Garlock, California: Burro Bill's Tunnel To Nowhere

Starting in 1902, Prospector Bill "Burro" Schmidt spent 36 years digging a half-mile-long tunnel through a desert hill for no apparent reason -- but there's a nice view at the far end. Bring a flashlight, extra batteries, plenty of water, and a spare tire.
Burro Schmidt Tunnel Rd, Garlock, CA
Turnoff to the tunnel is on the east side of Hwy 14, north of Red Rock Canyon State Park. It's about 14 miles north of the intersection of Redrock-Randsburg Rd, or about 7.5 miles south of the intersection of Hwy 178. A small wood sign marks the turn heading north; no such luck heading south. From the turnoff, drive east on a bumpy dirt road for about 6.5 miles, then turn left for the last three miles to the tunnel. Be careful of washouts.
RA Rates:
Worth a Detour
Save to My Sights

Visitor Tips and News About Burro Bill's Tunnel To Nowhere

Reports and tips from visitors and Roadside America mobile tipsters. Some tips may not be verified. Submit your own tip.

Burro Schmidt's Tunnel

Toni passed away a couple of years ago and efforts have been made to preserve the site, but vandals have been at work. Be sure to take a GPS, water, map from BLM...roads are tricky...4-wheel drive is recommended in these mountains. Try not to take heavy vehicles or trailers.

[Cynthia, 08/11/2007]
Burro Schmidt's Tunnel

Burro Schmidt's Tunnel is a tunnel that was dug through the El Paso Mountains in the Mojave Desert of Southern California. Originally Mr. Schmidt planned to use the tunnel as a way of getting ore from his mine to the railroad depot at Garlock, but he continued to dig the tunnel, completely using hand tools, even after his mines played out.

The tunnel is now owned by a lady known simply as "Toni" who will tell the story of the tunnel and allow a person to walk through it for a small donation. She even gives a lantern to use on the journey! The tunnel is nearly a mile long and offers a nice constant cool temperature on a hot summers day!

[Geoff Schroder, 02/10/2002]

Nearby Offbeat Places

Hillbilly Statue and Fake Ghost TownHillbilly Statue and Fake Ghost Town, Inyokern, CA - 10 mi.
Living Ghost TownLiving Ghost Town, Randsburg, CA - 13 mi.
Uniroyal GalUniroyal Gal, Pearsonville, CA - 27 mi.
In the region:
Hubcap Capital of the World, Pearsonville, CA - 27 mi.

Latest Tips Across Roadside America

Catch up on the latest discoveries from the road.

Explore Thousands of Oddball Tourist Attractions!

Unique destinations in the US and Canada are our special obsession. Start here.
Use's Attraction Maps to plan your next road trip.

March 28, 2015

My Sights

Create and Save Your Own Crazy Road Trip!

Try My Sights

Roadside America app
Roadside Presidents app

California Latest Tips and Stories

Latest Visitor Tips

Sight of the Week

Sight of the Week

Vicksburg National Military Park, Vicksburg, Mississippi (Mar 23-29, 2015)

SotW Archive

USA and Canada Tips and Stories

Latest Visitor Tips

Sightings. Arrives without warning. Leaves no burn marks. A free newsletter from Subscribe now! Hotel & Motel Finder

Special online rates for hotels & motels.

Nearby Hotels and Motels, Garlock, California

Nightly rates found:

Book Online Now