The Victoria Mine trail is a great trail in the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument that offers an interesting into the human history of the area in a beautiful natural setting of the Sonoyta Mountains. The trail begins at the south end of the auto campground located at about 1.5 miles from the Visitor Center. The well-marked trail to Victoria Mine heads southwest through gently rolling alluvial fans called bajadas, marked by creosote bush, greasewood, cholla, graceful ocotillo and paloverde and saguaros and a few Organ Pipe Cactus stands. You will run into occasional drops into washes, where greater moisture allow for the growth of paloverde, mesquite and abundant stands of cacti. Looking around, you can see the distant crest of Pinkley Peak to the north and of the Sierra Cubabi across the Mexican border and the Sonoyta Valley before you. On a clear day, you may be able to spy the border posts of Lukeville-Sonoyta.
The trail approaches the crumpled granite hills that are heavily mineralized... the Sonoyta Mountains. These are the oldest mountains in the Organ Pipe National monument Follow the well ...worn wagon track along the base of the mountains. You are walking on history as you follow the old Sonoyta-Ajo road dating back to the time when his area was a part of Mexico! Follow this track south and you reach Victoria Mine after crossing a substantial wash.
The Victoria Mine was in operation for 40 years producing copper, gold and silver. The shell that you see (has an old bath tub that is rusting away) is Levy's store (circa 1900's). All around you see rusting smelting equipment, sealed off mineshafts and glory holes (prospect holes dug along veins of quartz in hopes of striking a paying lode). Use extreme caution around mineshafts, do not enter sealed shafts and be respectful of your heritage. Do not remove or disturb artifacts. Tailings are unstable, so exercise caution.
You can hike further to Lost Cabin Mines, another 2miles due south of Victoria Mine (need some route finding - Map/Compass territory) or return the way you came. There is no water on this trail, so carry plenty. Watchout for rattlesnakes along the trail. Do not attempt this hike in summer when temperatures reach 120 degrees Farenheit and there is no shade along the trail.
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.