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Ghostdancer
05-26-2006, 06:03 AM
Was just looking at the page for Sunflower in Arizona; a place I was unaware of. I drive past this area when I take my trips to Phoenix from Show Low; I like to go by way of Payson.

The info states that a 2WD is ok, but further down it mentions the need for high clearance. Is this just to get to the mine or to the entire site? About how far from the highway is the site?

On further trips I'd like to stop and check it out if I can.


Tom

Ghosttowns.com
05-27-2006, 05:54 PM
Tom - its about 5 miles or so from the highway - you can drive 2wd most of the way but once you turn off the main road is 4wd only and to continue on the main road and make the loop all the way back to the highway requires a pretty good jeep. You can see tihs trail in the GUIDE TO Arizona Backroads & 4-Wheel Drive Trails by Wells.

Anyway, if you park one the main road you can walk up the hill and down to the Sunflower Mine - its very worth the trip - all along the main road, which follows a creek, there are ruins on the east side. Past the turnoff to Sunflower there are many more ruins but again this is a rock crawler or quad trail past the turn off.

If you look closely in my pics you can see the main highway back in the distance looking back towards Four Peaks area.

Once you get to Sunflower, walk or jeep all the trails as there are ruins at the end of almost every single trail as evidenced by my pics - any other ?s just let me know!

Ghostdancer
05-27-2006, 06:40 PM
Anyway, if you park one the main road you can walk up the hill and down to the Sunflower Mine - its very worth the trip - all along the main road, which follows a creek, there are ruins on the east side. Past the turnoff to Sunflower there are many more ruins but again this is a rock crawler or quad trail past the turn off.
About how far a walk is this?

How far south of Payson is the road leading to Sunflower?


Tom

Ghostdancer
05-27-2006, 07:02 PM
Ok, I found the road and location on my Tonto National Forest map. It is marked as The National Mine. I'll have to check it out sometime. :)


Tom

Ghosttowns.com
05-27-2006, 09:48 PM
Here is a shot from google earth - you can see the sunflower mine - you only have to walk the switchback so maybe a quarter mile.http://www.ghosttowns.com/states/az/images/sunflowermap.jpg

Flatiron
05-28-2006, 05:37 AM
Tom...................We just took the Sunflower Mine/ Cornucopia Mine Loop last month, and it's definitely 4WD thru an area called the "Rock Garden" down by the creek. The remains of the Sunflower/National Mine are pretty impressive. It looks as if someone took an old Chevy flatbed dump, and pushed it off the hill above the mill, and it's laying wheels up inside the mill. Check out the pipe /vent going from a structure on top of the hill right above the mill and down to the mill , and let me know what you think it is, if you would. To make the loop, you definitely need 4WD, as you follow the creekbed to the Cornucopia Mine, and then hit some off-camber sidehilling to the top of the ridge. It's a great Jeep ride and it took us about 4 hours with sightseeing/beer break and all. Have fun, and let us know how it went...............

Ghostdancer
05-28-2006, 08:45 AM
Thanks for the info.

Todd, I'll save that photo for later use.

Not sure when I'll make the trip there; weather is getting pretty warm now.


Tom

Ghostdancer
06-18-2006, 02:58 PM
I took another trip to the Phoenix area this weekend via Payson. As I was coming to and going from Phoenix I tried to locate the road from the highway that goes into the Sunflower Mine. I came to a turnoff that goes for a ways to where the road is closed. Looking at my maps it appears that the portion of the road that is closed links up with FS road 25 which then connects to FS25A. Driving further up on the highway I couldn't see any other road from the highway to turn off of. So going north to Payson where do I need to turn off?


Tom

LauraA
06-18-2006, 07:12 PM
I took another trip to the Phoenix area this weekend via Payson. As I was coming to and going from Phoenix I tried to locate the road from the highway that goes into the Sunflower Mine. I came to a turnoff that goes for a ways to where the road is closed. Looking at my maps it appears that the portion of the road that is closed links up with FS road 25 which then connects to FS25A. Driving further up on the highway I couldn't see any other road from the highway to turn off of. So going north to Payson where do I need to turn off?


