Eagle Mountain, CA
In March of last year (2012), while my buddies and I were stationed in 29 Palms, CA for school, we got bored one Friday evening, so we planned out a day trip to head to Eagle Mountain Mine, sticking only to the trails. Eagle Mountain was an old mining town that was closed down, and just left there, so naturally, we had to investigate.
We all met up at the last gas station headed out that way, topped off the tanks, grab some trail munchies, and headed out. Drove through part of Joshua Tree National Park, which has some amazing views BTW.
Shortly before we made it to Eagle Mountain - at least what we could tell from Google Maps SatView and our GPS's, we needed a lunch break. (I'm leaning on the door)
After some chow, and another 30 minutes on the trail, we came to the gnarliest gate any of us have encountered - had pie slice shaped chunks of 1/4" steel welded to the face of it, pointed towards the trail, and would have likely skewered anyone trying to ram the gate, as well as a crazy "X" shaped spike strip embedded in the ground about 20' in front of the gate. So naturally, we took a minute to size up the situation and figure out how to get around it....
Ended up finding a road, so we started meandering down it, and by meandering I mean at ~45 mph, because we all had this weird feeling we were being watched. Little ways down, we came across this big 'ole bastard -
I could stand on the hood of the blue TJ and be eye level with the top strand of barbed wire.
Further on down we came across the actual mining town and support facilities. There were all kinds of warehouses with machinery out the ying yang, all neatly parked like someday, the workers would all return and just pick right up where they left off.
The actual town was the creepy part -
Had a blast that day, but after we crossed that rock berm, we all had the heeby jeebies the entire time we were there.
If I'm ever back there in 29 Palms, I'd head back in a heartbeat though, because there were all kinds of off shoot roads in that area, we only took the main one.