Paranormal > The Paranormal & Ghost Society

Our Garnet Mining Monster Expedition At Moore Creek On 9/14/19


Our Garnet Mining Monster Expedition At Moore Creek On 9/14/19

The last time I came up to this area was about six years ago and we had an amazing Bigfoot expedition. But it had gotten to late so we never had gotten to mine for garnets even if we wanted to the mine sits high up on a peak in a very rugged area and its a journey that takes many hours to complete.

I am no stranger to the Salt Springs Reservoir area of California I had a Bigfoot close encounter about a couple miles from the reservoir in a canyon when I first moved up in this region. It has always made me wonder what it might be like to camp up here. Afterall due to us boasting a large paranormal site I privately take Bigfoot reports all the time and ya know what? A majority of them come from this area so I definitely could not wait to camp near here along a place known as Moore Creek.

Moore Creek sits below the Moore Mine, Mill and Garnet Hill which is not really a hill but a mountain more or less. The creek itself drains into the Mokelumne River which in turn if you follow to the east for a mile or two you will hit the Salt Springs Reservoir and Dam which are monolithic in size. This is considered the lower sierra elevations range from 3k to 6'600 feet. Its an unforgiving wilderness lots of creeks, water flowing, rugged terrain and a very massive canyon surrounded on both ends by large volcanic domes.

I always try to mix my expeditions with a little of everything ranging from history to nature and adventuring to monster hunting and even mining. This expedition would include a mix of garnet mining, hiking, fishing and some Bigfoot research in between. I remember I was camping seven miles further up into the canyon once when my dog went missing and it was almost dark. I found a massive 22 inch track then heard loud noises so with it getting dark I took the measurements hiked primitive for hours in the night while something would not stop following me it was not happy with me trying to track it earlier.

My goal was to hike back in the canyon along Moore Creek near where the river meets just below the dam. Kind of scary when you think about it the dam has cracks its suffered its fair share of wear and tear so if it ever were to break this canyon would fill up quick and we would be washed away. But camping in the canyon is beautiful and ill risk it anytime because its different then other places I been to in the sierras and unique all within itself.

This was just an overnight trip sometimes I camp longer but I just wanted to get in one last camp out before the cooler weather came in not that its not cold even in the month of August it can drop to freezing overnight but we always try to get in that one last campout before Fall hits no less. There are some really nice primitive spots along the creek, river and within the canyons forest you can pitch camp at. There are some jeep roads to that go up to the north and south if you do not want to be near the river so really its an adventure in the making.

Tammy and I would leave in the early morning hell it was still pitch dark and night time out. But we wanted to get our camp pitched just after sunrise so we had the rest of the day to hike, explore, do research and have a great time. This would be a special trip for me because it also was the first time my puppy Winston would go camping. He has never camped before this is new to him and I really think he enjoyed himself. For him this was an all new experience but a learning one because he is going to be spending many years in the future exploring with me.

To get to the bottom of the canyon you have to take a winding road the problem is a few roads are out and have been a couple years. California does not have the funding to fix these roads from storm damage so it was a bit tricky for me to get down to river level. I love California but its all going to shit it really is ranging from their bullshit gun laws to infrastructure. Also bare in mind its a free range here so yes their are herds of cattle on the roads, up on cliffs and at night they are hard to see because most are black. I stopped by a herd rolled down my window took a photo of a few cattle. One of the cows had gotten yancy and I said to it sh sh sh real quietly and she settled right down. Tammy is like what are you now the cow whisperer lol.

No less after miles traveling to get a couple thousand feet below we were not following the Mokelumne River eastbound where we would cross the river then go back up into the national forest a little ways to where we crossed Moore Creek then I pulled back into this spot along the creek itself where we would set up camp. Its a bit rugged back here not sure why people think they can take a car the road down to creek level had ruts and was steep if you bottom out here their really is very little in services no less we had arrived and the journey had begun.

