The Old Alamo Mine Camp and the
In the winter of 2008, we were looking for a place to get out into the hills that wasn't too cold. We wanted to car camp yet get some exercise also. In looking over the maps of the Kofa Game Range in southwestern Arizona, we noticed an area of old mining activity west of the 4WD Wilbanks road on the northern end of the Kofa Mountains. Those mines were in the wilderness portion of the refuge so we would have to walk into them. Internet research did not provide any info on the Alamo Mine camp. The Geyser mine was reported to be an underground gold mine with a 300 foot inclined shaft. There had been no record of any actual production of gold from this mine.
We drove down the Wilbanks road from the north past Owl Head Butte to the old spur road that once carried vehicular traffic into the mine area. Since the wilderness now encompasses that road, it has become a hiking trail. The hike was about 2.5 miles from the parking area into the mine area. The weather was pleasant and the walking was easy. Unfortunately there was not a lot to see as far as mining activity besides the open cuts and a few prospect holes at the Ocotillo Mine group location. At the Old Alamo Mine camp, there were a couple of substantial can dump areas and a few rock terraces that may have formed the basis for tent or shack sites. There was a bit of tin and lumber scattered about, but not much left to indicate that there was ever any substantial development. The mine dump at the Geyser Mine was pretty substantial. There were a couple of concrete foundations above the mine opening, but not much else. There were no signs of any equipment that had been left behind. For our interests the visit to this area had not been much more than a nice walk. After returning to the truck we continued on south on the Wilbanks road and dropped into Hoodoo Wash. We visited a couple of old cabins that are often used by backcountry travelers. One of them had been greatly improved since our last visit.
The next day we spent walking out to several mines shown on the map in the area of the Red Rock Dam. Once again we struck out as far as seeing some interesting mining activity. We couldn't be too disappointed though--the country was neat and we needed the exercise. Our last night was spent out in the valley near the impressive Coyote Butte.
(Click on photos to enlarge)