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Lost Ranch Mine Trail, AZ

no permit
182 221 1
Guide 221 Triplogs  1 Topic
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Phoenix > South Mtn
3.3 of 5 by 16
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Difficulty 3.5 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance One Way 1.6 miles
Trailhead Elevation 1,360 feet
Elevation Gain 1,070 feet
Accumulated Gain 1,140 feet
Avg Time One Way 1+ hours
Kokopelli Seeds 5.4
Backpack No
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
Inaugural Calculation on Button Tap!
6  2019-07-06
Lost Ranch Mine - Holbert Loop
2  2019-02-28
Pyramid wash-National-Lost Ranch Mine loop
3  2019-02-28
Pyramid wash-National-Lost Ranch Mine loop
7  2019-01-27
Lost Mine - South Mountain
1  2018-03-14
Night Goat
7  2018-03-11
Lost Camp Loop
8  2017-10-28
Gila-National-Lost Ranch SOMO Loop
2  2017-08-31
Lost Ranch Mine-National-Pyramid loop
Page 1,  2,  3,  4,  5,  6
Author DarthStiller
author avatar Guides 15
Routes 230
Photos 6,011
Trips 434 map ( 3,778 miles )
Age 50 Male Gender
Location Mesa, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Nov, Dec, Mar, Apr → 7 AM
Seasons   Late Autumn to Late Spring
Sun  6:16am - 6:27pm
Official Route
13 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Meteorology Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
short but steep
by DarthStiller

Data updated to reflect the specific one-way segment and name changed from "Mine Drop Trail". The beginning of the trail appears to be 0.6mi up the Pyramid Trail. Description below is from the Chandler/19th Ave trailhead.

Of all the new trails in the southwest area of South Mountain Park, the Mine Drop Trail is easily the steepest and most challenging trail, whether you're ascending or descending. This trail connects the lower end of the Valley Trail to the National Trail while passing by a not-so-abandoned mine shaft.

Start at the end of Chandler Blvd. where the road barricade is. As of Feb. 2011, parking spaces have been striped in along the end of the road there as parking for hikers. A section of trail is visible just beyond the barricade heading west. This trail will head west for a few hundred yards and then turn north and east. A shortcut is to head north on 19th Ave., intersecting Chandler Blvd. at the dead end. From the end of that short road, you drop down into a wash and through makeshift party area, complete with empty containers and an abandoned couch under a mesquite tree. Make your way past this mess and up out of the wash heading north to the trail. Once on the trail, head east. Pink "hairy" survey markers mark the trail in some spots, such as junctions, but the trail is well built and easy to follow.

At the first junction, head to your right. If you head east you will end up on the Gila View West Trail and on the ridgeline immediately in front of you on your left. Taking the trail to the right will swing you around the eastern edge of the ridge and towards the Valley Trail. Take the Valley Trail (in the lower portion of a wash) until you see a cairned junction to head up and out of the wash. This trail junction will be just past the junction of two washes and the trail you take will be like taking the right part of a fork of two trails, similar to the one at the beginning. Once you're out of the wash, the wash heading north towards South Mt. should be to your right. If it's to your left, you turned too soon. Go back and get up on the west side of the wash.

This junction is the beginning of the Ruins Trail. Once out of the wash, you'll be heading north towards the ruin and South Mt. This area is fairly level but with a gradual climb. About halfway to the ruins, you will encounter the junction of the Mine Drop Trail.

At this point, take the trail to your right to start on the Mine Drop Trail. This trail continues on a gradual climb until the mine, where there is another junction for a spur that will take you to the mine shaft. This mine shaft is horizontal and cut straight into the mountain. The entrance is a little tight, but once you're in, the mine shaft is walkable although you'll have to crouch a bit depending on how tall you are. On our first visit, I walked 50'+ in and make the first corner to the right. Looking further with my headlamp on, the mineshaft appeared to go several more hundred feet, certainly past where any daylight could reach. Not knowing what to expect in an abandoned mine, it seemed wise to not press much further.

There are also other remnants in this area of mining activity. Further to the south are more abandoned and eroded roads and walkways that look like they might have served as a staging area.

Right past the mine, the trail begins to switchback and ascend very quickly. To the west/southwest you can see the ruins, the Ruins Trail ascending on the west wall of the side canyon, and the valley below which the Valley Trail is in. As you ascend through the switchbacks and your views alternate from this and the views to the south and east, the Estrellas and Superstitions will become more visible with each pass. The general direction of the trail is to the NW during this switchback section.

Once you get past this, the trail cuts right to the NE and straightens out. However, it doesn't get any less steep here, making the rest of the ascent almost brutal. The trail finally levels out a little as it junctions with the Lost Mine Trail, which also ascends the mountain a little further east. This junction is somewhat faint and not marked very well. In fact, the most prominent markings here are sticks and rocks that block your way to the Lost Mine Trail, as if a sign to stay off that segment. The Lost Mine Trail description is covered in the Lost Camp Loop description, which is basically a Ruins Trail/Lost Mine Trail lasso loop from the trailhead.

From this junction the trail flattens out a little more until it junctions with the National Trail, giving way views to downtown Phoenix as you approach the ridge. This last section has a lot of abandoned vertical mine shafts that are visible from the trail. Some are several yards off the trail, making for a bit of adventure exploring if you're so inclined. From the top of this trail, you can go back the way you came, or take the Ruins or Lost Mine Trails back down for quickest access to where you started your ascent.

This trail is very clear of heavy vegetation, not being overgrown at all, like most of South Mt. Palo verdes, barrel cactus and teddy bear chollas seem to be the most common. Saguaros, strangely, are almost completely absent.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

Leave No Trace and +Add a Triplog after your hike to support this local community.

