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Pomona Mine Trail #116, AZ

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Guide 5 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Tucson > Sierra Vista
4 of 5 by 2
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Difficulty 4.5 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance One Way 1.6 miles
Trailhead Elevation 5,531 feet
Elevation Gain 1,600 feet
Accumulated Gain 1,613 feet
Avg Time One Way 2
Kokopelli Seeds 6.98
Interest Historic
Backpack No
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
Inaugural Calculation on Button Tap!
4  2019-04-23 markthurman53
25  2019-04-23
Brown Canyon Pomona Mine
27  2018-07-21 RedRoxx44
30  2012-06-29
Brown Canyon Trail #115
2  2008-09-14 mcolson6
Author markthurman53
author avatar Guides 75
Routes 475
Photos 5,651
Trips 400 map ( 3,956 miles )
Age 66 Male Gender
Location Tucson, Arizona
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Dec, Jan, Feb, Mar → Early
Seasons   Late Autumn to Late Spring
Sun  6:10am - 6:17pm
Official Route
1 Alternative
Named place Nearby
Steep climb to an old mine
by markthurman53

This is a very strenuous hike up to by Pomono Mine that has been operating off and on between 1918 and 1963. The ore was tungsten, silver, gold, lead, zinc and copper. The mine is at two levels with a tram cable still suspended above connecting the two. Miscellaneous equipment for operating the tram is at both the lower and upper mines. There are really great views to the east over Sierra Vista from the upper mine. Good Views over browns Canyon and Sierra Vista are all along this Trail but are hard to enjoy on the climb up because of the constant vigilance that must be given to the very steep trail. I didn’t go the rest of the way to the saddle above the upper mine (120 feet higher up) but there is more equipment and the tram wire is tethered up there. If time permits and energy abounds I recommend stopping at the lower mine then the upper and then on to the saddle.

The Pomona Mine trailhead is 2.1 miles in on the Brown Canyon Trail from the Brown Ranch. The Brown Canyon Trail is a fairly easy walk through lower Brown Canyon. The Pomona Mine Trail starts out following an old road for the first 1.1 miles. This is a steady uphill climb but not too strenuous (actually I thought it was strenuous but after doing the upper portion to the mine this part seemed easy). At 1.1 miles along this old road the trail leaves the road and climbs seriously uphill. The road continues on but a couple of rock cairns and a large rock arrow in the road indicate to take the trail. This trail after 0.4 miles of extremely slow travel will take you to the upper mine. The trail is very steep and in many places it was hand and foot travel with very loose rocks and dirt. From the upper mine the tram cable can be seen still suspended above. There is also some equipment used in conjunction with the tram cable. The views to the east from this upper mine are spectacular. If you have more energy the saddle is another 120 feet up and there is more equipment up there. The saddle is also where the tram wire is tethered.

To get to the lower mine continue on the road where the trail exited to get to the upper mine. The lower mine is 0.2 miles in along this road.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

This is a more difficult hike. It would be unwise to attempt this without prior experience hiking.

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2019-04-25 markthurman53

    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 Triplog Reviews
    Pomona Mine Trail #116
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    My original encounter with the Brown Canyon area comes from years ago while mountain biking about the Baja Arizona. The Ramsey Canyon Rd. access gives both biking & hiking this area bordering Ft. Huachuca several options for access and route altering. Its proximity to Sierra Vista makes it high on the local home range return trip checklist for certain. The Brown Canyon Ranch house operated by the USDA Forest Service, provides a secondary parking option if you'd like to shorten your outing and such... The main TH for Brown Canyon Trail #115 is clearly marked and located just off Ramsey Canyon Rd. with abundant shadeless parking. You can take the cut-off as documented in my GPS route and avoid the ranch all together as well.

    I headed-out in the early afternoon - hoping for a seasonally predictable Chubasco overcast to mute the ultra-violet - and got exactly what I'd hoped for! An auspiciously timed, most excellent cloud bank filtered the solar intensity and adding so much to the day's aesthetic (not so great for cell phone camera photos). The rumbling thunder went on-and-on for hours with just a bit of rain here and there - the world stopped for an unknown quantity of time - it was just the deer and I in afternoon twilight, along with the intervalic reverberation of the atmosphere echoing off the range now and then. I made my way up past a couple of grave sites that helped add to the aura of the spellbound hike that the day had brought. I had not thought much about this route as a hike, and was pleasantly surprised over and over again. Two-and-a-half miles in from the trailhead, I found the Pomona Mine Trail #116. This was the spur route I'd sought and the spell was broken as a true double-track mining route (reminded me somewhat of mining roads in the Dragoons) and the 1,000+ FPM elevation gain now began. This was an enjoyable contrast as it brought the surrounding area into full panoramic viewing quickly. I made my way up a mile to just before the Tungsten tailing pile, and rested for a while before the journey back down. Evidence of Bears on Pomona Mine Trail is obvious, but not overwhelming. Slowly is how one descends Pomona Mine Trail. I was pleased that I managed to stay upright the entire way down. Upon reconnoitering Brown Canyon Trail, I literally flew back down the canyon so I might to poke about the area of the ranch house on my way out...

