Champion Spark Plug Mine

Way up on the side of a mountain, near Bishop, CA, is a former mine and mining camp.

The Champion Spark Plug mine operated from about 1920 to 1942. They mined a rare mineral, known as Andalusite.

Andalusite enabled Champion to make modern spark plugs and have a huge share of worldwide sales.

The mining camp has been lovingly restored by volunteers, starting with the Frasers around 1970, then by Steve McIndoo, amongst many others.

Most camp users know to leave it better than they found it. Due to it’s remote location, vandalism and “stupid people” are quite rare.

First-come, first served for the 5 restored cabins, with wood burning stoves.

I’m not going to tell you how to get there, but it’s not hard to figure out the location, with a little Googling. Choosing the exact route is a bit tricky, after two huge flash floods in recent years, washing out the trail in several places. Also, 4WD vehicles can no longer get as close as they used to.

Also, you may need to bring your own water, late in the year, or during extended dry spells.

Have fun, be safe, carry water, and be sure to let someone know when and where to look for you, should you run into trouble!

About AlphaRoaming

Random outdoor roaming: hiking, cycling, camping, backpacking & plotting more of the above Grew up on the edges of the Adirondack mountains of New York, just a bit west of Vermont. Now living in Silicon Valley and venturing out when and where I can!
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1 Response to Champion Spark Plug Mine

  1. Jim Preston says:

    Thanks for the post! It seems like a fun place to visit. I’ve visited 47 old gold / silver mining towns since we moved to CO a couple of years ago. There are a lot more townsites but they are boring. The 47 are the only ones left with significant structures. Of course Aspen and Durango are famous. There is a Jamestown and a Downieville in CO also.

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