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Buckeye Copper Mine - 1 member in 2 triplogs has rated this an average 2 ( 1 to 5 best )
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Feb 28 2019
kingsnake
avatar

 Guides 83
 Routes 184
 Photos 7,987
 Triplogs 639

57 male
 Joined Dec 20 2010
 Sunnyslope, PHX
Buckeye Copper MineSouthwest, AZ
Southwest, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 28 2019
kingsnake
Hiking9.91 Miles 1,269 AEG
Hiking9.91 Miles   4 Hrs   13 Mns   2.35 mph
1,269 ft AEG
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
One thing or another came up the last two Fridays -- my normal hike day -- and it was not until today, a Thursday, that I was actually able to get out. It had to be today, because I had to pick my wife up at the airport on 3/1, and I REALLY did not want to skip another week!)

When I last explored Buckeye Copper Mine [ photoset ] , in 2017, I ran out of storage on my camera’s memory chip. Then the camera’s battery ran out of power. I ended up using my blurry cell phone to shoot my final video segments. So, I had to skip some of the prospects & shafts south of the main workings, near the mine’s well. 🚫🔋

Today, I finally returned to finish up my mine exploration.

-----

First stop, 2.0 miles south of Agua Caliente Rd., was Poison Well. One wellhead was capped; the other wellhead had a tap that gave clear water. (Being worried about the name — “Poison” — I did not try it.) Just across the wash was the main well area, with another wellhead, a cement spring box, a large yellow plastic tank with a tap, and a corrugated metal tank. The spring box had water, the tap gave water, and the tank had crystal clear water. I could have swum in the metal tank (for a few feet). 🏊🏻‍♂️

I checked out Prospect #1 and Prospect #2 -- no official number, just what I call them on my attached route -- on the way to Buckeye Copper Mine Well. In what would be the theme for my day, no artifacts, or miners garbage: Just broken rock.

From Buckeye Copper Mine Well, I hiked a counter clockwise loop up to Buckeye Copper Mine's main workings / ghost town, checking out every prospect & shaft indicated on the topo along the way.

My best find, from rather slim pickings, was only 250 ft. west of Buckeye Copper Mine Well: Shaft #1 is a vertical shaft, with the top ten feet, or so, shored with boards. It is fenced, but not gated. I could not see the bottom and saw no evidence of a lift.

Of the nine or so prospects, including several that were not marked on the topo, 2/3rds were hillside cutouts, while the remainder were, essentially, foxholes. (Like the Army, but minus the cold mud.)

"Shaft" #2 and "Shaft" #3 are in quotes because despite being marked with the shaft symbol on the topo, they were no more than glorified prospects. Is that what passes for geologist humor? 🙄

Between "Shaft" #2 and "Shaft" #3 was a medium size cairn apropos of nothing. Not a geocache, or even a benchmark. It was like getting coal at Christmas.

I took a break in the shade of a large palo verde by Prospect #6. I was so grateful for the shade, I spent an hour snacking, rehydrating and checking twitter. (Shockingly, I had 2-3 bar LTE reception via Verizon!) 📲

By the time I hit Prospect #8, I was hitting so poorly, the lofty heights of the Mendoza Line were out of view. ⚾️

Prospect #9 had nothing to offer other than a great view of Woolsey Peak.

So, my recommendation is that only mineral collectors should check out this hike, while people with a more casual interest in mining, should stick to Buckeye Copper Mine’s main workings & ghost town.

Driving to Buckeye Copper Mine Well: [ youtube video ]
Exploring Buckeye Copper Mine: [ youtube video ]
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
Lots of small ones, particularly stinkweed.

dry Buckeye Copper Mine Well Dry Dry
Windmill was working. Everything else was bone dry.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Poison Well 76-100% full 76-100% full
Lots of water, including fresh from the tap. Crystal clear, but I'd still filter to be safe. Awesome!
_____________________
http://prestonm.com : Everyone's enjoyment of the outdoors is different and should be equally honored.
Mar 24 2017
kingsnake
avatar

 Guides 83
 Routes 184
 Photos 7,987
 Triplogs 639

57 male
 Joined Dec 20 2010
 Sunnyslope, PHX
Buckeye Copper MineSouthwest, AZ
Southwest, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 24 2017
kingsnake
Hiking9.13 Miles 1,107 AEG
Hiking9.13 Miles   4 Hrs      2.28 mph
1,107 ft AEG
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
On Agua Caliente Road, I missed the turn off for Buckeye Copper Mine, and had to double back. It's not obvious. (Watch the drive video, below, to see what I mean.) There's some rutting on the jeep trail, but my SUV handled it fine.

I had thought about parking where the jeep trail splits to either side of the Buckeye Copper MIne ridge. But decided to head up, to the east, towards the ghost town. I had also thought about parking at the saddle over looking the ghost town, next to building #6, as my stay behind wife would have a view of any approaching vehicles. I ended up parking "in town".

I saved the interesting buildings / strcutures for last, starting by checking out a cluster of five buildings. One was about twice the square footage of the others; maybe an office and four homes? I think hiked back up to the saddle to check out building #6.

Building #6 had a lower front porch, with old post holes to support a railing. It had two entrances between the porch and upper section, with an area in the middle that had once had indoor plumbing, including what appeared to be a shower. The view north, across the valley towards the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating station, and beyond, was fantastic. If I had any trade skills, I’d restake the claim just to be able to rebuild that house. Despite a nearby sign, I don’t think any of the buildings in the ghost town were “SRP Power Wise Homes”.

I continued counterclockwise to what on the topo is an adit. I smelled it before I saw it. I thought it might be a dead miner or something, but turns out it was a Bat Cave and what I smelled was guano. I was bummed the adit was gated.

Then I headed west, up a faint foot trail, to a pass overlooking Hargan Mine. The cement door ( [ photo ] ) that FLYING_FLIVER spotted -- and which prompted today's exploration -- was wide open. I wonder who was in there the past two weeks? Supposedly there is a second adit, but I could not find it.

On the way down to Webb Well, on Woolsey Wash, I also saw the concrete semi-circle FLYING_FLIVER had spotted. At Webb Well, which also served as Hargan Mine's mill, besides the well there were several other concrete chunks in the ground. At least one of which was also a concrete semi-circle. I think there were parts of the mill's arrastra.

I returned to perimeter road around the Buckeye Copper Mine ridge. What I hoped would be a shaft was instead either collapsed or filled in.

I found a couple more small buildings on the ridge's southeast corner, next to which was a shooting gallery with a righteously shot to hell Windows computer.

Back in ghost town's "downtown", I checked out the more important structures, including a building (#10) with indoor plumbing, the explosives locker, and the mill.

I really would have liked to see Buckeye Copper Mine in full bloom, because by mining camp standards it was surely once the lap of luxury. Instead, I was kind of disappointed not find *any* equipment. (Made up for in large part by scoring a full box of .22 long rifle cartridges I found just laying next to the road.) :y:

Drive Video: [ youtube video ]
Explore Video: [ youtube video ]
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
The vast majority of the vegetation around Buckeye Copper Mine is creosote, with some palo verde. Cacti, other than scattered saguaro, are almost non-existent.
_____________________
http://prestonm.com : Everyone's enjoyment of the outdoors is different and should be equally honored.
1 archive
average hiking speed 2.32 mph

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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