Because the intial plan was for astronomy later, I poked around Alltrails and looked for shortish trails I could take during the day, hopefully short enough that I wouldn't get too worn out to want to head out again, after dark.
Golden Bee showed to be about five miles round trip, which is pretty managable, even if I did some short wildflower walks earlier. Yet, in real life, the five miles still made me tired enough and took long enough that, by the time I finished and got into Yucca Valley, I was not entirely disappointed when the clouds moved in and made astronomy impossible.
Alltrails has the hike as starting from the Cholla Patch parking area. Figured I'd park there, on the assumption there'd probably be portapotties and what not there. There were no portapotties, but there were a lot of cars. Despite the congestion, when I got there (early afternoon), there were plenty of parking spaces vacant, despite the many cars parked along the road outside of the parking area.
From the parking area, you're supposed to walk east along the road about 1/2 mile before turning to the south. So even though I could have "cut the corner," I figured I'd follow the path as shown on the app, at least on the way out.
As I started up the actual hill, the "Mined Closed" sign was there, indicating to me both that I was on the right path and that even if I was inclined to enter the mines (which I'm not!), I shouldn't, on account of white nose disease.
Evidence of past mining became more frequent as I climbed, although some "ruins" were just completely collapsed wooden structures. Scattered cans, barrels, cables, and other errata were also visible.
At a place where the ravine split, the app indicated I should go to the left. More climbing and more significant structures were revealed. Not sure if there would also have been things to the right.
There are certainly larger and more expansive mine ruins elsewhere in the park, but this one promised to be emptier, despite the crowded start. The mine is not part of the "official" hikes listed in park publications, and there's no signage regarding it at the start. And, indeed, I passed only one person returning as I walked towards the mine, and passed none on my return. This, despite the overflowing parking lot at the Cholla patch.
Somewhere upon reaching "the end," I checked my app, and it said I had walked just under 2 1/2 miles. Unfortunately, because of the crowded parking lot, I felt rushed to get into my car, then get my car out of the lot. So, as is frequently the case, in my haste, I forgot to shut off the app recording. As a result, I don't have an actual measured distance for the total hike, and the recording has a good distance of me driving towards Yucca Valley.
I did cut the corner a little bit near the end, because I could obviously see the parking area and knew I did not need to walk the longer route to get back to my car. So probably only about 4.5 miles total walking for me. Probably another 1/4 mile if I had returned the way I went.
There were scattered wildflowers along the way, especially in the washes. Nothing "superbloom" in density, but lots of individual specimens. I took quite a lot with my dslr, but the Snapbridge app kept crashing on my phone, so I couldn't transfer those flower shots from my dslr to my phone for processing. So my post here is just cell phone shots, that were just resized smaller for posting.
I posted this hike over a week ago on my personal facebook page, noting that I didn't know what was mined here. A friend informed me that it was gold, which makes sense, given the name. The other part of the name was also relevant: He said the water tank was, "back then," infested by bees. Not surprising, because bees in the desert are always looking for water. Hence, Golden Bee.
He also told me the bees were killed by the addition of cyanide to the water. Of course, once he told me it was a gold mine, I had already considered the question of, "I wonder the the soil here is contaminated by cyanide?" I'm not a chemist or a miner, but I do know that cyanide is used to leach gold apart from crushed ore that comes from a mine.
Since this is not an "official" trail, it's not as easy to follow as those "real" trails. But, with the app, it was an easy hike, though with some steeper areas up gravelly slopes near the end, and some uneven parts as you enter and exit the many washes you cross along the way. Without the app, just heading in the general direction, you could likely find the evidence or road cuts to take you to the mine. But the app definitely makes it easier.