Moore Creek & The Garnet Mine

The unique thing about Moore Creek is that a couple hundred feet downstream it comes out at the river so if you like to finish or just chill this is a gorgeous place. But also the fact is the creek serves as the border to two national forest the Eldorado and Stanislaus so technically camp was on the both of them. Behind our camp we had a woodsy hill it was so primitive forest everywhere, creek 25' away and even a massive fire pit which I had to rebuild but it was worthwhile so we could cook on it. I have not had any fires all summer camping to many politics again in Ca over having campfires and its becoming even more restrictive sad thing is its not campfires that are the issue. Its generally dry brush and lightening but this time around I could have one back here especially being so close to this tributary of beautiful rushing water it was tranquil.

Camp did not take long to set up we always do a nice camp with hammocks, chairs, outdoor games etc. Hell I even put my slippers by the fire pit myswell be comfortable I say. This was a primitive spot but nearby you could see garnet mountain through the trees. The creek was flowing quite well and the forest here is very unique. Many parts of the forest are strictly alpine in the sierras but not here. The forest here have many unique types of trees and foliage. We had this very unique old tree id say a couple hundred years in age right near our tent so it was really nice back here. The sun was starting to shine through the trees it gave off this very eerie glimmer it kind of looked a little hazy over the hill so I told Tammy we are definitely going to climb that hill and just explore wherever we wanted to explore no trails nothing but the great outdoors.

Before we would leave camp and after it was finished I looked up saw a massive hive above us. I was thankful the hive never fell but it was basketball sized and I did see bees swarming around it. That is not something I often see in the sierras then again the lower sierras differ then the upper ones. The lower is more jungle like, brush is thicker, nature is more prominent and the fauna differs. So your going to see more bees, insects etc as opposed to being at 8k or 10k etc. I was thankful that 50' above is the hive stayed secured but also that it was not a breezy day lol.

We had a few snacks then we gathered our backpacks for our hike to the top of Garnet Mountain. Talk about extremes we went from freezing temps that morning to probably a ninety degree day in a matter of hours. But now we were on a journey following Moore Creek to the south up in this woodsy canyon first though we had to cross it then ahead of us was a forested hill which would eventually take us to his old jeep road. The road is actually an old wagon road which leads up to two separate mines. First is the Moore then higher up is the Garnet Mines.

While in the forest we found this strange shrine made twigs, leaves, rocks and some long grass blades. There was a little walkway about a foot and half wide lined with small rocks for a few feet. At the end of the walkway was a small hole something was buried here but whatever it was is gone its just an empty hole now. The hole was covered a bit with leaves maybe someone buried a pet or animal here but it had to be small. A few inches from this hole surrounding it was two largest twigs which pointed towards one another forming a triangle pointing at this shrine made of twigs tied together with blades of grass. Tammy said it creeped her out but I have seen this a couple times while journeying and do believe this is some sort of Native American site. Therefore id lean towards saying that this is something cultural maybe someone lost a pet and buried them here honoring them with a small shrine.

Hell maybe bigfoot made it who knows I generally think of this creatures as just being similar to that of a long lost elusive tribe. Which would mean they have their own traditions, laws, language etc. While it may sound strange one has to wonder when you see something like this. I wanted to know the who, what and why but as of now I can only theorize or at least that moment in time. They are out here I get plenty of folks reporting sightings in this area and I have had my share of experiences to. So right now its just a mystery! Near the shrine I found a large track we thought it was strange the toes were real pudgy and almost squared off a little maybe a bigfoot track? You see some strange things up in this area so nothing surprises me these creatures live in this canyon or they would not be sighted over the years here just something we try to keep in mind while exploring near Salt Springs.

We were going primitive going under fallen trees, climbing a hill and would end up on the old mining road. The road is very rocky but as you ascend on it the foliage/trees become less and less. That is when you get views of Garnet Hill or the cliffs of it from the front side. You have to physically climb up through the canyon on this old road higher up into the canyon so you can arc to your left and get on the back side of the mountain where its less steep. Not saying you cant climb straight up but man some of them cliffs are steep or straight up so its very risky. The hike is nicer to ascend on but much of the old mining road lacks trees so we were feeling the burn of the sun as we kept going up this steep rocky road.

