Rattlesnake Mine

Entrance to the Eureka Mine of the Rattlesnake Mine Group. Hillsboro Mining District

The Rattlesnake Mine, or simply Snake Mine, is located in the southwest portion of the Animas Hills near Hillsboro.  There are a number of tunnels and shafts at this location.  During the visit that Steve Elam and I made to the site (on March 12, 2015, when the photographs shown here were taken) we explored the Eureka Tunnel and a nearby shaft.  The video of our efforts can be viewed in "Mines of the Hillsboro Mining District - Volume One”.  A smaller sized version of this video is embedded below:


A number of claims are in this area.  As with most of the mines in this area, mineralization occurred in the veins which extend from the Copper Flat site.  The veins generally terminated at the major fault which runs down Warm Springs Canyon, crosses NM-152 about half way down the curves into town, and heads south crossing Percha Creek near the old mill site.

Rattlesnake Mine Map


The diagram of the mine (above) is from "The Geology and Ore Deposits of Sierra County, New Mexico" by George Townsend Harley, p. 152.  It shows the extensive working which went into many of the mines in this area.  Harley reports (ibid. p. 153) that $1,500,000 worth of ore was taken from the Rattlesnake Mine.  At page 156, Harley attempts to determine profitability of the workings:

snake mine costs


Inside the Eureka Mine of the Rattlesnake Mine Group. Hillsboro Mining District

Flooding was always a problem in the Hillsboro Mining District.  At the time of our visit the Eureka adit was flooded, at some point piping and hoses had been left, doubtlessly as part of a “dewatering” effort.  The ceiling of the tunnel was covered in wire “fencing” held in place by expansion bolts.

Area Adjacent to the Eureka Tunnel of the Rattlesnake Mine Group Hillsboro Mining District

Area Adjacent to the Eureka Tunnel of the Rattlesnake Mine Group Hillsboro Mining District

Buildings adjacent to first shaft "down the gulch" from the Eureka Tunnel. Rattlesnake Mine Hillsboro Mining District

First shaft "down the gulch" from the Eureka Tunnel. Rattlesnake Mine Hillsboro Mining District

Buildings adjacent to first shaft "down the gulch" from the Eureka Tunnel. Rattlesnake Mine Hillsboro Mining District

Buildings adjacent to first shaft "down the gulch" from the Eureka Tunnel. Rattlesnake Mine Hillsboro Mining District

Buildings adjacent to first shaft "down the gulch" from the Eureka Tunnel. Rattlesnake Mine Hillsboro Mining District

Lumber debris at first shaft "down the gulch" from the Eureka Tunnel. Rattlesnake Mine Hillsboro Mining District

Lumber debris at first shaft "down the gulch" from the Eureka Tunnel. Rattlesnake Mine Hillsboro Mining District


© Robert Barnes 2018