Lake Basin

Lake Basin is an area with several stories of lost treasure and old mines. The area is riddled with natural sink holes and small caves which is probably the origin for most tales that are told of the area. With untrained eyes, a natural cave may look like an ancient mine to some.

The Foreman Mine
The Foreman mine is shown in "Faded Footprints" with the author George Thompson in the entry. That picture has always been intriguing to me and we finally took the time to locate it this past weekend. We discovered that the mine is really a natural cave that someone, more recently, has been excavating. There was no evidence of precious metals or minerals, other than calcite, that could make the mine worth while, but it was fun to explore.

Shane Coles in front of the entry.

This is the upper entrance. Both entrances appear natural and are consistent with the type of caves found in the same area.

This is looking at the platform just inside the entry.

Shane climbed down the wet and rotting wood ladder with the use of a rope to investigate the lower passage.

Stone Staircase Mine
In George A. Thompsons book "Faded Footprints" pg. 52 he related the following story.
"One of the many clues Caleb Rhoads let slip, perhaps purposely, about on e of the places where he found gold was that the trail to it passed between two knolls, one rocky and brush covered, the other bare of growth. That trail supposedly crossed a small creek and turned up a canyon which led off to the left just after those knolls were passed. No doubt other similar knolls might be found elsewhere in the mountains, but there is just such a place near the head of Blind Stream.
Several hikers have come upon an ancient looking mine shaft just beyond those two knolls, only to learn later that they were unable to return to it.
The shaft is said to be located in Lake Basin overlooking the South Fork of Rock Creek. It is deep, but no one knows exactly how deep, for many of the footholds cut into its vertical walls have sloughed off over the years, so that descending into it is a perilous pastime. One brave, or perhaps foolish, prospector recently told me that he had made his way down those crumbling stone steps while clinging to a rope he had tied to a tree which grew near the edge of the shaft. He descended nearly one hundred feet before he ran out of footholds, from which level a dropped stone disappeared in the black depths below, echoing as it bounced from side to side in that bottom less pit. So if you're up around the head of Blind Stream, be careful where you step; your next step could be your last one!"

Wish Pit
This pit has well formed walls and looks as if it could continue much further, but about 25 feet down it is filled with breakdown and usually some snow. We did not see any stone steps carved into the sides, so we will keep looking.

Someone could mistake this pit as an old mine shaft if they are unfamiliar with natural caves.
We did not have the time to drop this one, but we definitely will next time we are in the area.

Square Cut Tunnel
George Thompson relates the following story in his book "Faded Footprints" on pg. 52.
"An Abandoned logging road leads northward from the Blind Stream road just before it crosses the summit to drop steeply down into Rock Creek Canyon. Trees with treasure symbols carved into their bark mark an old foot trail which follows that ridge up country to where high cliffs tower above. A strange looking square-cut tunnel was driven into the face of that cliff a long time ago, while near the base of the cliff there is a shaft at least one hundred feet deep. Chad Hartman of Kamas Valley discovered a prospectors mortar and pestle close by those old diggings. He's not telling exactly where he found it because there were still pieces of high grade ore in that mortar. He wants to do a little more prospecting first, for that gold ore must have come from somewhere pretty close by."

Crack Mine
This cave could also looks like a mine with the log someone laid over the entry for exploration.

Despite the many holes in this area, I have never seen anything that leads me to believe that there was ever any Spanish mining done in Lake Basin. I believe this area has treasure stories because of the many holes you can find up there; and anytime there is a hole in the Uintahs....


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