Last Chance Canyon, Dutch Cleanser Mine and Goler Gulch

We led a small group of friends on one of our favorite runs in the Last Chance Canyon area.  We usually run this route “backwards”, starting in Goler Gulch which begins just off Charlie Road above Garlock, about 3 miles west of I395.

Making our way up Sand Gulch and through “The Narrows”, is a fairly easy 4×4 route but we like to stop at a short (about 200 yards) extra-credit offshoot (located here: ). It’s a small ledge followed by a fairly rocky section. It’s mildly difficult, not appropriate for stock vehicles and is the most difficult 4×4 section of the day, harder than even the hardest spots in Last Chance Canyon which we would be hitting at the end of the day.

4x4 in Goler Gulch
Entrance to the Extra Credit section

From there we cut across Mormon Flat and headed over to Holland Camp, then went down to EP11 following it over to Burro Schmidt Tunnel where we stopped for lunch.  The road between Holland Camp is mostly in good condition, but depending on which route you choose, you may run into a couple of steep hills. Of course, that’s the way we always go!

the steep hills not far from Mormon Flat
Mormon Flat -Photo by Pucker Peggy


From Burro Schmidt Tunnel we headed down the hill over toward Bickel Camp then around the mountain to Bonanza Gulch to check out the old Bonanza Gulch Post Office .

Sign in front of the Bonanza Gulch Post Office Building
Information Sign for the Bonanza Gulch Post Office
Photo of the Bonanza Gulch Post Office Building
Bonanza Gulch Post Office Building

We then made our way over to the Old Dutch Cleanser mine – an amazing spot overlooking Last Chance Canyon. The huge tunnels that honeycomb the mountain are amazing.  We brought Jumpin Jill with us on this run and it was her first time here so she had to jump.

Jumpin Jill jumping at the Old Dutch Cleanser Mine
Jumpin Jill at Dutch Cleanser Mine

We spent a while exploring the mine and made it all the way to the bottom where there is a connecting tunnel that runs the length of the mine, at least 1/2 mile long.

Tunnels at the opening of the Old Dutch Cleanser Mine
Entrance to the Old Dutch Cleanser Mine


The connecting tunnel at the bottom of the Old Dutch Cleanser Mine
At the bottom connecting tunnel inside the mine


Mannequin inside the Old Dutch Cleanser Mine
You never know what you’ll find at the bottom of a mine


From the old Dutch Cleanser mine we made our way past the Holly Ash mine but didn’t stop because it’s fenced off, and not as large or as interesting as the Old Dutch Cleanser mine and continued down into Last Chance Canyon for the 4 mile drive back down to Redrock Randsburg Road.  The road is mostly flat and fairly well maintained but there are several rough and rocky spots that would be a serious challenge for a stock 4×4 vehicle or inexperienced driver – and of course then there is Graduation Hill. And yes, Graduation Hill IS as steep as it looks in the photos.  We’ve been down it half-a-dozen times and it still makes us stop and think about it before we head down!

The Notarubicon making it's way down Graduation Hill
The NotARubicon coming down Graduation Hill


Pucker Peggy coming down Graduation Hill in her Jeep
Pucker Peggy on Graduation Hill


This is how steep Graduation Hill in Last Chance Canyon is
Fred coming down Graduation Hill


After the knee-shaking stopped after Graduation Hill, there were just a few more rough areas to make it through, but for what we think was the first time ever, we finished the day before dark and got to enjoy the beautiful sunset while airing back up.

Our off-road group for the day
The whole gang
Pucker Peggy, Jumpin Jill, Fred, and Mrs NotARubicon
Pucker Peggy, Jumpin Jill, Fred, and Mrs NotARubicon

5 thoughts on “Last Chance Canyon, Dutch Cleanser Mine and Goler Gulch

  1. Dennis Clark says:

    Great pictures, thanks for sharing.

  2. Peggy Marty says:

    Always a great day exploring with The NotaRubicon. Thank you for putting this run together. Having Jumpin Jill with us was an added bonus. Never a dull moment! LOL

  3. Explore Historic California says:

    Very nice photos!

    The “Dutch Cleanser Mine” in your photos is misidentified. It’s the Holly Ash Mine / Calsilco Mine at the north end of Last Chance Canyon. The actual Dutch Cleanser Mine is further south down in the canyon, near an area called Cudahay Camp on most maps. The raw product mined at both locations (seismotite or volcanic ash) is the same, but the operating companies are different.

  4. Kenny says:

    Do you have the GPS coordinates for Graduation Hill?

    1. Randy says:

      We dont have the exact coordinates to Graduation Hill but we plan to do a full trail review of Last Chance Canyon in the next few months, and we will highlight Graduation Hill and include the exact coordinates.


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: