top of page
Lost Rhoades Gold Header.jpg

Rattlesnake Canyon Mine

Where there is gold, there are stories of lost mines. I've heard two or three which concern a lost gold mine in Rattlesnake Canyon - a canyon which runs west into the Green River from the southern tip of the Hill Creek Extension.

Rattlesnake Canyon is not, in itself, upon the reservation but the old miner's cabin may well be. The old mine is said to be located somewhere on the northern slope of the canyon just over the hill from the cabin and the boundary line runs center between the mine and the cabin.

According to my young Indian friend, his grandfather once pointed the old cabin out to him while they were in the area tending to their cattle. He told the story of how the Indians ambushed and killed the old miner and buried his gold under the cabin floor.

Ferno and I went looking for that gold sometime in the fall of 1977. The trip from Price, Utah and back again took 24 hours, and we were driving and searching almost constantly, with no sleep at all. It was the most desolate stretch of road I've ever encountered. There were numerous forks in the road and none were marked, so we were forced to feel our way through the mountain like blind men. I remember that it was pure hell; we were half dead by the time we reached the site and near dead by the time we returned home.

We never did find the old cabin, or the gold mine, and never quite felt like going back. Today the details are a bit foggy after all these years, but it seems to me that there was a "Sunrise Dugway" and a "Sunset Dugway" near the vicinity of the old cabin. We were to park at a cattleguard at one of these dugways (at Sunrise Dugway, I believe) and search a small draw running north. The cabin, and the gold buried in its floor, was located within 200 yards of the road in this draw surrounded by a thick grove of young quakenasp trees. From the cabin, the old trail leading to the mine went south over a low rise to the head of Rattlesnake Canyon and turned west on a gentle slope along the north slope of the canyon to the place of the mine.

Then there is the story of the cowboy from Thompson, Utah who, while herding cattle from the Hill Creek Extension and back to his ranch one late fall, discovered what appeared to be the rusted springs of an old cot sticking out of the slope at the head of Rattlesnake Canyon. He left the trail and rode over to investigate and while pulling at the half-buried springs uncovered a small opening which appeared to be the entrance of an old mine tunnel. He supposed that the old mine, the cot springs and whatever else may have been inside the mine was probably covered by the Indians for a purpose and therefore left it pretty much as he had found it.--Lost Gold of the Uintah, pg. 177

bottom of page