Are you up for a bit of Arizona Mining history? One of the major gold producing areas was in the Wickenburg Mountains due east of present day Wickenburg and north of Morristown. There were several mines in the area including Little San Domingo, White Cloud, Sunset, and Morningstar to name a few. Both the San Domingo Wash and the Little San Domingo Wash also contained important placer deposits. This area still has numerous active mining claims.
I wanted to check the area out in person so we drove out to Morristown and took the Castle Hot Springs road north for a couple miles before turning left and following Little San Domingo Wash for about ten miles. This took us past some GPAA claims http://www.goldprospectors.org/Home/tabid/63/Default.aspx among others and past some old mine workings. http://www.nuggetshooter.com/FeaturedSites/SanDomingoPlacers.html One fairly large one with old mine shafts on both sides of the road and a high tailings pile might be the White Cloud Mine? Further up the wash and almost at the county line there are extensive mill remains. This is the Anderson Mill which operated into the 1950’s producing mica. http://www.wickenburg-az.com/2006/02/anderson-mill/ .
A couple more miles up the wash we found the Underwood family graves. The Underwoods used to hunt in the area and this is a very pretty spot. The following web site has more information: http://apcrp.org/SAN_DOMINGO_WASH/San_Domingo_Wash_Text_102208.htm
With all the gold mining history around here I was itching to try some panning myself but it appears most of the wash has a mining claim on it and panning for gold on somebody else’s claim is a big NO NO! Eventually I found a promising spot and searched diligently for claim markers and whoopee I couldn’t see any. I didn’t find any gold either. Hmmm, you don’t suppose that’s why there wasn’t a claim there? The following sites have more information on the area placers: http://www.mindat.org/loc-53733.html and http://minerdiggins.com/lsdh.html .
Little San Domingo Wash seems to get plenty of traffic judging by the tire tracks. We stopped for lunch just past the Anderson Mill site and experienced plenty of it first hand. About a dozen ATVs went past heading towards the mill. About a half hour later they came past us again heading the opposite direction. I’m not sure what is further up that way but my map shows a dead end. We turned around before our Ford Escape got pinstriped too badly by brush along the trail. What we got should buff right out. I hope or I’m in big trouble. It’s my wife’s vehicle.
The area around Wickenburg had its share of mining activity in the 1800’s . Most notable is the Vulture Mine south of town and if you head southeast toward Salome there is the Harquahala Mine. http://www.examiner.com/article/picking-up-nuggets
Head north of Wickenburg and you pass by Rich Hill and the little town of Yarnell. http://www.delange.org/Yarnell/page54.htm . Nearby are the old ghost towns of Stanton, Octave and Congress. A person could spend a lifetime exploring this country. I guess a few people have.
Will was here 1/15/13
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