2011-03-16 DarthStiller

    One-Way Notice
    This hike is listed as One-Way.

    When hiking several trails on a single "hike", log it with a generic name that describes the hike. Then link the trails traveled, check out the example.
    WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

    Most recent of 47 deeper Triplog Reviews
    Lost Ranch Mine Trail
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    Night Goat
    A really nice evening for a hike. The breeze was nearly constant, air quality crystal clear, and I didn't have to climb Guadalupe Ridge! :y: The summit of Goat must have just reached into the jetstream because the wind on the top was over 30mph and resulted in a quick retreat back down to national. Probably saw 25 non-giant centipedes on the trail. Not sure what that was all about. I also got bored and took some side trips that added up to an extra half mile. :)
    Lost Ranch Mine Trail
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Nice hike with my daughter. We started just as the clouds were clearing out, and ran into @johnlp before we headed up the Lost Ranch Mine trail. Chatted for a moment, then headed uphill. When we topped out at National, we went up to 2494 immediately to our left and took a snack break. After that, we headed down Lost Mine to finish out our loop. When we got home, my daughter jumped into the pool, clothes and all, to cool off.
    Lost Ranch Mine Trail
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Maricopa Peak from Pyramid TH
    Started from my house and walked over to the Pyramid trailhead, headed up Lost Ranch Mine to National. East on National to Goat Hill, then down Ranger. West on Bajada to Alta, then up the eastern ridge to Maricopa Peak. Down the west side of Alta, then the boring west of of National to the saddle where I got on Gila, and took that west back to where it met up with Pyramid. Lots of people out today, including several people who felt compelled to ask me if I knew where where I was going, which warranted nothing more than an eye roll and a 'Yep' from me. Felt pretty warm at the finish.
    Lost Ranch Mine Trail
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Hot, no shade, no breeze, hot. Went up the Ruins trail, it's been eroded in some places by the recent rains, but nothing terrible. East on National, then down Lost Ranch Mine. I prefer Lost Mine, but Lost Ranch Mine is a little easier on the knees, although I think it's rockier, so really probably a draw. Lots of fallen barrel cactus all along the loop. Only saw one other hiker, near the big mines.
    Lost Ranch Mine Trail
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Went up Lost Ranch Ruins, and came down Lost Ranch Mine. We only saw two people once we were away from the trailhead. Warm, without much of a breeze. Saw two Speckled rattlers at the bottom of Lost Ranch Mine, the second of which was probably the fattest Speckled I think I've ever seen. Also saw a Gopher snake off Pyramid near the trailhead.
    Lost Ranch Mine Trail
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Lost Ranch Mine-National-Pyramid loop
    Typical weekday hike. Went up Lost Ranch Mine, which I haven't hiked up in a while. I noticed a mine about fifty feet off the trail about halfway up that I had never noticed before, (how many times have I walked past it before???) so I spent a few minutes looking at it, then continued on my way. Headed east on National, but skipped Goat Hill today, then down Pyramid. I saw a few people on Pyramid, but that was it. Cool temps, with a nice breeze the entire way.
    Lost Ranch Mine Trail
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Great morning with the cool temps and clouds, I wished I'd had time for a longer hike. Went up the Ruins trail, then down Mine Drop. Lots of people out today, chatted with a few of them. The lot was about half full when I finished, and about half of those cars had either out of state or Canadian plates.
    Lost Ranch Mine Trail
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Took my kids up to the mines at sunset so they could watch the bats. We started about 30 minutes too early--we got to the mine at 6:00, and 6:30 would have been fine. The kids didn't mind, they just played until the bats started flying around. We spent almost 30 minutes watching them, then headed back to the car. Nice full moon gave us plenty of light for the walk back.
    Lost Ranch Mine Trail
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Lost Ranch Mine-National-Pyramid loop
    Schoolday hike, but started a little later than usual since I wasn't sure I'd actually be hiking today. Went up Lost Ranch Mine, and was accompanied by a couple of bees most of the way who seemed to like my perfume, finally lost them near the top. Headed east on National, where I ran across a guy who suggested that Goat Hill might be too steep for me. I went ahead and did Goat Hill anyway, survived that, then continued east and down Pyramid. It was sunny when I started, but cloudy by the time I finished. Quite a few people on Pyramid today.
    Lost Ranch Mine Trail
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Bursera-National-Lost Ranch Mine loop
    Two sick kids = limited hiking options for me. Once they were settled this afternoon, I headed out for a quick hike. Started from the Pyramid trailhead a little after 3:15, and headed up Bursera. With the high clouds, I was hoping for a good sunset this evening. At National, I headed east, making a couple of little side trips to look at some mines. I startled several javelinas, but the glare of the sun prevented any good pics of them, so that was a waste of ten minutes of picture taking.

    Sure enough, very nice sunset tonight, and I took plenty of pics as I was walking. I had originally planned to loop around and come down Pyramid, but my delays for the pictures, and knowing I had a rib-eye waiting for me at home, made me decide to head down Lost Ranch Mine. Turned the headlamp on about halfway down, but the moonlight probably would have been sufficient. Stopped at the two larger mines and watched the bats fly in & out of both of them, and took some video of them for my kids to watch. Heard a lot of coyotes today, but never saw any. Finished up a few minutes before 7:00.

    Permit $$

    Map Drive
    Paved - Car Okay

    To hike
    From I-10 going S exit on 202/Pecos Road. Go W on Pecos Road for about 9 miles and turn right on 17th Avenue. Turn left on to Chandler Boulevard and go to end of road and park where road is closed off at 19th Avenue.
    page created by DarthStiller on Mar 16 2011 10:44 pm
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