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Belmont Mine from FR257, AZ

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Difficulty 2.5 of 5
Route Finding 3 of 5
Distance Round Trip 3.7 miles
Trailhead Elevation 3,080 feet
Elevation Gain 740 feet
Accumulated Gain 850 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 3 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 7.95
Interest Ruins
Backpack Possible - Not Popular
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14  2021-09-10 jimntempe
6  2017-11-04 Roninthedog
Author jimntempe
author avatar Guides 1
Routes 3
Photos 18
Trips 1 map ( 3 miles )
Age 67 Male Gender
Location Tempe, AZ
Co-Author bmbeard
co-author avatarGuides 4
Routes 0
Photos 12
Trips 3 map (14 Miles)
Age 35 Male Gender
Location Superior, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Feb, Mar, Nov, Jan → 7 AM
Seasons   Spring to Early Summer
Sun  6:34am - 5:43pm
Official Route
0 Alternative
Historic Fire Perimetersacres
🔥 2021 Telegraph Fire266.7 mi**
🔥 2012 257 Fire2.9k
🔥 View All over Official Route 🔥
*perimeter length in miles
**possible voids inflate figure

north of kalamazoo, under the leap
by jimntempe & bmbeard

The Belmont mine property was first discovered in 1899, developed over the years, and finally owned by Magma Copper. The Belmont mine has a rich history including the Belmont Hotel in Superior (main street), built by the company. Mineral specimens can be collected from the piles of rock in the area. This is a remote and hidden canyon just south of Apache Leap and many animals and plants can be observed along the hike.

Saw this on a map and found a brief write-up elsewhere on this site. Looked interesting so I plotted a route off of a topo map, uploaded it to my GPS, and went for this hike. The starting point is on Apache Leap Road about 0.89 miles from turning off State Route 177 as we came down 177 from Superior. It is very hard to see the old road off of Apache Leap road. If I didn't have it GPS'ed I'm not sure I'd have found it without some luck.
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The hike is entirely uphill except for a couple of very short sections through quartzite, shales, and limestones. It obviously was a road many years ago but now some areas are little more than a game trail while others remain clearly road-like. Most of it is now little more than a very rarely used trail. There are a couple of other mines along the way. I didn't do any exploring of those as they didn't look like much besides tailings. In the sandstones, some good examples of oxidation/reduction concentrations of iron can be seen.

When you get to the Belmont mine there is the mine shaft which has a grate over it. There is the headframe that has been pushed over the side into a gulley. There is a hoist house that still has two hoist drum mechanisms in it. There are a couple of water tanks, a tin building which to me looked like it used to be a weight scale.. maybe. Or perhaps a powerhouse.. maybe. Hard to tell. The shaft looks pretty straight down and a rock dropped in it seemed to bottom out in about 3 to 4 seconds. The history of this mine says it was operated between about 1925 to 1945. So presumably the road has had 75 years to revert back to nature. We didn't see any copper wires in any of the remaining stuff that clearly was electrical facilities back in the day. I imagine copper thieves took it.

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2021-09-12 jimntempe & bmbeard
    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.

    Permit $$

    Map Drive
    Connector trail - Not Applicable

    To hike
    Go south on 177 from Superior (US 60). Turn onto Apache Leap Road. Go 0.89 miles to the start which is on the east side of the road. Very hard to see. There is a small wide spot in the road where you can park.
    page created by bmbeard on Sep 12 2021 2:06 pm
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