You keep skirting around Garnet Mountain its to the left up through the canyon. To the right you are kind of following Moore Creek camp was a mile below it just to give you an idea of where we were at. Its easy to miss but there is this road its a bit overgrown and as you take it the narrower it gets as you descend closer down to the creek. Really this is just a deep ravine so you have earthy cliffs to your left and cliffs to your right across the creek. Before you descend onto this very shadow mine road there is some steel cable across the entrance but its on the ground. This is the old Moore Mine Road and it only goes a couple hundred feet. The foliage is very dense back here because Moore Creek and the shade offer the opportunity for life to thrive back in here.

You cannot tell a mine was here well you kind of can if you know what to look for. Somewhere about a quarter mile away maybe a half above the creek which means the cliffs above the mine road or the cliffs across the way is the mill. It had to be a big mill because 40 tons a day of ore was processed here. Mining I guess begin in the 1860's mainly for its copper early on. But later during WWI Molybdenum  - Tungsten was mined here. Its hard to know if where we were standing was mining or along the sheer cliffs of the creek itself. I read that it was but you would not be able to tell anymore the canyon is full of lush trees some are not old so life is returning here and the creek continues to flow of course. Its flowing more because of the winter we had but I bet a few years ago the creek hardly even trickled this time of year so this was a bit abnormal. Their is this boulder at the end of the road that has some graffiti on it so its obvious people come down here to party but if you do be careful their are hazards such as cliffs, steep drop offs, sharp rocks etc.

I read about the mine having many surface workings as well as some underground openings. I have not idea of where they might be but I know that some are around 300' in depth. The main cross cut adit is 150 feet and several hundred feet up a steep slope south of Moore Creek. On the road is the south side of the creek but I have to assume since I seen no mine entrances they are higher up. You cant see over the 50' cliffs along the road they could be higher up in the woods. However, the road itself ends turning into a narrow trail which at that point you can descend down to the creek. I also read there is a quarry which is about 30 feet in depth and 40 feet wide. I think ill have to study more maps maybe some historical ones because I never found it but there is a chance I could return up here again.

What I did try to find is anything left behind of the mill and mine down at the bottom of the ravine where the creek flowed. With that being said I took the path down to the creek I did not like it though. The path gets a foot wide on this steep drop off if I fell I could have died. It was nearly a 50' straight drop off with no tree roots or even rocks to grab onto. Id slid down almost straight down hitting the rocks below. The path was covered in sand, small tiny rocks, an eroded earthy path and a few big rocks. Trust me sand or granules of small rock do not go together well on granite rock surfaces. I had to go slow balancing myself but when the loose granules of sand or quartz get stepped on it causes me to slide. I had to go slow if I slid or fell id have nothing to grab onto and id end up rolling right off the path and down to the bottom of the creek which spelled disaster.

I had it its not a huge section maybe 25' across but it seems much longer when your doing everything you can to make sure you make it across safely. That part alone was very draining because how do you walk down a path so narrow along a cliff and hope the edge does not crumble or your foot does not slid out from under you because of loose gravel your walking on which you feel rolling below the soles of your shoes. I did not like being on the edge like that one mistake and I am going to die. I take so many risk people who browse our website or my paranormal pages have no idea of what I go through to try to bring you guys a good story or to find the creature known as Bigfoot.

Once I made my way down to Moore Creek though it was gorgeous there were little falls, clear pools of water and I seen a cliff that looked like it had been strip mined so this area was part of the old mines here. I wanted to find old equipment, rusty remnants etc behind but that is not the type of mine this was. The creek was probably strip mined while tunnel hard rock mining went on above it somewhere. The property once had a jaw crusher, two rubber deck Dunham tables, herman type ball mill with sixteen mesh screens and some other sites of interest. I also read there was a flotation mill built nearby too. Its hard to know what still exist according to my notes the mill is somewhere above the creek in the woods but after climbing so far down into the ravine and still having to get to the top of Garnet Mountain I had to wrap it up. You could be spending hours to days looking around up here the canyon and mountains surrounding this creek are blanketed with thick dense forest so that may be a second trip someday where I can hike to mine for Garnets again and give it a second go at this.

