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Groom Lake and Papoose Lake

Groom Lake with Papoose Lake noticeable at the higher right

Groom Lake is a salt flat in Nevada used for runways of the Nellis Bombing Range Test Site airport (KXTA) on the north of the Area 51 USAF military installation. The lake at 4,409 ft (1,344 m)[1] elevation is approximately 3.7 miles (6.0 km) from north to south and 3 miles (4.8 km) from east to west at its widest point.[2] Located within the namesake Groom Lake Valley portion of the Tonopah Basin, the lake is 25 mi (40 km) south of Rachel, Nevada.[2]


Lead and silver were discovered in the southern part of the Groom Range in 1864,[3] and the English Groome Lead Mines Limited company financed the Conception Mines in the 1870s, giving the district its name (nearby mines included Maria, Willow and White Lake). Also, the historical town of Rosswell was located here until evacuation of the US Military.[4] The interests in Groom were acquired by J. B. Osborne and partners and patented in 1876, and his son acquired the interests in the 1890s.[4] Claims were incorporated as two 1916 companies with mining continuing until 1918 and resuming after World War II until the early 1950s.[4]


  1. "Query Form For The United States And Its Territories". U.S. Board on Geographic Names. Retrieved 2010-11-09. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 DREAMLAND: Fifty Years of Secret Flight Testing in Nevada By Peter W. Merlin
  3. Mineral resources of the Pahranagat Range 30' by 60' quadrangle, Joseph V. Tingley, Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology, University of Nevada, Reno, 1989, retrieved 11 June 2010
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 A Guide to the Records of The Groom Mining District Collection No. 99-19, Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center, University of Nevada, Reno

Coordinates: 37°16′N 115°48′W / 37.267°N 115.8°W / 37.267; -115.8

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