Sugarloaf Mountain Audio Tour

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Rising out of Six Mile Canyon is Sugarloaf Mountain. Sugarloaf is an erosinal remnant formed approximately 12.9 million years ago.

In 1901, the Butters cyanide mill operated at its foothills. Dotting the landscape are mine waste rock dumps and tailing piles of some of the earlier underground mines and mills in Virginia City. Waste rock dumps are composed of large chucks of low-grade ore and/or barren rock discarded in the mining process. Mill tailings, which look like large piles of yellowish gray sand, are the residue of the silver and gold refining process.

The fine-textured, silvergreen carpet covering the hillsides and flats is Sagebrush Scrub. The silver color of the sagebrush, rabbitbrush, and other low shrubs reflects the sun, enabling these plants to withstand the desert heat.

The community takes its name from the Basin sagebrush, a member of the sunflower family. Are where short, dense dark green trees are dotted through the scrub are called Pinyon-Juniper Woodland; the needled trees are Pinyon Pine and the scale-leaved trees are species of Juniper.

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