Idaho Gold Claim For Sale

Merrimac Mining Claim

Mine Details

Commodity: Copper, Gold, Pyrite
Location: Idaho, USA
Terms: For Sale, Negotiable
Price: $22,000

Seller Website

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This is a 20 acre lode mining claim. There are two 30 foot adits on this claim.


Custer County, Idaho, USA.


The road up to the site is a good, gravel 2WD accessible road (Garden Creek Rd) until the turn off up the jeep trail that ascends part of the Merrimac Gulch. The road is very narrow with a sharp switchback that probably excludes pulling a trailer all the way to the mine entrance. We accessed the mine via ATV, although it wouldnt be difficult to run the entire road in a full size 4WD.. Parking was available about 30’ from the entrance to the mine. The area is surrounded by pine trees and Garden Creek runs through the lower area of the claim. Great for water and panning. The trip up to the claim follows a meandering stream valley. The narrow stream valley is flanked on both sides by mostly grassy and shrub-covered mountains. We located a small tailings pile that did not appear to accomodate for the size of the mine. Its possible that most of the diggings were shipped off site and some of the other tailings have washed down the creek. The topography is very steep, so the first flat place to stage equipment is on the road 30 feet below the mine entrances.

Gorgeous views and being in a sheltered canyon helps with winds and weather at this elevation.

Merrimac consists of two small adits separated by about a meter of hard rock. One adit measures about 47’ total, this includes the two small drifts near the entrance while the other adit is about 30? with no drifts. Both entrances are gated.


Host/wall rock: sandstone

Iron staining, also noted leadocrocite, geochite, and quartz


North of Sun Valley on highway on 93 west of the Salmon River a few miles is Bay Horse, a town that was almost a ghost town before it got started. Hopes for another gold mine to rival the mine at Leesburg faded quickly when only a small amount of gold was found. In the process, however, a rich vein of silver was discovered and Bay Horse had its start in the early 1870s. The most productive years were in the 80s and 90s. Operations continued until 1915 and then were shut down and the town abandoned. Today charcoal ovens that were used to make charcoal for the smelter and old buildings can be found along the dirt main street of Bay Horse.

Bay Horse got its start 1864 when a few small gold veins were found and a small camp began. Though there are several tales of how the settlement came by its name, the most popular is when area prospectors met a miner who had been digging between Clayton and Challis with the help of two bay horses. The man told the others that he had discovered rich mining opportunities up a steep canyon on the north side of the Salmon River. Because the other prospectors couldn’t remember the man’s name, they simply referred to him as the “man with the bay horses” and the name stuck.

Though prospectors continued to comb the area for the next several years, finding small amounts of gold, it wasn’t until 1872, that the Bay Horse area really began to attract numerous miners when three men by the names of W.A. Norton, Robert Beardsley and J.B. Hood discovered a rich vein of silver. Robert Beardsley and his brother soon started the Beardsley Mine which overlooked the mining camp. When a prospector named Tim Cooper found another rich silver vein, he started the Ramshorn Mine. Other mines soon followed and within months, men, machinery and cabins quickly flooded the area. The size of the mining camp increased again in 1877 when hard rock mining began for silver and lead. By the following year, the mine was operating on a large scale, with numerous tunnels spread throughout the area. A stamp mill and smelter were completed in 1880.

Bay Horse’s peak years were during the 1880’s and 1890’s, when the hillsides were dotted with cabins and the town included numerous saloons, boarding houses, assay offices, banks, a stone Wells Fargo building, a post office, six beehive kilns to make charcoal for the smelters, several ore and timber mills, and two cemeteries. The town’s population reached a high of about 300 residents.

The Ramshorn Mine remained productive until 1888, at which time other mines were also declining. By 1896, the beehive kilns were abandoned and in 1889 the town was struck by a fire which destroyed several buildings. Over the next decade more mines closed and people began to leave the area. By 1915, all mining operations had ceased and Bay Horse had become a ghost town.

In the next several decades, mining operations were revived periodically for short periods, the last time in 1968. Over the years, the Bay Horse Mining District was one of the longest running silver and lead producers in Idaho.