Techatticup Mine: Short on Distance, Big on History

A few (ok several) weeks ago, the family and I took a short day trip to the Techatticup mining town in Eldorado Canyon. Located a mere 45 min away from Las Vegas, the Techatticup Mine offers a glimpse into Southern Nevada’s history that most tourists never get to see during their visit.

Eldorado Canyon was originally inhabited by Native Americans and Spanish explorers. When ore was found in 1861, prospectors flooded the area and the Techatticup Mine was formed. Named after the Paiute words meaning, “I’m hungry”, Techatticup was the richest gold producer in Southern Nevada. Millions of dollars in ore were mined in its twelve tunnels until it was finally abandoned after WWII. Now the perfect place to visit away from the city, Techatticup offers  mine tours, scenic hiking, horseback riding, and canoeing on the nearby Colorado River*.

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For the first part of our trip, we decided to drive the 11 miles through the canyon to the end of Nevada Route 165. Be sure to look out the right side of your vehicle once you pass Techatticup…there is a deep wash with unusually shaped rock formations that you will definitely want to stop and get a picture of. I’m sad I didn’t. Why? Because those “unusually shaped” formations look like erect penises…all different sizes lined up in a row. Nothing brings the 13-year-old out of your car’s passengers like seeing a bunch of cock rocks out the window. Anyhoo, the road ends at an overlook with a roundabout. It is the perfect place to get out, stretch your legs, and take in the views of the Colorado River below. We saw another family that had walked down the hill a bit to have a picnic. We’re going to try that on our next visit. After our sightseeing, we took the route out of the canyon and headed towards our original destination, Techatticup.

For anyone just wandering the area, Techatticup boasts many restored buildings, piles of old equipment, and an obscene amount of  rusted out vehicles. On one side of the street stands a general store. Inside you will find a bathroom (key information here, people), various memorabilia from the area, and an old bar. This is also where the owners hang out. On my next trip, I plan on spending more time in there and talking with them. They look like a colorful group and with the old ice cream shop bar taking up most of their lounging space, it’s quite the spot to get an interesting photo. As is the front porch. In fact, you’ll see while roaming the property that the whole place gives you the opportunity for many interesting photos, which is why it has become an almost Mecca for the local Las Vegas photographer – amateur and professional. You’ll find yourself trying to stay out of people’s photo sessions as you roam around, which can get a little annoying at times. I imagine the middle of the week would be a little more deserted, if you’re able to go at that time. If you’re not a photographer and are just there to take in the sights, then mid-day would also be a good time to go. Most professional photographers won’t be shooting in that sunlight.

In all, it makes an excellent place to go if you are looking for a short road trip with great views. I do, however, recommend cutting your time short if you have little ones or leaving them home all together. The husband and I could have spent many more hours there exploring and taking photos, but the kids grew tired of it quickly. The gummy bears and cookies on the way home boosted Mini Me’s cranky mood. Little Man (13) was on the cusp of finding it interesting, plus he’s a better sport than the other two. He even let Mike stick him in an old bird cage.
Mike and I plan on returning sans kids – there are many more buildings that need exploring and a mine tour isn’t something we get to do every day.

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Directions:
From Las Vegas take U.S. 93/95 toward Boulder City. Near Railroad Pass, head south on U.S. 95 and drive 10 miles to the junction with Nevada Route 165. Turn Left onto 165 and follow this road into the canyon.

*For more information, visit eldoradocanyonminetours.com

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2 thoughts on “Techatticup Mine: Short on Distance, Big on History

  1. Amanda,
    Great post, and great pics. And everyone who missed this one will cry suddenly in unison, as it’s like that, and as Le Clown said so.
    Le Clown

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