Eagle Mountain, California, is located not far from Lake Tahoe, a veritable modern ghost town that is still popular amongst tourists for its surrounding skiing trails. Though visitors can no longer visit the town, which has been abandoned since its only sources of income shut down, many still wander into the area to peer through the fenced perimeter and cross country ski. In fact, x-country skiing crosscountry has been one of the mainstays of this unusual modern attraction. Though not heavily visited during the summer, it still breathes life when tourists choose to have a more haunting adventure.
Eagle Mountain was started by Henry Kaiser, an iron baron in 1948. He built a productive mine there, once the property of the Southern Pacific Railroad, just alongside the popular Joshua Tree National Park. In fact, the services that he provided to the town's people and local area were innovative in its time. In time the population grew to about four thousand people.
Streets were lined with many four bedroom houses, hundreds of trailer spots and a few dormitories/boarding houses. He also built his workers a park, shopping center, swimming pool, tennis courts, baseball diamond and an auditorium. Other business followed, including gas stations, churches, schools and a bowling alley. By the late 1940's, the mine would become the biggest iron producer in California's south. Even a railroad was built to transport the ore and steel that was made in his steel mill to other parts of the state. However, as the 1970's loomed, environmental concerns reduced the production capacity allowed and the mine and its town slowly died of economic strife by 1981. However, it was not until 1983 that the final high school graduates of Eagle Mountain would pass into history. A quick resurgence occurred in the mid-1980's with the conversion of the shopping center into a prison, but despite all the best efforts of many people, with jobs no longer available as the prison was closed, the last days of the town were in 2006. Now gated and fenced, the town ceases to be open to the public.
Despite the end to a once thriving community, people still go there to ski and enjoy the beauty of the area. However, until the town and its mining facilities are bought, it remains silent to tourists.