I did spend sometime looking around the creek hopping rocks its so primitive down here. There is this island I climbed out to and down the side of these rocks dropping down. I found on the island climbing gear someone probably climbed the cliffs of Moore Creek down to the bottom leaving behind their ropes just sitting in a pile. I did not find anything else though up here I read the mill, jaw crusher, mesh tables etc still stand but there is so little info online. I may have to study maps a little more see if I see it from satellite then can mark it with a GPS and climb high above the creek without falling to my death to see if I can find this. I think it would be a cool little find and I plan on camping at other places near Moore Creek we found even along the creek on this jeep road we were following on foot.

Problem is with the jeep road is eventually a tree blocks the way and some huge rocks that came down off of Garnet Peak. So you can only go about a half mile in the other mile or half mile to the Moore Mine you have to hike which is not an issue but its rugged. Tammy and I had very little shade as we left the Moore Mine area and this ravine climbing out of it then continuing to go south along the side of this mountain so we could get to the top then on the back side to go mine for garnets. We still had quite a ways to go the Moore Mine and Garnet Mines are two separate places in two separate areas but at least the Moore Mine area comes first so we checked it out.

It was pretty quiet on our hike a few times I thought I heard something but nobody was there. I have no idea if we were alone up here a family came hiking down the road with a cart they probably were garnet mining to. I see two jeeps parked along this road so people do try to get close enough to the peak so they can mine for the garnets and yes you can mine here for free. We always wanted to mine for garnets so we finally were getting to do it and we tried to do it last time years ago but ran out of daylight. You have to go up here during the day or you wont be able to find the rock face to mine up here. Besides this is a volcanic dome its huge, forested and a decent hike to the top. We were roasted my puppy was exhausted any chance he could he would sit in the shade lay down on the trail.

Eventually we went under a few trees and a quarter of a mile the road veers left now your on the back side of the dome but not nearly at the top yet. When you keep ascending to the top you come out in this flat area just before the peak and it splits three different ways to the left leads to the summit or the top where there are the garnet pit mines which is more like a small quarry. To the right trail is actually some marked scenic trail its not on any of my maps and its very overgrown. Then the main road or center road you take dead ends before a small cliff with a few outcroppings of granite and quartz rocks. Its very overgrown so a bit hard to find but I could see gem stones in the rock so I knew this had to be it.

I took out my pick axe so glad I could set it down I been hiking around with it for hours. Tammy had a shovel with her poor girl had also hiked around with it for hours. Its extra weight and allot of work to haul our gear in here just to mine. But I begin to mine a short time after the dogs were resting and we were breaking apart hard rock to find garnets. The ore is heavy to and we had to place it all in our packs on top of our gear so this was allot of work plus it was over 90 out. Its the lower sierras so temps are hotter then lets say being at 11k as we were only at 4k. Lucky for us we had some shade as we worked digging holes and me hitting the rock. You have to pry pieces of rock away from the granite but the rock is hard so sometimes hitting it sends shockwave's through my hands its pretty painful.But a few times I found cracks and was able to pry away smaller pieces of ore which contains beautiful red garnets it was awesome.

Of course we had no idea but a guy was up in the woods at another rocky outcropping mining too. I could here him chiseling the rock when he yelled out to me because he nearly lost a boulder and almost hit us. He was mining just above us could kind of see him.Him and I talked here and there nice guy and he asked me if I heard about the mine and mill up here. I said yeah and he was like I have not been able to find it but would love to explore it. Here I was looking for it a couple hours prior so I told him what I knew about it. So now I know something is up here because he said to me did you know there is an actual tunnel you can explore and mill. I already knew but I humored him a little to he said he has not been able to find it. He mined here for an hour and I only stayed about an hour because I wanted to try other places to mine up here rather then areas then been overly mined.

I forgot my good gloves so I was wearing cheaper gloves well it did not matter it ended up hurting me. Blood was soaking through the gloves from skin being rubbed right off the palms of my hands swinging the pick axe. But no less we found some nice garnets some were pieces of ore the size of my fist full of them. We dug some holes and found some nice pieces too and there is not just garnets but other cool rocks you can find and minerals here so we got a nice amount to put in our packs.

