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Buckeye Copper Mine, AZ

no permit
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Guide 2 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Southwest > Buckeye W
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Difficulty 0.5 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance Loop 3 miles
Trailhead Elevation 1,114 feet
Elevation Gain 80 feet
Accumulated Gain 400 feet
Avg Time One Way 2 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 4.33
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Photos Viewed All Mine Following
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16  2019-02-28 kingsnake
19  2017-03-24 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   Jan, Dec, Feb, Nov
Sun  6:15am - 6:37pm
Official Route
0 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
The Chris-Town Mall Started Here
by kingsnake

Buckeye Copper Mine was reported, in 1961, to have been quarried to provide ornamental stone for a “new shopping center on Bethany [Home] Road”. I bet that is the Chris-Town Mall. By 1971, a three-foot quartz vein in schist, yielding 2-3% copper with visible gold, had been discovered. Two years later, Buckeye had two inclined shafts, one of 60 ft. and the other “several hundred feet deep”. Overall, Buckeye Copper Mine consisted of 62 adjacent unpatented claims.

In the "ghost town", there are 14 buildings. (On the route, all buildings are numbered.) All the buildings have concrete floors, some segmented and finished. Most had collapsed cinder block walls. There was no evidence of broken window glass. Two buildings (#6 and #10) had pipes for plumbing. One building (#6), on the saddle next to the jeep trail in, had a porch, and stunning views north, across the valley, towards what is now the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station. Only one building (#12) still had standing walls, in this case of 4" thick concrete, and a 6" internal wall. On one side was a tin roof and wooden walls, leading me to think it make have been the explosives locker. Building #13 was obviously the mill. As far as mining camps go, Buckeye Copper Mine was once the lap of luxury.

I found one adit and one shaft, both unfortunately gated. (Covered with an immovable steel grate.) You can smell the adit before you see it, as it is filled with bats. (And bat guano.) Another shaft, on the southwest slope of the small ridge, appears to have collapsed, or been filled in. There are two more possible shafts / adits on a small hill just east of buildings 7-9 on the ridge's southeast slope.

If you have some extra time or energy, you can hike up to Hargan Mine from the Bat Cave.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

Gate Policy: If a gate is closed upon arrival, leave it closed after you go through. If it is open, leave it open. Leaving a closed gate open may put cattle in danger. Closing an open gate may cut them off from water. Please be respectful, leave gates as found.

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

2017-03-28 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
    Buckeye Copper Mine
    rating optionrating optionrating optionrated 2rated 2
    On Agua Caliente Road, I missed the turn off for Buckeye Copper Mine, and had to double back. It's not obvious. (Watch the drive video, below, to see what I mean.) There's some rutting on the jeep trail, but my SUV handled it fine.

    I had thought about parking where the jeep trail splits to either side of the Buckeye Copper MIne ridge. But decided to head up, to the east, towards the ghost town. I had also thought about parking at the saddle over looking the ghost town, next to building #6, as my stay behind wife would have a view of any approaching vehicles. I ended up parking "in town".

    I saved the interesting buildings / strcutures for last, starting by checking out a cluster of five buildings. One was about twice the square footage of the others; maybe an office and four homes? I think hiked back up to the saddle to check out building #6.

    Building #6 had a lower front porch, with old post holes to support a railing. It had two entrances between the porch and upper section, with an area in the middle that had once had indoor plumbing, including what appeared to be a shower. The view north, across the valley towards the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating station, and beyond, was fantastic. If I had any trade skills, I’d restake the claim just to be able to rebuild that house. Despite a nearby sign, I don’t think any of the buildings in the ghost town were “SRP Power Wise Homes”.

    I continued counterclockwise to what on the topo is an adit. I smelled it before I saw it. I thought it might be a dead miner or something, but turns out it was a Bat Cave and what I smelled was guano. I was bummed the adit was gated.

    Then I headed west, up a faint foot trail, to a pass overlooking Hargan Mine. The cement door ( [ photo ] ) that FLYING_FLIVER spotted -- and which prompted today's exploration -- was wide open. I wonder who was in there the past two weeks? Supposedly there is a second adit, but I could not find it.

    On the way down to Webb Well, on Woolsey Wash, I also saw the concrete semi-circle FLYING_FLIVER had spotted. At Webb Well, which also served as Hargan Mine's mill, besides the well there were several other concrete chunks in the ground. At least one of which was also a concrete semi-circle. I think there were parts of the mill's arrastra.

    I returned to perimeter road around the Buckeye Copper Mine ridge. What I hoped would be a shaft was instead either collapsed or filled in.

    I found a couple more small buildings on the ridge's southeast corner, next to which was a shooting gallery with a righteously shot to hell Windows computer.

    Back in ghost town's "downtown", I checked out the more important structures, including a building (#10) with indoor plumbing, the explosives locker, and the mill.

    I really would have liked to see Buckeye Copper Mine in full bloom, because by mining camp standards it was surely once the lap of luxury. Instead, I was kind of disappointed not find *any* equipment. (Made up for in large part by scoring a full box of .22 long rifle cartridges I found just laying next to the road.) :y:

    Drive Video: [ youtube video ]
    Explore Video: [ youtube video ]

    The vast majority of the vegetation around Buckeye Copper Mine is creosote, with some palo verde. Cacti, other than scattered saguaro, are almost non-existent.

    Permit $$

    Map Drive
    FR / Jeep Road - Car possible when dry

    To hike
    From Phoenix, head west on I-10 to Exit 109. Head south on Palo Verde Rd. for 6.3 miles to the school. Turn west (then south) on Old Highway 80 for 10.9 miles. Turn west on Agua Caliente Rd., which is paved, for .7 miles. At the split in the road, split right, staying on Agua Caliente Rd. as it turns to easily car drivable dirt. There’s all kinds of jeep trails heading off to the side of Agua Caliente Rd., which crosses bajillions of washes. After a mile, just past a very small hill, turn south on an unmarked jeep trail. (You will want the GPS route to find the correct jeep trail.) Follow that jeep trail southwest for 4.1 miles to the Buckeye Copper Mine ghost town. The unnamed jeep trail is rutted in spots, but is easily driven by an SUV. A car might make it, with caution. Park in the ghost town.
    page created by kingsnake on Mar 28 2017 3:07 pm
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