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Apache Peaks/Richmond Basin, AZ
mini location map2013-08-17
19 by photographer avatarRedRoxx44
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Apache Peaks/Richmond Basin, AZ 
Apache Peaks/Richmond Basin, AZ
 
4x4 Trip avatar Aug 17 2013
RedRoxx44
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This is a historic mining area just out of Globe, below the rock formation known by locals as the "Stagecoach". From below it looks rather impossible to drive up there but you can, with just incredible views along part of it. The history part--from Ralph and Laura's Backcountry Blog--

So much mining took place in Richmond Basin, with huge operations beginning in the 1800s. The largest being the Silver King Mine. (A German prospector looking for gold traded his claims for a mule, the Silver King and Silver Nugget Mines turned out to be the most profitable silver mines ever worked)
In the book "History of Arizona and New Mexico, 1530-1888," By Hubert Howe Bancroft and Henry Lebbeus Oak, they wrote, "The Silver King lode differs from any other known, being a circular chimney of ore, with thousands of veins centring in it. The mine has a depth of over 800 feet, and though the ores are refractory, the production has been over $6,000,000. in silver". (this was in 1889 dollars)
Today, little remains of the camp which once employed up to 700 miners working the Silver King and surrounding mines. Standing on the mesa overlooking the Richmond Basin you can still see where the majority of workers and their families once lived. Vague remnants of structures and stone outlines are all that remains. Scattered throughout the Richmond Basin area are quite a few sample digs, deep, ominous looking vertical shafts, crumbling headframes, remnants of stamp mills, bridges, tailings, sample cores and roads that no longer lead anywhere.
There were several modern-day claim markers in the area, probably people still looking for gold as evidenced by the black sand piles we saw. There is silver ore imbedded in many of the tailings we found, but of course it wouldn't be profitable to try to recover it due to the high cost of silver reclamation and today's silver prices."

Also, in the late 1800's newspapers' in Globe trumpeted "swimming pools of silver" where the ore was just laying in some large rock depressions.

Driving up I saw a huge perfect egg shaped granite boulder with a level looking platform below it. Would take a little work but a wonderful lunch or campspot it would make.
You go thru several gates. The road was rocky but in quite good shape. You are in a little woods then you break out to a couple of turn offs to a mesa top meadow that would just be a fantastic camp area. We went to the main mining site and walked around a bit. Most of the major shafts have been filled and covered. Some had bat enclosures which was weird because about 30 feet down it looked filled with debris. Unless the bats have tiny rock hammers I don't think they are using these shafts.
We poked around some spurs and did a little rock hounding, not for silver, but just for quartz crystals and found some bronze little cubes--some sort of pyrite.
It was pretty hot but soon the storms came and the amount of lightning discouraged camping on the exposed point. The wind really whipped, as we drove down we located an old built wagon road, then it started to rain/ sleet a bit. Driving down Brian spotted a fire started on a hillside by the lightning. It was raining hard by then with water pooling and running down the wash a little. We watched the fire--looked like it hit the base of a mesquite-- it was surprisingly durable despite the rain. The hillside was mostly scrub and with the driving rain it slowly decreased but we stayed and watched and debated hiking up there with our folding shovels and buckets and putting it out. It started raining so hard we couldn't hardly see so we decided it was out, would be hard to spread there as space between the vegetation and not much wind where we were.
Great day and when cooled will return for the hike to " The Stagecoach".
Flora
Flora
Barrel Cactus
Geology
Geology
Cinnabar Dolomite
Named place
Named place
Richmond Basin
Meteorology
Meteorology
Fire - Wildfire Rain
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