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rwerland
01-10-2007, 09:31 AM
Hi All, I was reading a local history book called "Across Rushing Waters" A history of the Washougal River and Cape Horn.

I was curious if anybody has been to any of the old mining sites that are in the book (Skamania Mine, Last Chance Mine, etc. ?) The one I am most interested is Mabee Mines. According to the author (written in 1982) there are still lots of things that were left behind, partly due to it's remoteness. The mine would be over one hundred years old now.

And last, if anybody is interested in checking it out (spring or summer would be best). I am going to post a map from the book on the web. and USGS Topo for GPS users. I guess it's easy to get lost in the wrong canyon up there.

Best regards,

Ryan E.

Tsarevna
01-20-2007, 08:22 PM
Sounds like a fun trip. I live near Beaverton, wouldn't take much more than an hour or two to get to Camas. I've got a couple friends who might be interested, and we could take a Jeep or a 4x4 Kia.

BTW, what did they mine there?

Gixxerdawg
01-24-2007, 08:50 PM
I have tried several times, without success to find this mine. I have done quite a bit of research on old maps and have thought that I had the location, but have been unable to find it. It is an extremely rugged area and very difficult to hike. I've found several other mines in the area that are much more accessable, but not this one.

In regards to what they mined for at Mabee mine, it was most gold, silver, and copper ore coming out of this area.

Tsarevna
01-28-2007, 01:38 PM
Ah, copper ore makes sense, I drove from Vancouver to Washougal last week and saw the current mining/quarrying operations on the eastern edge of Vancouver by the Columbia river. It seems to be above-ground work, and entire hills are gone, half eaten up by the mining. You can come from the north and see high hills with trees on them, pass them and see from the south that sheer drop-offs are on the other side. Like the mountain Half-Dome, in Yosemite. The results make it appear that hydraulic mining has taken place there, I suppose the end result is the same; they are just killing the hills in a much slower manner...

The dirt there looks reddish-yellow, and wouldn't surprise me if it contained copper.

Anyway, have you guys heard of Mabee Mines road? It's on the Mapquest/Googlemaps sites. I got excited about it, until I found there's a car dealership on that road, sounds too urban. :(

rwerland
01-31-2007, 01:08 PM
Hi Gixxerdawg and Tsarevna.

Gixxer, Do you have the book I refered to in my first post? The author drew a map of where Mabee Mines is supposed to be. He has other mines on his map as well. I am assuming he hand drew this map. It looks like Mabee Mines is on Shirt Creek. He has some pictures in the book of some of the junk he found up there as well.
I also have the author's phone number. I was thinking about calling him and seeing how to get to Mabee Mines.

Here is the map from the book.
http://home.pacifier.com/~rwerland/images/Mabee-Mines-Map.jpg (http://home.pacifier.com/%7Erwerland/images/Mabee-Mines-Map.jpg)

Tsarevna, It sounds like Gixxer would have to be our guide. I have input some waypoints into my GPS to locate Shirt Creek. I looks like we would have to wade across the Washoughal River from what I can tell.


I was thinking that in the summer we possibly could come in from the north via the Bluff Mountain trail ? Of course it looks steep and I don't know what the terrain is like.
I was checking out the area via the 3D terrain from the Google Earth program.

Talk to you soon,

Ryan E.

Gixxerdawg
02-06-2007, 07:47 PM
Hey Ryan,

Yeah, I have that book. It was actually what got me started with the whole thing. I used the maps in there and tried to overlay with some actual USFS maps to determine the GPS coordinates.

I have tried it a couple of times, from a couple of different starting points, in different seasons.....and I think I have gotten pretty close, but never hit the jackpot.

The terrain is crazy rough....slick in winter, brushy as heck in the spring/summer. Also alot of blind canyons, so its easy to get going up the wrong one and have to backtrack. At one point, I came to a cliffy area that would have required ropes, and that turned me around.

Gixxerdawg
02-06-2007, 08:00 PM
Tsarevna,

About Mabee Mines road.....its not really anywhere near the mine. My Dad has some property up there, so I know it pretty well. Its also not very "urban". I think the guy with the so called "car dealership" is just a guy working out of his shop that buys and sells alot of cars. Its not the traditional type of car dealership!

