared alike. This tour brought the Wild West alive in a way no other place I visited had. It is both entertaining and informative. You’ll also learn how they knew there was “gold in them there hills” based upon a certain type of igneous rock found in the area.
After the tour is over there is still a lot to see on the property. I spent at least an hour afterwards taking pictures and admiring the oddities. Techatticup Mine has been featured in the video game “Fallout: New Vegas” as well as the movie “3000 Miles to Graceland” starring Kurt Russel and Kevin Costner. There are even some old props from the movie still on the grounds for you to explore and enjoy.
How to book a tour
If you are in the area I recommend a visit to Eldorado Canyon Mine Tours. They may also suggest you venture down the road and take in the view of the Colorado River. I took them up on it and I spent the afternoon along the banks of the river. They are not kidding when they tell you it’s the best view of the Colorado River in Nevada. If you would like to visit the Techatticup Mine their number is (702) 291-0026. You should call ahead because reservations are required.