We also had a small dinner up here while breaking. It was a nice cozy little spot we mined at keep in mine we were a couple miles up into this place so we still had to get back to camp and it was getting later and later so we could not stay to long. I got here later then I wanted but their was the Moore Mine detour down near the bottom of the ravine then we breaked allot because it was hot on the hike so we stayed here an hour. I could have found more but I told Tammy we need to get to the summit above where we were mining for a few scenic photos plus there is two mines up here one at the summit one just below it.

We packed up which was good my hands were bleeding then went back down this mine road and instead took this road to the left which climbs around the mine and up on top to this flat area. I like the summit here there is these pits they been mined plenty but we did find a few nice garnets here. The ground makeup is softer here so you can use a little hand shovel or even your hands as the ground crumbles and you will find some nice rocks in that earth to sift through. There was some big boulders full of gems but the rocks up here are hard its volcanic granite hardest rock on earth not even a drill would bust that up or my pick axe so its a bit of a tease when you see huge rocks full of gems that you cant even break off or get to.

Most folks do not know it but today they call it just the Garnet Mine but during WWI it was called the W-Au-Cu-Mo mine. I guess in 1896 their was a journal that talked about the garnet and epidot crystals. People would go up here to hike and mine a century ago not much has changed. I mean I seen a family hiking down earlier who mined then this other guy mining then of course us. Hell as a matter in fact some guy showed up with a little boy who was mining the pits at the summit next to me who came later. So its a bustling little place if your willing to hike to the summit most folks do not want to carry hammers, chisels and gear up here just to mine for rocks. These rocks have more sentimental value then anything else really.

Mining only lasted a short time here in the 1950's hell your grandma might own some jewelry or garnets that came from this mine who knows just food for thought. The early part of the mine came from the pits at the summit. The pits are about fifty feet wide and about 12' in depth maybe 25' from the plateau of the summit/dome. We wanted to mine the earlier section but man this place has been exhausted the cliffs of the pit were crumbling and mined the hell out of. I believe they are of tungsten which this stuff breaks apart just touching it so be careful because I had tons of rock just falling off touching it looking for gems. I did not find much in the pits but the dad with the son told me the area I was mining he once found a two foot piece full of garnets so they do exist but you have to put in the effort and honestly the place is being mined so much that the good stuff is long gone.

Tammy and I left our packs we went above this 12' cliff or the pits climbed around them to the top of the dome/peak. Its all flat up here but you can look down into the canyon and you can somewhat see Salt Springs Reservoir through the trees two miles to the east over the ridge. We set up the tripod took a few photos of us to mark our feat for reaching the top. I sat down my phone armour case and lost it strangely it vanished not sure what happened but I thought that was odd. The summit is very small up here only about 100' wide and very flat. Their is not many places to lose anything but somehow that vanished its alright I still had my phone but I sat the clip to the case down and pow gone right after I took a few photos with my phone because I was going to upload them later to facebook which I could not get a signal for. The sun was starting to set so we soon had to pack it up make our descent.

The descent at sunset was fast we made good time plus it was cooler out but we were really tired and sore. I mean we hiked, climbed, mined, carried in gear and we were just ready to go back to camp to relax. I cant say much strange happened on this trek a few times we thought we heard whispering but nobody was around and a couple times we heard branches break real crisp but nothing was there. I believe that these creatures are up here silently watching and waiting. While we may not have seen one up here that does not mean they are not there. I mean I found a massive track once in this region and had something follow me for miles one of my most terrifying experiences ever when doing bigfoot research.

We eventually made it near camp Tammy and I actually went primitive again cut through the forest and ended up near the strange shrine. It was almost dark out believe it or not so we made some perfect timing from our exploration. We found some areas off the jeep road that go out to Moore Creek perfect to get my truck back to maybe set up a camp so that I am closer next time to these mines. So eventually if any of you want to mine for garnets let me know lets do it will mine again, look for bigfoot and find that long lost hidden mill. I got some good projects problem is nobody ever wants to work with me everyone out there would rather join some paranormal group who sits around takes photos of dust. This is not that sort of place you have to earn your badges here its allot of work believe me.

