Easy trail to see mine shafts
An MSC Steward writes: This site is not located on the approved trail system within the McDowell Sonoran Preserve. It was comprised of two shafts and one adit. The workings were a fraud to sell stock in the era surrounding WWI. Two of the three diggings have been sealed or filled against public access. The remaining one, while fenced, is dangerous at over 100 feet deep. Really, there is not much to be seen here, anyway. Be safe. Stay on mapped trails.
This is an easy and short hike to a few pit mines near the McDowell Mountains.
The trailhead is a small unpaved parking lot on the corner of E. Bell Road and 106th St(just east of N. Thompson Peak Pkwy. It is fenced off and there are signs that mark it as the boundary of the McDowell Sonaran Land Preserve. Signs also state that no motorized vehicles are allowed, but that hiking and biking are welcomed. I started out on my bike heading north on this rocky, but mostly level trail, which is wide enough for a car. The trail gradually curves around to the east after about a half mile and then curves again to the south toward the McDowell Mountain Ranch development.
After another half mile (total of one mile), there is a fork in the trail where there remains the dismantled rock foundation of what appears to have been a building at one time. I took the fork that headed east and began riding toward Thompson Peak. The trail started to gain some elevation here, so I chained my bike to a post and started hiking. The wildflowers were abundant on this April afternoon and, with only about two or three other hikers on this trail, the setting was peaceful and serene.
At about the 1.5 mile point, there are other forks on this trail that lead to different pit mines. I found three in all, not far from one another at about the 1.8 to 2-mile point. These old mine shafts are surrounded by barbed wire fencing, but you can get a really good luck nonetheless. Near one was some remants of old rusted pieces of iron, which have pickaxe punctures in them.
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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.
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