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Story Mine Day Hike
Mazatzal Mountains
May 5, 2011
by Bill Zimmermann
  GPS Map 
Wendy, Gary, Steve, Bill, Eileen
The off-trail canyon to E1.
Mining memorabilia of bygone days.

Five hikers left the meeting place shortly after 6 am and were at the trailhead (end of FR25) at 7:30. The first push to Z2 was up hill and completed in the cool of the morning. We actually picked up the Arizona trail at TX244. The trail was clear and mostly boulder free.

We experienced great valley and canyon view to the north and east from the potato patch “Z3” to “Z4”. Mt Peeley and Mt Ord were distant landmarks. Deep greens of junipers and jack pine and the yellow-orange scrub oak were offset by the light green oak.

At “TXSM” we left the Arizona Trail in search of the Story mine. We followed the remnant of an easy gradual road winding down hill until we got to what we though was a loading shoot (see group photo). Eileen and Bill bushwhacked up the hill to find tracks leading to what may have been a filled-in mine.

We followed the trail as it continued downhill in hope of some shady spot for lunch among the pines. Well as the trail got lower so did the canyon bottom. Three hikers turned around; however, Bill and Eileen continued on attempting to reach a pool and trickling waterfall. The trail became overgrown shortly after the raspberry patch at “E3”.

Bill straddles ore cart rails.
Wendy, our flower girl.

Gary, Bill and Eileen were awarded great vistas to the southwest as the ventured to the end of the potato patch. The views included two familiar landmarks Indian Springs Peak and Bartlett Lake.

Panoramic picture looking southwest from the Potato Patch.

All five hikers rejoined at “Z2” where Bill presented the option if anyone would like to extend the hike to check out another mine site. Eileen and Bill ventured down. The old road was bumpy at first and intentionally blocked with boulders. The remainder of the hike was clear, steep, and had nice tree cover. We discover the mine before our 30-minute turn around time limit. Exploration took us past the mine to “E3”. Would this road connect to “E2” (the point reached on the hike April 30th)?

Itch, or a tall tripod?
Eileen and Bill found branches at the mine.

Hum, looks like another exploratory in the future.

It was warm but at 5400 feet we escaped most of the valley’s first 100-degree day. Bill’s GPS read 12.3 miles 1900 feet ... for some, a little longer than posted.

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updated December 20, 2015