But we came out near camp the creek crosses this road so you have to get your feet wet a little but its all good. I was glad to get back to camp to have dinner, light our lanterns and get a nice fire going. You could see the cliffs of the canyon through the trees we were down at the very bottom. This is a very remote area and we were at the bottom of the canyon so it gets dark up here early. We had a beautiful bonfire though and sat around eating. I had a beer and the dogs were so beat they turned in for the night early in the tent lol. It was nice to have a fire and despite it being the lower sierras it gets very cold up here in this canyon even on a summers night. We eventually snuffed out the fire, lanterns etc set up the night vision cams then went into the tent to play some Yahtzee that was a ton of fun great way to finish off our long day and unwind.

The next morning we got up we went fishing all you do is hike a couple hundred feet along Moore Creek and it pours right out into the Mokelumne River. We found a nice little private sandy beach along the river that we could enjoy and go some fishing. I did not catch anything I never have luck fishing in this river but I put the poles in played with my dogs and explored some sites for future camping trips. I found this cool spot right on the river I can back my truck into and camp sometime. I could literally fish from my tent so ill have to come back even if the fishing sucks here the river is gorgeous especially in this part of the canyon. Its shallow enough to you can go for a swim or go out in the middle only a few feet deep but over a 100' across. My dogs also went for a swim they needed it both dogs stunk from hiking and rolling around in dirt up at Garnet Peak.

After we were done fishing we walked back to our camp only a couple hundred feet from the river so a few minute journey. I made this stir fry with broccoli and carrots along with some really yummy marinated tri-tip steaks the good stuff to. I cooked all of it over an open fire because I left the grill at home but whatever it came out really good. I am fairly resourceful when it comes to being outdoors really was hoping to cook trout on the grill but the fishing was not that great below the dam which made me more excited to get down to the reservoir later on.

After lunch we sort of packed some camping gear up then we grabbed our packs set off for hiking along Moore Creek all primitive no trails. We went about a half mile along the creek climbing fallen trees, crawling under brush etc found some pretty places along the creek. But it was not friendly terrain our hope was to find something strange maybe a track or some bigfoot evidence. Its easy to get turned around up here so that is why we followed the creek but when it became impossible to follow it any further from this side let alone cross it we cut right up this hill and steep rocky outcrop pushing through thick brush.

We came out to this really beautiful old grove of trees one of the great wonders about going primitive is your going to find some old trees untouched by fires or man. We found a couple trees on our hike that may have been lone giant sequoias hundreds of years old. Most of those trees are long gone with the exception of a couple small groves in California. But on occasion I have found such trees hidden in the middle of the forest. The area we explored nobody has been back to probably in years. We found some bear or mountain lion skat also back here so definitely some nature. We also found some berries and weird growths on some of the trees.

Eventually we cut through the forest we were a couple miles in and I found a small overgrown path. Quite a few large trees had fallen across it so we had to climb them but the path had gotten better with time and took us out onto this dirt road which if you take east it follows the river and eventually takes us back to our campsite where it crosses Moore Creek. So we went a couple miles looping through the forest starting at the creek to end up back at the creek so a really great primitive hike. I was a bit upset though along this path seeing all the litter water bottles, toilet paper etc People just don't care nowadays they camp just to dirty up these places if that is the case you should just stay home.

These places are pristine and pure they are meant to be enjoyed not treated like its your dumping grounds so I was really pissed off about this. I also found another large tree back here it would take at least six maybe seven people holding hands to cover the circumference of it so the trees are quiet old and been here even before the first miners of the gold rush came back here seeking out gold along the Mokelumne River. This is a really ancient area well preserved untouched by man minus the mining that took place. Prior to that the Native Americans lived, hunted and gathered along this river. More or less for thousands of years they have inhabited this canyon so just exploring this ancient forest is truly amazing.

We had to pack up camp though the day was going fast which did not take long. By the time we were done you could not even tell we were there. The nice thing about being near the creek is we could totally put out our fire with no issue. I brought a bucket so after putting water on the fire pit then shoveling some dirt in there the pit was cold which is what most folks should do but they don't which is why the forestry is being so strict about fires the past few years. People come up from the big city and they just lack that respect for places like this not thinking about how carelessness could lead to the place being caught on fire.

