Sunflower/Sunnyside Mine Complex-
"The Sunflower Mine was discovered in 1911 by E.H. Bowman. Bowman intending to find gold instead discovered a rich vein of cinnabar. Cinnabar, an ore of mercury, was used in the amalgation of gold and was an essential part of gold mining. The mine was later purchased by the Sunflower Mining Company. A large processing facility was built onsite to break down the ore into mercury whereby it was shipped by wagon and eventually truck. The workings consist of impressively sized open cuts, tunnels and underground stoping. From 1913 to 1965, an estimated 3,973 flasks of mercury were produced and 2,140 pounds of copper. Also very notable was 764 ounces of gold and 1,095 ounces of silver."
Ever since GPSjoe discovered the "shortcut" route from the Morman Grove TH to access this historic piece of old Arizona mining history, I knew I would soon be going back for another visit. Not only is this hike (which goes in & out of the Mazatzal Wilderness Boundary) very
scenic, but now with this new, shorter way to access this most
interesting Sunflower & Sunnyside Mining Complex (with 11 different mine audits and
the complex mercury processing facility), this new GPSjoe hike description adds a whole new level of enjoyment for us hiking/history buffs!
Also, now with a majority of these 11 mine audits having been recently explored (YR'06-07) in a detailed pictorial(with captions) by the professional mining organization/website "ironminers.com" (see GPSjoe's 2/18/09 trip log for details), we can now visit these mines in person having previously viewed the complex undergrown structures via this website. Visiting in person all these different "mine audits" in the side of a hill takes on a whole different perspective after first having viewed the inner construction online.
For my return visit this day I found it necessary to download GPSjoe's posted GPS routes for all these mines, especially helpful in locating the two (lower & upper) Sunnyside Claim mines.. for which this "upper" Sunnyside mine you can claim as a real victory IF you are successful in finding it! It was a lot of fun trying to locate it which I was finally successful in doing by following the downloaded GPS route on my 30ft screen.
Today I located 9 of 11 total mine audits that GPSjoe has listed (Ref: GPSjoe's 2/22/09 pic set, pic maps #26 & #27). I somehow missed the two- lower & upper UNKNOWN MINES. A good reason for another visit!