There is also a pretty neat old dam site up Mabee Mines road on McCloskey Creek. It has long since been dynamited, but alot is still there, and there is 18" iron pipe running all along the upper part of the road that used to carry water from the dam down to a powerhouse. All this stuff is right off the road and is easily accessable.

kvangeld
02-17-2007, 11:59 PM
Hi all,

My son found this site while researching for a college project and told me about it. I have been to the Maybee mines about 8 times over the past 20 years. The last time was about 3 years ago when I took my 3 oldest boys (10 - 15) and some family friends.
A friend and I got interested in the Maybee mines while researching the Copper City mines over on the Copper Creek side of the Silver Star Mtn. In fact, we have been to almost 50 mines surrounding all sides of Silver Star mtn. We have them all plotted on a map we updated as we found them. Many of the mines are fairly short (20 - 50 feet long). But at least one we got into was close to 3,000 feet long.
As far as the Maybee Mines go, they are blown closed, so you can't get in them currently. And yes there is a lot of stuff laying around including boilers, mining cart track, and a lot of other stuff. I have some pictures from the last time we went up there.
As far as getting there, you don't want to do it until the water goes down, preferably July or later. And the old trails that were pretty good when we started in the mid 80's are almost obliterated as of 3 years ago.
There are a couple of ways to get there. The easiest way, if you can get permission, is to go through the green gate up the Washougal river where there are houses. One of the property owners gave us permission the first time we went to find it, but unfortunately we took a wrong valley and wasted that day. But that is the easiest way as there is a bridge across the Washougal and still part of the original road that ran up there. So it is easy going for a little while. We've not been able to get permission to do that since, so we go around it from the north. There is an old trail heading south from up above (very overgrown now, but passable with work). You can take it for about a mile and then cross the Washougal on the remains of an old log bridge (now only a couple of huge logs spanning the river). Then you need to go either overland to connect into the aforementioned road, or head back upstream on the Washougal until you come to (Bluebird creek, I think it was called on the map). Then walk it upstream (very hard going) until Shirt creek peels off (very hard to see), follow it upstream for about a quarter mile, and then you will run into a huge tailing pile on both sides of the creek and lots of metal things up from the creek. You can see where the openings to the mines were by the depressions in the hillside on both sides of the creek. There was supposed to be another opening on the North side up higher, but we aren't sure we found it.
The other way in is from the top from Bluff mtn. When we first did that around 1990, the trees and brush was very small. In fact, we pretty much sat down and slid down on top of the brush and trees to get to the bottom. It only took us a bit more than an hour to get to the mines. The bummer was climbing back up. It took us about 8 hours to climb back up as the ground was sandy/gravelly and so it was like climbing a sand dune. Unfortunately, the brush grew downhill a bit then curved upward. Pushing through that on the sandy ground about killed me. I seriously thought I was going to have to spend the night there. It was way after dark when we got back to Bluff mtn and our Motorcycles. This last time, we thought we would be smart and have some one drop us off up at the top of Bluff mtn again. But then walk out to the Washougal river and have that person pick us up at the bottom. Unfortunately those small trees and brush had turned into 30 foot fir trees planted tightly together with huge amounts of dead branches that we had to push through. Instead of taking one hour to get down, it took us about 6 hours to get to the Maybee mines. About the same time it takes from the bottom, but much harder.That is not the way to go anymore.
My boys wanted to go up there again this past summer, hike in, spend a night of two at the mines and explore them further. But we never made the time to do it. They are talking about it for this summer again.
How do I post pictures on this forum? I can show you some pictures we took on the last trip up there. :)
I look forward to continuing the conversation. Kirk

Tsarevna
02-18-2007, 12:00 PM
Your adventures sound neat. In order to post a photo to the forum, you can go to www.imageshack.us (http://www.imageshack.us) and upload it.

Then you click on the "Insert Image" button when you are replying on the forum (looks like a little mountain with a sun in the sky behind it.) There, you enter the http: location that your image is stored at.

Once you've got your image on imageshack.us, you have a list of http: web addresses shown next to the photo. Some are for viewing from a forum (as would be the case here) some are for putting it as an inline image on a website like ebay...just choose the correct purpose for your photo. :)

bad bob
02-18-2007, 12:37 PM
Check FAQ above, #3. "Reading & posting msgs", then go to "attachments" part.

After typing text, scroll down past "submit/preview" button to Additional Options and "Manage Attachments". Pic's sizes are supposed to be limited to no larger than 59kb, IIRC, so you may have to resize.

I use a program called ACDsee to move & change pics around, etc.,but there are others available to do the same thing. You can get free downloads that are 99% safe at Downloads.com Go there and look around, or type "subject" in search box.

Gixxerdawg
02-18-2007, 09:46 PM
KVANGELD.....You are my HERO!!! Never have I come across a person who has so much firsthand knowledge of this spot. As mentioned previously, I have tried many times and failed (although, based on your descriptions, I have been VERY close several times!!). I look forward very much to more discussions about this. I am VERY interested in your pictures and would also be very interested in your map that you have plotted of the 50 mines in the Silver Star area. Please feel free to contact me by e-mail. I am VERY interested!!!! Thanks so much for your contribution!! Are you located here in the local Washougal area???

