Virginia Claim

“Room foundations” used to perfect mining claims. near Virginia Claim

Geo Walk 1

Studying the geology of the Hillsboro area is a great excuse for taking a walk.  In this case, a short walk which parallels NM-152 east of Hillsboro.  Not only is this walk a wonderful example of the  cross-country options of this area, but it meanders through several geologic units.  In this case, the walk began at the crest of the hills east of Hillsboro and headed down slope to the windmill at the beginning of the Hillsboro Transfer Station Road.  The distance (one-way) is only 1.2 miles and the elevation drop is only 320 feet.  It is an easy amble across loss rock, so the typical precautions should be taken and typical “dangers” are present/possible (e.g. twisted ankles and rattlesnakes).

It is also a trip through time.  pЄg is Proterozoic (as in a billion years ago), Oep is Ordovician (485 - 443 million years ago), Kwsm is late Cretaceous (ca. 70 million years ago), Tsf is from the Miocene (ca. 20 million years ago), Tb is from the Pliocene (ca. 2.5 million years ago), Qca is from the late Pleistocene (150,000 years ago), and the other “Q’s” are from the Holocene (generally younger than 100,000 years old).  In more recent times, the “Virginia Claim” (see photograph below) exists near the beginning of the walk  (roughly beneath the arrow).  In addition to gold, Cerussite, Ilmenite, Vanadinite, and Wulfenite were found at that location.

Just north of the “Qca” indicator on the map, there are examples of the type of “improvements” that miners, from the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, made in this area to perfect their claim (photos above and below).  

During the colder months, walks in this area are about the geology.  As summer approaches more and more of the walks will be about biology.  Something for every season here.

Photographs shown here were taken on February 23, 2016.

Virginia Claim East of Hillsboro

“Room foundations” used to perfect mining claims, near Virginia Claim

© Robert Barnes 2018