Sunday, February 02, 2014

Old mines

I guess you could call them mines. Is there some other name for small holes dug in the ground while looking for something valuable? I think that if they had found anything worthwhile, they would have kept digging.

There are several small mesas at the southeast corner of the intersection of Usery Pass Road and Bush Highway. I was looking for someplace to burn a few calories after work and that area is quick and easy to get to. I've been there several times in the past, but I hadn't been on all of the mesas. I headed to an area I hadn't been to before and was walking along a ridge when I looked across to another mesa and saw what looked like a spot that somebody had been digging.

The Salt River is over there.

The patrol copter.

Somebody has been digging over there.

I wasn't paying close attention when I decided to hike over to the dug-up spot, so I didn't go in quite the right direction and didn't find it. I couldn't spend much time looking because the sun was setting. Click below to open a new window with the pictures from this hike.


I looked at the pictures when I got home and it was obvious that the ground had been dug up. I memorized a saguaro near the spot to use as a guide the next time I went out there, which was the next day. I easily found my destination saguaro and then the hole in the ground.

The first hole in the ground was very shallow. Yes, first.

From the hole in the ground, I could see another one a little further uphill.

The second hole was deeper and a critter had put a lot of cholla balls in it.

I went to the top of the mesa from there and wandered around a little taking pictures, then headed toward the truck. I had just started going downhill when I found another hole.


Sundog over Red Mountain.

Another hole. This one looks familiar.

The hole I found on the way downhill looked familiar. I was pretty sure I had seen it maybe 7 or 8 years ago. I continued downhill and found another hole that went into the side of the hill and was pretty deep. Now I was sure I had been out there before. For years I had been meaning to go back to this mine when the sun was higher in the sky to try to determine how big the inside was. I could never find it again. The first time I was out there was before I had the stuff to geotag my pictures. I had given up on ever finding it. I still need to go out there when the sun is high in the sky, though.

I think the rock dug out has this channel in it to keep the mine from filling with rain water.

Click below to open a new window with all the pictures



AzBarite said...

Hi Art

This area seems to have gotten a fair amount of attention in the past. There are several prospects on the west side of Usery Rd and at least one filled in shaft. There's also the old barite mine with a filled in shaft between Phon Sutton and Coon bluff. Some in the area are listed in


Art Brown said...

Ah, "prospect" must be the word I was looking for. Yes, I've been reading about those on the west side of Usery Rd in your blog. Looks like lots of good info on Thanks for the tip.