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Richinbar Mine Day Hike
Agua Fria National Monument
March 31, 2012
by Michael Humphrey
  GPS Map 
by Steven
Gary, Steven, Ajay, Nicole, Randy, Mark, Rudy, Anikó, Becky [photo by Michael]

Ten brave hikers have decided on this warm Saturday to hike the Agua Fria River and continuing on to the Richinbar mine.

Becky and Anikó find stepping stones across the water.

We started out at the Badger Springs exit off I-17 and traveled down the riparian area to the Agua Fria. This is a nice easy sandy stream bottom walk area that will get you to the river with ease. This little walk is interesting in that you are passing sycamore and cottonwoods trees, but higher up on the slope are cactuses. There were a few flowers in bloom, but they were scattered. This does not appear to be a good wildflower season. We start the hike by Agua Fria by hopping over some rocks to the other side. The river has some water running in it.

What makes the pool of water red?

No one fell in, so we continue on. Later we could see where the water had been running higher to fill a pool.

We could not determine whether the red color was from algae or minerals. These pools were scattered, with some wet and some just a rust colored stain in the bottom.

Continuing on down, we have to hop on boulders to cross the river. Most of the rocks are granite, but some are volcanic. The volcanic ones may have fallen from the rim high above us. We come to a log jam, with some of us going over it and some go around it. At the back of the jam is a large tire with the rim still attached. The truck was not attached to the rim, so it must have broken free upstream and washed here and backed up the log jam.

WaterFall Little waterfall graces the canyon floor.
Cactus1 Love in bloom. Well, cactus, anyway.
The Agua Fria River has carved a deep
canyon through central Arizona.

A little farther down we come to a nice little waterfalls. Well it is now time to leave the river bottom and get to the ridge that leads up to the mine. It is a little steeper than I thought it would be, but still passable. Many cacti are in bloom going up to the ridge and on it. We get to the ridgeline and look back to where we came from. Some of us stop here for lunch and some of us continue to the mine.

The mine is an easy walk once you get to the ridge line. There is even a trail to follow. In the picture of the old mine foundation you can see a bunch of springs just to the left of the wall. We thought this was used to hold up something heavy that could move due to motors, rocks, or other things.

Inspector Michael at the mine building.

The mine is just below the rim so you cannot see it from I-17. There is plenty to see, with old bits and pieces if mine equipment scattered abort. We take about an hour to look at all the different things from the mine shaft, chimneys and old foundations.

Here’s the actual mine shaft.
We’ve got a steep down grade.

It is now time to head back to the cars. This is an easy walk, with a small rise to the top of Black Mesa and then we follow the old road back.

Once we get close to Badger Springs we have to walk carefully down a very steep section, until we get to flat Badger Springs area.

Richinbar production 1905-1948 was:
Copper 7,352 Tons
Lead 6,947 Tons
Gold 4,616 Troy oz
Silver 1,425 Troy oz
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Arizona Trailblazers Hiking Club, Phoenix, Arizona
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updated September 21, 2016