Harmony Borax Works

Death Valley, California

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This short hike on a loop trail leads to a nineteenth-century industrial site on the valley floor. The endless borax flats are an overwhelming sight. This desolate site was the scene of frenzied activity from 1883 to 1888, not in the pursuit of gold like so much of the other mining activity, but of borax. Used in ceramics and glass as well as soap and detergent, borax was readily available here in Death Valley. Borax prices were highly mercurial due to soaring supply and moderate demand in the nineteenth century, so the industry was plagued by sharp boom and bust cycles. Here at the Harmony Works, the years of prosperity were typically brief. For more information about the history of mining in Death Valley, visit the Borax Museum (free admission) at Furnace Creek Ranch.
Hiking Death Valley National Park

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Hiking Death Valley National Park

by Bill and Polly Cunningham (Falcon Guides)

This short hike on a loop trail leads to a nineteenth-century industrial site on the valley floor. The endless borax flats are an overwhelming sight. This desolate site was the scene of frenzied activity from 1883 to 1888, not in the pursuit of gold like so much of the other mining activity, but of borax. Used in ceramics and glass as well as soap and detergent, borax was readily available here in Death Valley.

Borax prices were highly mercurial due to soaring supply and moderate demand in the nineteenth century, so the industry was plagued by sharp boom and bust cycles. Here at the Harmony Works, the years of prosperity were typically brief. For more information about the history of mining in Death Valley, visit the Borax Museum (free admission) at Furnace Creek Ranch.

© 2017 Bill and Polly Cunningham/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Death Valley
Distance: 1
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Easy
Duration: Under 1 hour
Season: Best season: October through March
Local Contacts: Furnace Creek Visitor Center; (760) 786-3200; www.nps.gov/deva
Local Maps: NPS Death Valley Visitors Map; Trails Illustrated Death Valley National Park Map; USGS West of Furnace Creek-CA and Furnace Creek-CA
Driving Directions: Directions to Harmony Borax Works

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Apr 2018