Tom

To get to Sunflower Mine, coming from Phoenix on 87, you'll turn left onto the road marked Sycamore Creek/Mt. Ord. ( just a little past mile marker 222) Follow the paved road a little over a mile and then turn right at the cattle guard onto FR 25.
It's well worth seeing. Sunflower was a mercury mine and there are a lot of building remains plus two mines at that location. FR 25 is actually a loop, with 3 or 4 more mines on the same road, but anything past the Sunflower Mine requires four wheel drive with a good bit of clearance.
I don't know if the road is closed, fire restrictions are in effect here so it might be a good idea to check with the Tonto Nat'l Forest rangers before going.

Here's a link to a good site showing the exploration of Sunflower Mine.


Sunflower Mine Arizona Jeep Trail OHV Adventure Pictures and Story (http://www.markdstephens.com/sunflowermine/)

Ghostdancer
06-19-2006, 05:15 AM
To get to Sunflower Mine, coming from Phoenix on 87, you'll turn left onto the road marked Sycamore Creek/Mt. Ord. ( just a little past mile marker 222) Follow the paved road a little over a mile and then turn right at the cattle guard onto FR 25.
It's well worth seeing. Sunflower was a mercury mine and there are a lot of building remains plus two mines at that location. FR 25 is actually a loop, with 3 or 4 more mines on the same road, but anything past the Sunflower Mine requires four wheel drive with a good bit of clearance.
I don't know if the road is closed, fire restrictions are in effect here so it might be a good idea to check with the Tonto Nat'l Forest rangers before going.

Here's a link to a good site showing the exploration of Sunflower Mine.


Sunflower Mine Arizona Jeep Trail OHV Adventure Pictures and Story (http://www.markdstephens.com/sunflowermine/)


Thanks Laura. I take it this is that turnoff where the road that turns right goes to Mt. Ord with the other one going to FS25? I actually stopped there to look at my map. I'll bookmark your link for future reference.


Tom

LauraA
06-19-2006, 06:05 PM
Thanks Laura. I take it this is that turnoff where the road that turns right goes to Mt. Ord with the other one going to FS25? I actually stopped there to look at my map. I'll bookmark your link for future reference.

Tom

Yes, the road to Mt Ord is on one side of hwy 87, FR 25 is on the opposite side.

Ghostdancer
07-03-2006, 02:52 PM
Yes, the road to Mt Ord is on one side of hwy 87, FR 25 is on the opposite side.

Further question. I came back today from another trip to the valley and this time I turned onto the road marked Sycamore. I turned right past this catte guard. This road is marked as no. 201. Proceeding further I came to a fork. The portion which went left is marked as 25. Do I turn here?


Tom

Ghosttowns.com
07-03-2006, 04:55 PM
go right there - road should be dirt and not paved

LauraA
07-03-2006, 05:17 PM
Tom,
Yes, take 25, I believe it changes into 25A which will take you to Sunflower Mine. If you continue on past Sunflower, the road worsens and there will be a few more mines, but Sunflower is the most worthwhile to see because of the remains of buildings, ore shute etc.
You're a braver soul than I. I'm hibernating for the summer and staying in the air conditioning. I really miss the exploration, but the thought of vehicle problems way out in the boonies in this broiling heat scares the heck out of me.

FYI if you stay on 201, it'll take you to Sunflower too, but it comes in from the opposite direction and the road is rough to say the least, you really shouldn't try the circle route without another vehicle being along. 25, 245A & 201& 201A basically join together and form a circle through the Sunflower Mining District.
I find a good resource to be Charles A. Wells book, "Guide To Arizona Backroads & 4-Wheel Drive Trails," it's got difficulty ratings as well as detailed descriptions to some pretty neat areas. (Sunflower included)

Ghostdancer
07-04-2006, 06:46 AM
Tom,
Yes, take 25, I believe it changes into 25A which will take you to Sunflower Mine. If you continue on past Sunflower, the road worsens and there will be a few more mines, but Sunflower is the most worthwhile to see because of the remains of buildings, ore shute etc.
You're a braver soul than I. I'm hibernating for the summer and staying in the air conditioning. I really miss the exploration, but the thought of vehicle problems way out in the boonies in this broiling heat scares the heck out of me.

