Galena Canyon Talc Mining

Found up near the end of the dirt road in Galena Canyon of the southern Panamint Range, the White Eagle Talc mine is one of four mines that were operated by the Pfizer Pharmaceutical Company to produce talc. This is a soft white mineral that has been used to produce talcum powder, the material that has been used on babies and our feet for a long time now.

The White Eagle is the best preserved, and we can park our vehicles right at the base of the old ore chute, where we will notice white ore still awaiting shipment. This mine was opened around 1939, and is likely the oldest of the four. It is an easy six mile drive up the alluvial fan from the West Side Road in Death Valley, on roadbed that is mostly class-2 in difficulty. Several other primitive roads branch off up the hillsides to the other mines, but present greater driving challenges that we may not wish to experience. Of course, since the distances are short, they make nice hikes.

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