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Wilhoit Mine Loop 1, AZ

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Guide 1 Triplog  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Prescott > Prescott W
3 of 5 by 1
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Difficulty 1.5 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance Lasso-Loop 7.8 miles
Trailhead Elevation 4,930 feet
Elevation Gain 705 feet
Accumulated Gain 1,368 feet
Avg Time One Way 4 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 12.36
Interest Off Trail Hiking
Backpack Possible - Not Popular
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Photos Viewed All Mine Following
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48  2013-09-07 kingsnake
Author kingsnake
author avatar Guides 83
Routes 182
Photos 7,946
Trips 637 map ( 5,893 miles )
Age 57 Male Gender
Location Sunnyslope, PHX
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Preferred   Apr, Oct, Nov, Mar
Sun  6:18am - 6:29pm
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0 Alternative
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by kingsnake

Overview: Since I've been up in the Wilhoit area on a regular basis since June, betearcher suggested I check out some of the mines northwest of town. So, I put this loop together which hits most of the points of interest I found while surveying the topo and sat views of the area. (Some of the topo POIs no longer exist.)

Warning: Lots of ATVs and dirt bikes in the area. Hunters as well, if in season. Since most of the hike is on jeep trails, keep your ears open behind you.

Hike: The hike starts at the small metal tank that marks the boundary between Wilhoit and the Prescott NF. Walk down the eroded hard pack, not the better maintained city dirt road.

0.6 mi.: Shooting range on the edge of Copper Basin Wash. The trail splits; stay right. There's lots ATV trails in the area; if you stay on the most well worn one, you will be heading in the correct direction, as the trail turns from sand back to hard pack.

1.25 mi.: As you climb out of the wash, you will pass through an ungated fence. Stay left of the obvious hill in front of you, Hill 5225.

2.0 mi.: You are approaching the "blockhouse". There's a bunch of mine stuff in a 200 yard radius of the building. What order you do them in is up to you, but following the official route, turn left down the wash just befre the building. A couple hundred yards down the wash, you will see a thumb-like rock; turn right, towards it, out of the wash.

2.25 mi.: USMM 3770. Cut across the wash to the west of the USMM, to the jeep trail.

2.6 mi.: A building that the topo says is there, but which I could not find. Head north on the jeep trail.

2.9 mi.: Two vertical mine shafts, and some other mine stuff. (The topo refers to this as the "Mint Shaft".) The shafts have slippery sloped sides. The larger of the two is the home of a pair of owls Have your camera ready when you approach, and approach carefully: You should get better photos than I did.

3.1 mi.: Back to the blockhouse mining complex. Lots of stuff to see there.

3.4 mi.: Continue north up the jeep trail towards the blue tank. At this point, you will pass through another ungated fence.

3.7 mi.: The blue tank has a pipe running into from a vertical shaft that is a few yards up slope. The adjacent slope looks like some exploratory digging has occured. From there proceed east up Hill 5635. There's a fair bit of brush, but also enough open areas and animal trails that getting up should be easy.

4.0 mi.: Hill 5635 is marked by an orange metal pole, set in a triangular metal plate, which is in turn mounted to a concrete block. There is no mark of any kind, that I could find, in the area. Great views north to Copper Basin, down Copper Basin Wash to Wilhoit, then across Peeples Valley to Skull Valley. It would not be a bad place to camp, especially since you are well away from any motor vehicle access. After resting, proceed southeast down a spur towards Copper Basin Wash. You will frequently zig zag to avoid brush, but it can be easily avoided ... until you are about 100 yards from the bottom. Then it gets thick and you will need to beat your way through it.

5.0 mi.: Auto wreckage at the foot of Hill 5635. To get on the jeep trail to the next mine, first pass through a gated fence. The mine is about 200 yards north. After that head back down the jeep trail, then into Copper Basin Wash. The wash is narrow, sometimes rocky, sometimes sandy, but not too deep and very easy travelling.

6.1 mi.: The wash crosses a jeep trail. If you go east, it will eventually turn to a foot trail to the top of Hill 6276 / USMM 3275. There is a corral at the intersection; despite the topo, there is no building. Pass through an ungated fence into the corral, then another ungated fence out of it, back into Copper Basin Wash.

6.7 mi.: The wash starts opening up, getting sandier, with more obvious vehicle tracks.

7.2 mi.: Close the loop at the shooting range.

7.8 mi.: Miller time!

Check out the Official Route and Triplog.

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2013-09-10 kingsnake

    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 Review
    Wilhoit Mine Loop 1
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    Started to drive down the forest road, quickly realized that would be a mistake, and attempted to back up. I suck at backing up. Always have. I was looking back over my shoulder, using the mirror, etc. I still managed to smack the fender against a post at the cattle grate. And I was only backing up 10 feet. Oh, and it was my wife's car. :scared: Thankfully, she was very understanding. :kf: (Probably because I only cracked a tail light. 8-[ )

    After successfully executing a parking maneuver, :y: I headed back down the eroded forest road on foot. :whistle:

    A little over a mile in, I heard a truck slowly approaching. I waved; they stopped. It was a couple of bow hunters, driving in from Skull Valley, looking for deer, and wondering how to get back to the highway. I pointed out the trailhead, which is easily visible from most parts of this hike, and told them to basically stay on the jeep trail they were on. I also told them I had not seen any deer, or deer sign. A mile or so later, just after USMM 3770 (3-bar reception), I saw two deer. Probably right where the hunters had driven by 30 minutes earlier. : rein :

    When I got to Mint Shaft, I was startled to see two owls in the larger shaft. I did not have my camera ready, so I was surprised I was able to get the photos of them I did.

    After Mint Shaft, I hit the mining complex I call the "blockhouse". (Because from a distance it looks more like a fortification, than a mine building.) After exploring, I recalled the J. Geils Band ( ). :D

    Just before the blue tank was the first beer can of the day, a Budweiser. According to this week's NY Times Magazine ( ... ml#item_10 ) the most "popular" source of alcohol-related emergency room visits is good ol' Bud.

    After checking out the mine at the blue tank -- which is visible from many parts of the hike, including the trailhead -- I headed up Hill 5635. (3-bar reception on top.) I had planned on working my way around the south slope to another mine, but decided the hill was there, so why not? Good decision. Great view, and brush was easily avoided ( ). Same on the way down, until the last hundred yards. Bashing my way those last few feet put a bunch of bruises and scratches on my shins. :roll:

    When I was at the corral, a couple of dirt bikers stopped to see if I was okay before continuing east on the Hill 6276 trail. That was nice of them. :) They were just puttering along, not tearing it up.

    When I closed the lollipop, I had to step aside for some ATVs. The eroded road had a bunch more ATV ruts in it. :-s

    My wife had not picked up any beer while I was hiking, so we stopped at the store in Peeples Valley, picked some up, then a few minutes later sipped one -- and only one :A1: -- each at the US 89 Yarnell overlook.

    Permit $$

    Prescott Forest
    Prescott National Forest Pass

    Only trailheads with six "amenities" have fees. Amenities are picnic tables, trash, toilet, parking, interpretive signing and security.

    Map Drive
    Strictly 4x4

    To hike
    From I-17, west on Carefree Hwy, then north on 60 to Wickenburg. 93 north out of Wickenburg, then north on US 89 through Congress, Yarnell and Peeples Valley. Turn left on the last paved left in Wilhoit, before starting up the twisties to Prescott. That's Walden "Boulevard". Drive about a mile to the Prescott NF boundary; park next to the small metal tank. If you have 4x4, you could keep going, instead driving most of this hike.
    page created by kingsnake on Sep 10 2013 10:38 am
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