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Quarry your own tombstone and save.
Overview: First off, there is nothing exciting about this hike, unless you are interested in geology. It is basically just a short road hike to a cluster of small, abandoned marble quarries on the north slope of the Dragoon Mountains. Drive in as far as you like on Forest Road 689, park, and hike. These marble quarries, while not as interesting as the historic Arizona Marble Company quarry near Fort Bowie, are at least on public land.
History: In 1909 marble was discovered in a canyon on the north slope of the Dragoon Mountains, just a few miles from the town of Dragoon. The claim, situated atop a slice of metamorphosed Mississippian Escabrosa Limestone, did not produce until 1953. Small scale mining by Ligier-Arizona Marble Quarries, Inc, and its successor, Dragoon Marble Quarries, continued as late as 1981, mostly producing marble for landscaping purposes.
Hike: From whatever point you decide to park along Forest Road 689, continue south up the road on foot. The road leaves the mountain pediment and climbs into a canyon of sotol and chaparral, where the first quarry, appearing as a small white pit, is located. The road becomes rougher after passing some sort of loading structure, and makes a switchback to the left. Continue north from the switchback to the main quarry area. There are several pits here, where sparkling snow white and pale grey marble was removed from the earth. From this area, one can look down across the grassy plains of Dragoon Pass to the rocks of Texas Canyon in the distance. Return the same way.
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