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Oak Flat Campground
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mini location map2015-04-16
7 by photographer avatarAZLumberjack
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Oak Flat CampgroundGlobe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 16 2015
AZLumberjack
Hiking2.00 Miles 300 AEG
Hiking2.00 Miles   2 Hrs      1.00 mph
300 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
After reading all this scary stuff about the proposed Resolution Copper Mine that, one day, will take over the Oak Flat Campgrounds, I figured that I owed it to myself to check out this place on top of the mountains just a few miles East of Superior. I've been past the turnoff to the campgrounds many times and kept telling myself I have to return one day and check this place out..... so today I drove up there to do just that.

It was a breezy, chilly start to the day in the valley so I was glad I had the foresight to wear a long sleeve shirt given the higher altitudes. It appears as though no one has the responsibility of maintaining the camping area as it's pretty messy and unkempt. There were a few campers and tents scattered around the grounds (scattered being the operative) but everyone must be asleep yet.... I didn't want to wake anyone so I just continued on down the blacktop road.

When I came to the gate and guardhouse, I guessed that I had gone as far as I was going to go on this road so I waved at the guard, turned around and retraced my tracks until I found an open gate and Forest Service Road #315. I turned down the gravel road and met pickup trucks with mining logos, the drivers looked at me like "what's this guy doing here?". Ahead was a large drilling rig setting right alongside the road and although the operators waved at me, I again got the feeling that I was trespassing on forbidden lands.

The scenery up here was everything I had expected it to be and even more. The volcanic activities of eons ago had left huge boulders, large rock formations and deep washes across this mountain top yet somehow Pinon trees, Manzanita and wildflowers found enough soil to set roots and grow. I unexpectedly came across water filled ponds with Mallard Ducks swimming among the reeds along the shoreline.

I continued on down the road but soon decided that I should probably turn around before the roads deteriorated too much and I got into trouble. My little Ranger's a good FWD but doesn't have good ground clearance and lacks skid plate protection so I turned around and retraced my tracks out.

The area up there's exciting and deserves a return visit to explore more of the roads before the mining company posts the land and entry will be prohibited. There's also a lot of work going on alongside the 60 West of Superior, pipelines are getting buried, roads are getting wider and it looks like they're removing the old RR tracks. As the mining operations swing into action, they have to get rid of the tailings and it appears as though the lands along the North side of the 60 will become the recipient of the toxic tailings. It's unfortunate but it appears as though Arizona needs the money from the mining company more than it needs the scenic lands that brings the tourists into the area. :yuck:
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wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
The wildflowers in this area are quite scattered but plentiful in patches.
_____________________
On every trip into the Superstitions, I find another Gold Mine. Today the mine was filled with Memories. I can not wait for the next trip.
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AZLumberjack's
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