FYI if you stay on 201, it'll take you to Sunflower too, but it comes in from the opposite direction and the road is rough to say the least, you really shouldn't try the circle route without another vehicle being along. 25, 245A & 201& 201A basically join together and form a circle through the Sunflower Mining District.
I find a good resource to be Charles A. Wells book, "Guide To Arizona Backroads & 4-Wheel Drive Trails," it's got difficulty ratings as well as detailed descriptions to some pretty neat areas. (Sunflower included)

Laura, Todd,

Thanks. I'm on the right track then. Actually, I want to wait until fall when the weather is cooler before I go and a friend who lives in Prescott wants to join me. I wanted to check out the correct route so I'd be familiar with it in advance.

Yeah, I see from my maps that there are other mines. One is called the Cornucopia. As far as the road past the Sunflower is concerned my friend has a 4wd if we want to continue further on the route.


Tom

Flatiron
07-10-2006, 05:23 AM
Ghostdancer...............If you travel from the Sunflower/National Mine and mill ruins towards the Cornucopia Mine, make sure your friend has a 4WD with good clearance, as you have to traverse the creek bottom which has some pretty good size boulders to manuever over and around. Have a great trip.................:)

Ghostdancer
07-10-2006, 05:36 AM
Ghostdancer...............If you travel from the Sunflower/National Mine and mill ruins towards the Cornucopia Mine, make sure your friend has a 4WD with good clearance, as you have to traverse the creek bottom which has some pretty good size boulders to manuever over and around. Have a great trip.................:)

Thanks Flatiron, I'll keep that in mind.


Tom

LauraA
08-03-2006, 09:00 PM
Tom, I'd forgotten I had this link until I was deleting some junk from my Favorite Places folders tonight. Mark Stephens has some good pictures and good reading posted. (several other interesting trips he's taken can be found on his site)

Sunflower Mine Arizona Jeep Trail OHV Adventure Pictures and Story (http://www.markdstephens.com/sunflowermine/)

Also, what brought it to mind was reading the Arizona Virtual Jeep Club forum. One of the Jeep Club members did the Sunflower Mine loop last weekend and wound up with a broken axle on his lifted, locked, loaded Jeep, so if you decide to do the entire loop, caution is the keyword. Sunflower Mine is the easiest part of the trail and also the best site to explore. There are lots of good remains of a once thriving mercury mine.

Duh...reading back on your thread, I just realized I'd already posted the link above. Oh well, I'll leave it, maybe someone else would enjoy seeing it and might have missed it before. I guess too much Arizona sunshine has fried my feeble brain. :eek:

Ghosttowns.com
08-04-2006, 01:11 AM
of course I broke broke an axle on my lifted locked and loaded jeep backing out of the driveway and again in a parking lot - then I got bigger axles, never broke one since :) most of us put our money into the things we can see (lifts, tires etc) instead of the things that really need it - of course over the years Ive found that out the hardway...

LauraA
08-04-2006, 06:33 AM
of course I broke broke an axle on my lifted locked and loaded jeep backing out of the driveway and again in a parking lot - then I got bigger axles, never broke one since :) most of us put our money into the things we can see (lifts, tires etc) instead of the things that really need it - of course over the years Ive found that out the hardway...


Judging by the looks of your Jeep, you're ready to go most anywhere. Ours' is still basically stock, the one concession is 30" AT's and rock lights. Thus far, it's been ample, but we're extremely cautious. It's also our daily ride, so now we're thinking instead of mods on the Jeep, we'll get an ATV to haul along behind it. :D

Ghosttowns.com
08-04-2006, 05:04 PM
Well, if you do put anything larger then 31's and put any type of lockers, even the quasi lockers like a lock rite - dont bother unless you at least put chrome molley axle shafts or go to a 44 or 60 front and rear or you will break axles just backing out of the driveway - usually when that happens it chews up the lockers too - I finally got wise and put warn full floaters front and rear - huge difference!

LauraA
08-04-2006, 05:14 PM
hmmmm for now we'd better stick with stock and look for that ATV I mentioned. The mods you mentioned sound like big $$$. We've got a 4 banger and it does seem to really want to crawl to most places we feel comfortable with, if it doesn't want to go....we don't either. ;)