We hit the road drove along the river its a two mile run and right before you get to the dam you can see on each side of the canyon Calaveras and Hammer Domes. People come from all over the world to climb them with ropes and gear. Its a really nice journey up to the reservoir their is a few areas I stopped just to get out and look around. I found this one area you can park and hike down to this waterfall and their is even a couple areas you can camp with these deep pools of water crystal clear blue. Someone put stumps down for seats and built a nice fire pit out of rock. I also found an area that you can pull up near the river and there is an area where the river widens creating a cove right here. In the distance I could see Garnet Mountain also across from the river and was like hell yeah I stood on that dome. Its massive so it overshadows the entire area even from here.

If you get to the end of the road you will see the dam there is also a few outbuildings an old abandoned  creepy white house with broken windows and a newer house beyond a gate. This is for PG&E employees probably the caretaker and staff who are in charge of maintaining the dam. There is an old powerhouse below the dam also its pretty amazing you wont see buildings like this anymore they were all built decades ago. Eventually you will climb high above the powerhouse on a narrow road with cliffs and you can park up near the top of the dam. Just on the other side is Salt Springs Reservoir. I stood at the very bottom of the lake when it ran dry but the dammed off the river to form it within the canyon so really its just a very narrow manmade lake. It was dammed off in 1931 and is over 300 feet across so its very massive. Their are huge electrical towers everywhere, power lines etc.

Also if you pay attention their are conduits and flumes in this canyon that branch off from the reservoir and dam. Its a bit odd to see a concrete canal or flume up on the side of a mountain. I remember when I first drove in I cross this area with one of them but also when I stood up at the top of Garnet Peak across the canyon I seen one. Water here is diverted all over the place some of it reaches Tiger Creek while some reaches Bear River. The dams and power houses can be seen further downstream along the Mokelumne River but it all starts around Salt Springs then continues to work its way down. I was looking forward to doing some fishing so I parked at the dam itself there was some pretty flowers growing so before we got our things I busted out the camera. It was quite muddy and wet up here then again we just had a storm  that is in addition to the winter storm a ranger told me about that was hours away so we had enough time to fish then we had to hightail it out of there.

Their is a trail it starts at the top of the dam then you descend and can follow it along the north shore. Tammy and I decided to just veer to our right cutting right down to the water. We wanted to fish close to the dam I hear some great fishing reports that come from here. Their are at least seven to eight fish species that are found up here including a cousin of the great northern pike so I was excited. We got a few small bites but we did not catch anything their was these little tiny silver fish that kept stealing the bait. I just put it way out there let my line sit and enjoyed the views. At sunset its really pretty up here pink and purple skies with rocky peaks that look orange. We did not have much time maybe an hour to an hour and half of fishing before it was almost dark completely out.

I was hoping to hear some vocalizations I thought I heard something from far away then again the night before I thought I did too. I have over the years heard quite a few tales of vocalizations people have witnesses. Right around sunset is when you hear them and its quite common believe it or not. I cant say for sure it was not humans but that evening we were about the only folks up here. Their are a few primitive campgrounds all were empty we had the entire dam, lake and river to ourselves. We were alone deep in this canyon almost at nightfall.

I almost hiked the length of the entire reservoir years ago and I remember having a UFO experience not far from here. It was a blue/white UFO so there are other things besides bigfoot going on up here. We were not having much luck fishing then again it depends on the bait you use to I was using these awesome green colored night crawlers and red worms. We had a nice little meal down by the water while fishing but it was getting dark and we had a 16 mile journey to not only leave the dam behind our backs but to climb out of this canyon in the dark which is a really eerie drive at night to do besides the fact their are many roads that go to nowhere so you could get literally turned around if your not paying attention so we packed it up and decided to head for home. The drive was quiet, eerie and it was nearly a full moon that we could see through the trees. Tammy said it looked like the sun coming up but we did not see the moon till we nearly climbed out the canyon which is how we knew we were almost out.

