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2 Photosets

2016-04-21  
2016-04-14  
Clifton Morenci Copper Mine, AZ
mini location map2016-04-21
12 by photographer avatarAZLumberjack
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Clifton Morenci Copper Mine, AZ 
Clifton Morenci Copper Mine, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Apr 21 2016
AZLumberjack
Hiking
Hiking   5 Hrs      0.00 mph
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1st trip
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rwstorm
Randy (rwstorm) and I had been planning an overnight outing to Eastern AZ with his Tucson friend, Paul. We were to meet in Safford then travel to Gila Box then to Clifton/Morenci area and return to Gila Box for the night. The next day (Friday) we were going to do some 4x4 exploring along the Bonita wash before breaking up and heading home.

Well, Randy and I met in Safford and Paul had canceled at the last minute so the main part of the plan was still in tact. We traveled to the Gila Box and walked around the areas but it was getting quite warm and there was a Gnat infestation that made the area unbearable :? So now we began changing plans at the last minute.

We decided to continue on to Morenci then on up along US 191 (Coronado Trail) for an overnight camp then continue on to Show Low then back along the 60 to Globe where we would split up and head back to our respective homes. With that in mind, I'm going to make this into three trip reports to keep the photosets relative to their respective areas.

Trip 2: Clifton/Morenci Copper Mine
Upon leaving the Gila Box area, we drove North along Hwy 191 (Coronado Trail) heading to Clifton and Morenci area to look at the extensive copper mine operation. Being a native of Minnesota, I've seen the large open pit mining operations for iron ore, but I have never seen open pit mining on this scale. A million years from now, when Mankind has gone extinct, travelers from another place and time will still be amazed at the destructive abilities of its previous inhabitants.

It is truly amazing to stand on a high vantage point and observe the blasting, loading and hauling of raw ore to the processing operations more than a mile away, then hauling that same ore (minus its valuable components) to another area where it's dumped and allowed to fill the massive holes left over from the mining operation. The history of the mines and surrounding towns dates back more than 150 years and has many periods of time that are worth reading and viewing.

After touring the towns we continued our sight seeing journey along the Coronado Trail. The road rises quickly into the mountainous area North of Morenci, with numerous switchbacks and along narrow bands of road hacked out of the sides of the mountains, to our intended campsite at around 7,000 feet altitude. We selected a site under the tall pines where we had a padded surface to setup our tents, and at last, had time for a cold one and some camp talk.
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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.
HAZ Member
AZLumberjack's
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