Fluorite Ridge

January 29-30, 2022

Hooray! Josh and Carole were coming for a visit! Where, among all the fantastic destinations within 100 miles of Silver City, to take them? After considering the weather, travel time and the length of Winter days, we returned — once again! — to Fluorite Ridge.

hiking up an old jeep trail

As before, we camped in a prime spot just below the ridge and bushwhacked up to an old jeep trail at the top of the ridge. Photo by Carole B.

Gratten Mine

We searched for fluorite and checked out the very deep shaft at the Gratten Mine.

scrambling up the hill

Old topo maps show numerous mines and prospects in this range, but a bit of scrambling confirms that the entire ridge is riddled with holes from previous excavations.

me rockhounding

Carole takes great photos, so unusually there are many photos of Dennis and me from this trip. Here I am with handfuls of pink and green fluorite. Photo by Carole B.

very large prospect

We continued all the way to the end of the ridge, intrigued by what looked like a very large hole near the top of the rise.

view of Cooke's Range

Nearby was a fine view across Starvation Draw to the Cooke's Range. Photo by Carole B.

Just below this prospect was a very large adit for the Green Spar Mine, and Dennis' video begs for a little audio from Tennessee Ernie Ford.

Dennis and Jowh

Dennis and Josh.

group photo

A great "ussie" by Carole. Photo by Carole B.

trekking down a bad road

We still felt plenty energetic, so we decided to bushwhack back to camp, picking our way down the very very bad road, and then trekking cross-country via a series of vestigial trails. It was a fun, challenging hike, with no end of beautiful rocks to admire and covet. Photo by Carole B.


Our track.

campfire at dusk

Back in camp on a chilly night, Josh treated us to a roaring campfire.

campfire after dark

The perfect end to a perfect day.

almost at the top

And we nearly made it, but there was a crazy pitch and a lot of loose scree near the top. I made the mistake of turning around to see how far we'd come .... ay yay yay!!

What a fun weekend! Hope we can get Josh and Carole back again soon to check out some more southern New Mexico gems! Photo by Carole B.