If you like to explore the wilderness areas of Utah, you know there is lots of great places to discover. Canyons to mountain tops, Utah has it all. One thing you may want to keep an eye out for is old Spanish Gold mines.
Before the pioneers came to Utah, the Spanish were mining gold out of the mountains.
There are hundreds of old mines scattered throughout the state. Most of the entrances are hidden or have caved in and are not easy to find. Some have been purposefully closed because of the danger of cave-ins.
The Spanish miners would leave markings on trees and rocks to locate the entrances. These markings were purposefully confusing, as they didn’t want anyone to find it except them. Sometimes an arrow or a line pointed away from the actual entrance. There were also false signs to carefully lead people miles away from the place where the mine was.
One sign, however, almost always means you have found a gold or silver mine. If you see a turtle carved into a tree or rock, the entrance is near. Search around, just make sure you don’t fall in it. A lot of the entrances go straight down at first. As you can imagine, mines that old are not structurally sound.
A few years ago some Spanish coins from the 13th and 15th centuries were found in Glen Canyon recreation area. It wasn’t a hoard, but it did indicate the Spanish had come through there. This ignited treasure hunters to search for lost gold in the area.
Just remember if you go out searching, look for the turtle carving.