Trek Date: October 7, 2013
Ruth Camp is an interesting ghost town, located approximately 14 miles north of Trona in the Argus Mountain Range. There are a good number of fairly well-preserved buildings that I was able to poke around in, which date from the late 1930s. Most have been vandalized over the years and the contents pretty much trashed, but it was still fun checking them out.
The reason for Ruth Camp's existence was gold. The story begins back in 1899, when two men started operation of the Graham-Jones Mine. Their names were, yes, Graham and Jones. Fast forwarding to 1937, the mine was leased to the Burton brothers, who had the capital to expand operations at the mine and install a new mill. Things were booming for several years and the camp was growing into a small town. Unfortunately for the camp, all unessential mining during World War II was halted in 1942, and the folks at the mine found themselves without work. The camp died as the people moved away.
Today, the camp and the land it sits on belongs to the BLM, which is apparently a long story in itself. Under their ownership, two buildings have burned and the mill which once sat on the nearby hillside has been totally removed. But even with all that, Ruth Camp is still an amazingly cool place. I spent several hours wandering around the area, walking through the old buildings and taking lots of pictures. If you get a chance, I definitely recommend a visit while the buildings are still present and open to view. It's unfortunate, but spots like this have a history of disappearing totally from the map.