    Brown Canyon Ranch was built a century ago by a local pioneer family and includes their ranch house, storeroom, corrals, water system, and a pond that is the habitat of an endangered frog species. The property in Brown Canyon was first permanently occupied by John Thomas Brown and his family who settled there around 1800. It passed through the hands of other users during the latter part of the 19th century until the house was built by James and Tom Haverty between 1905 and 1907. James and his wife, Lessie, homesteaded the ranch in 1912 and owned the property until 1921, when they sold it to William and Margaret Carmichael. The Carmichaels were major land owners and significant philanthropists in early Sierra Vista. During their ownership, Harvey James, the owner of several mining claims up Brown Canyon, and who lived way up in the canyon in the summer, sometimes rented the house in the winter. He and his wife would often invite friends to the ranch for a social potluck and dance in the living room. Also during the time of the Carmichaels, a Yaqui Indian named Chico Romero lived there with his wife and daughters. In 1946, the Carmichaels sold the ranch to Roy and Stella Rambo, who operated it as a cattle ranch. They in turn sold the property to Samuel and Cecile Barchas in 1957, together with their additional ranch holdings across South Highway 92 (OY Ranch). The Barchas family did not live at Brown Canyon, but in a stone house at OY Ranch. Sarah Barchas obtained Brown Canyon Ranch through gift deeds from her parents in 1960 and 1961 and she owned the site until 1997. Brown Canyon Ranch is also known as the Barchas Ranch and was acquired by the USDA Forest Service in a land exchange in 1998. The Ranch is currently under renovation, but is open to walk around the property. Source: Friends of the Brown Canyon Ranch

    MTB Notes: Going clockwise from the trail head up Ramsey Canyon Road for a steep technical climb and a gradual downhill, or go counterclockwise for a gradual rocky climb and a very fast downhill taking you back to Brown Canyon Rd. Trail ranges from wide trail to tight single track throughout. Beware of the loose rock on a lot of the trail and some soft sand near the TH - about the best in Sierra Vista. Definitely not for beginners...

    AEG 2294'- FPM 302' - Grade 12.6% GPS Route Available
    Pomona Mine Trail #116
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Decided to give my youngest daughter something worth remembering this year that was different from the same o' movie theater adventures she's been stuck with living in the city. This year I took her up the Old Pomona Mine Trail I hiked many times as a kid. I had hiked it last year with my wife on a semi-day hike with little water and little food, this time I was planning to stay a couple days at the top, and unfortunately there is no reliable source of water, which meant a heavy pack.

    Going a little over a mile with a gain of about 2000ft on a overgrown path next to a steep cliff was more than I remembered, but was soon reminded as the pack got heavier and heavier. I was impressed with how well she was doing, except for the constant- " are you sure this is a trail, this is not a trail, we're lost". Once to the top took multiple pictures and set up camp. Nice and cold as the Thanksgiving storm cleared out and the temperature dropped leaving everything frosted over nice in the morning.

    The next day we decided to head down to allow better hunting since the deer had moved out due to lack of a good rainy season. Overall a good hike, green from recent rain, lots of bear scat, looking at the old mine, cable trolley, house, water filtration systems, flat top engine blocks, pulley systems, really makes you wonder what it was like. Once again being able to complete the journey was a great achievement, but to share it with someone who can really look back on it a something unique for her accomplishments makes it that much better.
    Pomona Mine Trail #116
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    :sweat: Interesting history and structures at above mine. Old forest service heli-pad also at saddle above mine. Steep grade all the way. Nice overlook at top. Watch where you roam, Ft. Huachuca boundry just North and West of mine. Seeing the cable trolly and old house at the top are excellent. I Entered differant directions on how to get to the trailhead, but they did not post. Lower portion of Brown Canyon is very popular for walking, this would be quite a step up. :)

    Permit $$

    Coronado Forest
    MVUMs are rarely necessary to review unless mentioned in the description or directions
    Coronado Motor Vehicle Use Maps (MVUMs)

    Map Drive
    FR / Dirt Road / Gravel - Car Okay

    To Brown Canyon the arbitrary/unofficial Trailhead
    Drive 6 miles south of Sierra Vista on AZ Highway 92 to Ramsey Canyon Road. Follow Ramsey Canyon Road 2.1 miles to a wire gate on the right (north) side of the road. Park here (adds another 0.4 mile onto trail) and follow the two-track road north and west into Brown Canyon where it becomes the Brown Canyon Trail. There is no marker or sign here.

    From PHX (I-10 & AZ-51) 194 mi - about 3 hours 8 mins
    From TUC (Jct 1-10 & Grant) 84.7 mi - about 1 hour 33 mins
    From FLG (Jct I-17 & I-40) 338 mi - about 5 hours 14 mins
    (Trailhead is generic)
    page created by joebartels on Apr 25 2019 8:37 am
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