It was a really nice trip ya know when I was fishing I did run back to the truck its a pain because you have to rock climb over 150' on super steep rocks and terrain. But when I went to the truck I thought I heard something and I felt watched from the woods on the steep mountain side where the domes are located. I just think this whole area is strange it has such an eerie feeling to it maybe because its such an overgrown canyon. When I was driving out of here we passed that white house I stopped again to get a photo of the hold white house in the dark with my truck lights shining on it. Its just this old abandoned house in the woods below the dam. The newer home beyond it had some lights and vehicles parked out front so somebody is staying up here but man if I stayed here id be investigating that old house any day of the week lol. I am sure some of the PG&E folks who maintain the dam, stay on this property etc have some spooky tales to share and maybe by posting this on our site will get in some reports or hear some stories who knows!

On the way home I picked up a burger then we came home watched Fear The Walking Dead. I was exhausted from my camping trip. Its a really pretty area I do want to camp here again in the future. I have camped further down stream but never so close to Salt Springs. When I camped to the west I hiked miles in the canyon and seen a fire near Salt Springs being put out with these massive buckets carried by helicopters that would dip them in the reservoir then carry them to the fire to help put it out. So the reservoir is not just used for hydroelectricity or fishing but also as a source to fight fires in the area. Lets hope that their are none anytime soon because I did find some really old trees then been here for centuries it would be a huge loss to lose them.

All in all this was a great trip like I say its little things that add up their are some strange things. Sometimes when you seen a track, find a shoe or ripped clothing, hear some vocalizations etc it all starts to add up that maybe something strange is happening up here. People have vanished up here without a trace which is a bit eerie to think about but I know bigfoot roams this canyon and they come out right before nightfall not far from this reservoir. I read a report that took place not far from here about a group of hunters that was sleeping when something big came through their camp screaming knocking over their ice chest. They said that when it ran by you could hear it but it also had so much force that it caused their truck to shake. Strange things happen up here and I noticed reading a sign they have a bear problem so people just need to stop feeding the bears and make sure if your going to camp in this canyon that you lock your food on up don't feed the bears or they never will go away!

I did not see it but their also is a quarry below the dam you can primitive camp really you can camp just about anywhere in this canyon. I wanted to camp where the river and Moore Creek meet just below garnet mountain so I could mine for garnets, try to find the old Moore Mill, do bigfoot research, fish a little and end the trip up at the reservoir. All in all it was a great trip and I look forward to working with this location more. Winston did a great job for his first camping trip never once did I put him on a leash and keep in mind folks he was at the time five months old but super intelligent dog and he is turning into quite a worthy member of our bigfoot team. Here it is almost mid October and my hands still have scars from swinging that pick axe man that granite is hard woooo but we came home with nice really beautiful gemstones and garnets. I really want to go back for more it was a blast!

Like I said not to much with bigfoot evidence although I did set up night cams around camp I noticed that they were set off yet nothing was there very strange. I did at one time thought I heard something behind our camp at night who knows maybe something was getting yancy with us camping along this creek since its probably bigfoot's drinking hole. Id like to see and experience more here its an area we have to work with again. I have to find out why so many sightings and experiences happen here. Maybe its attributed to the fact that water is so abundant you have multiple creeks flowing in the river right in this very area which sits on the border of two lush national forest which sits between two mountainous passes so the location is prime real estate for these types of cryptids.

Their was quite a bit of nature up here its overall a gorgeous canyon and yes I stood up above it many years ago too on a primitive hike where we found a massive track above it as well so these creatures are up here we just have to continue our research in the right direction! I only seen one deer on this trip kind of strange could not get a photo of it but it was near our camp. I did see this red bubbly type of plant growing that I never seen before. Every time I think I have seen all the wildlife their is to see up in the high sierras I always find new nature. Hell I seen this wild potato growing so who knows maybe their is enough natural vegetation and even wildlife to support an omnivore such as Sasquatch in this canyon. It really was a fantastic camping trip really epic and while I can tell everyone about it id prefer some of you just joined our team and become a part of team so you do not miss out on good stuff like this!

Lord Rick
PGS Founder

PS This report is a rough draft but not a final one and is subject to renditions once it reaches our site and the case gets added to the website!


[0] Message Index

Go to full version