Copper Creek

Warning: In 2006, Copper Creek is still accessible. But the roads leading up the Sibley Mansion are closed by locked gates.

Written by J. M. Hill Thu Sep 28 09:59 MST 1995
Last modified Sun Oct 15 13:30 MST 1995

Copper Creek is an abandonded mining town in the Galiuro Mountains northeast of Mammoth. Not much is left of the town, but there is spectacular rock and cactus scenery, along with lots of old mining ruins (c. 1900) and a bit of active mining.

I've designated this a truck trip because the 10 miles of dirt road after you leave the highway is rough enough to require a high clearance vehicle. Cars would be at serious risk of leaving parts along the trail. Two-wheel drive trucks will have no problem with the road into Copper Creek. My favorite part of the road has a sheer rock wall on the right and a straight vertical drop (75 feet) on the left --- a great view from the driver's seat. There was plenty of space for a full-size pickup, but drivers who are afraid of heights need not apply. There are some adventurous side trails for those who wish to challenge (abuse) their 4x4 vehicles. The trip would depart at about 9:30AM so we would get to Copper Creek in time for a picnic lunch on the site of the old dam. Then there is ample opportunity for hiking, mountain biking, rock collecting, and 4x4 driving. Lots of fun for adults and kids.

The directions are simple: ``go to Mammoth and turn right'', but if the San Pedro river is high/wet we have to cross it on the AZ 77 bridge just north of Mammoth. From the bridge we then come back south 2 miles on the east side of the San Pedro before turning east on the road into Copper Creek. (See the map.) After that there is about 10 miles of dirt road to get to Copper Creek proper.

What to bring: truck, potluck picnic lunch, sunscreen, jacket, hiking boots, water

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Last modified: Tue Feb 14 17:40:57 2006