The Wall Street Mill is the finest example of a gold processing mill still standing in Joshua Tree National Park. The two-stamp mill was erected on the outskirts of the scenic Wonderland of Rocks and continues to be accessible to visitors by an easy hiking trail.
A Brief History of the Wall Street Mill
In 1928, Oran Booth and Earl McInnes filed a mining claim to a popular cattle watering hole in Joshua Tree, California. The pair named the site “Wall Street” and built a cabin. While the pair left the site for other opportunities, the name stuck.
The Great Depression saw an influx of prospectors to Joshua Tree. Bill Keys, a well established rancher-miners, recognized the demand for a gold mill in the area and filed a milling claim on the site on July 1, 1930. Keys completed Booth and McInnes bunk house, built an outhouse, and assembled the Wall Street Mill from parts scavenged from nearby mines and mill sites, including a 12-horsepower gasoline engine from 1891. Small time miners would bring their ore to be processed by Keys for a fee. The mill continued operation as needed into 1966.
Due to the mill’s local technological and mechanical significance, The Wall Street Mill is entered into the National Register of Historic Sites in 1975. The mill remains an impressively complete late nineteenth century gold mill.
Visiting the Wall Street Mill
The Wall Street Mill is located within the bounds of Joshua Tree National Park. Visiting the mill requires an easy 2.2-mile round trip hike along a relatively flat, dirt path. The whole trip should take 1 hour, though it depends on how much time is spent taking in the views. This is the desert, so be sure to travel with water, wear good hiking shoes, and keep an eye out for snakes and other potentially dangerous animals.
Along the hike to Wall Street Mill, pause to explore the ruins of Wonderland Ranch. The pink walls are easily spotted to your left as you travel to the Wall Street Mill.