Brian
e-mail: brian.davidson@comcast.net

kvangeld
02-18-2007, 11:16 PM
Okay, I have got the pictures uploaded. Go to:
http://skystryder.googlepages.com/Mining008.jpg

To get to the next picture, change the digits at MiningXXX.jpg up one integer. It goes up to Mining028.jpg The first five or so are pictures of the tailing pile, which is about 30 feet high and lies along the creek. The miners built a trestle with tracks for the mining carts along the creek, and worked bacwards as they dumped tailings off of it. Now the trestle is completely buried by those tailings. 12-14 look at the depressions where the mine mouths were blown in. The next images show the various mining implements that are around the site. The size of the implements tends to get larger as you look at more of the pictures, until you get to some really astonishing things. It is the remoteness of the site that keeps people from taking all of the stuff there.

rwerland
02-18-2007, 11:21 PM
Thanks kvangeld for the detailed info!

Well, you know at least two of us who would be interested in going with you. I am also interested in the map info that Gixxerdawg mentioned. The whole Silver Star area is one of my favorites.

I have found two mines after you go down a gated road #4107 and cross Copper Creek via a large log and hang a left going up some old very rocky roads.

It has been quite a few years ago, but off the Star Way trail I found an old "cabin" on a steep ridge headed up to the top.

kvangeld, Was there an actual Copper City and did it have buildings etc. ?

Thanks for the info. Looking forward to hearing from you.

Ryan E.

Gixxerdawg
02-19-2007, 09:09 AM
Kvangeld......Excellent pictures! I look forward to more tales of your adventures with this site and the other sites that you mentioned in your post. Keep up the great posts!!

kvangeld
02-19-2007, 09:43 AM
Okay, I have improved the picture site, adding captions to the pictures.

http://skystryder.googlepages.com/mabeemines

EDIT: I will post again later this afternoon.

kvangeld
02-19-2007, 08:20 PM
Hi Ryan,

Here are some answers to your questions.

I have found two mines after you go down a gated road #507? and cross Copper Creek via a large log and hang a left going up some old very rocky roads. Yes, I think I have been to those. Are they up pretty high on the hill? I only went to those once. Most of the others I've been to several times. There are a number of mines on Copper Creek. Most of them just a bit above the water line. The biggest one is the one we call the Copper City mine. It is about 340 feet long if I remember correctly. It is downstream about an 1/8th mile from the Copper Creek car bridge (the next bridge downstream from the road you listed above). It is on the North side of the creek. That is the one we first started looking for. We started at the bridge adn walked downstream and went right past it some how. It is plain as day. Since then, we have found many which has helped us to identify signs that point us to them. Once you've been to a few you can start to recognize them much easier.

It has been quite a few years ago, but off the Star Way trail I found an old "cabin" on a steep ridge headed up to the top. I have been all the way to the base of Silver Star Mtn on that trail at least twice and don't think I saw it. I am sure there has to be a mine or two on that creek, but haven't found one yet. That was the only hike I was able to take this summer with my boys. The trail is now virtually gone once you get close to the end of the first rise. It was a very hard trip, and reminded me of the last Maybee mine trip. I would love to know a little more precisely where you found the cabin?? Ws it just a bit around the corner as you leave the copper creek valley and transition into Star Creek Valley? I seem to remember something there a long time ago.

kvangeld, Was there an actual Copper City and did it have buildings etc. ?

According to a news paper article written at the time of the fire that came through and burned all of the buildings up, a couple of miners were up at the "city" and ran for the Copper City mine to escape the fire. They climbed in and waited it out. I don't think it was much of a city, probably a few buildings and such.
As I understand it, there was a pretty good sized city up around the Skamania and Last Chance mines. I believe I read there were about 1,000 people living there, several hotels, and one of the first telegraph lines in the State.

I need to get out all of my old notes, articles, and maps to refresh my memory on some of these things. :)

Otherwise, I hope that helps.
Kirk

kvangeld
02-19-2007, 11:06 PM
As many of you may know, there are other mines near the Maybee mines. There are several located near each other one valley South of the Shirt Creek Valley (Bluebird Creek) John and I referred to them as the Bluebird mines. Anyway, those take a bit longer to get to than the Maybee mines since you have to turn off Southwest at the juction of Shirt Creek and Bluebird creek. And you have to either climb up, or go around a bit of a waterfall to get to them. There are at least 4 to 6 mines there. When we first found them, we could get into most of them. The second, and last time we went, they were in much worse shape and I think we could only get in one. There is also some remains of the mining operation there, but not near as much as at the Maybee mines. Although I think that is where we found a mining cart still in very good condition.

Another mine, or mines, that are near there are the ones on Silver Creek. That valley is south of Blubird creek and is a major valley. So it is an all day trip by itself. We have never found these mines. We only had one shot at finding them and were unsuccessful. Actually, we were trying to find the Maybee mines and took a wrong turn. Since we wasted a bunch of time, we decided to just look for the Silver creek mines instead. But we never found them.

The best way to get to any of these mines is to get permission to go past the green gate (there are cabins down there along the river). John and I thought it would be fun to try and rent out one of the cabins (don't know if they do that) for a week, and use that as a base to clear out the old trail up to the Maybe mines. With a couple of chain saws and motorcycles, clearing the first half to the trail would be pretty easy. The second half of the trail on the other side of Bluebird creek would be much more difficult. But it would be fun to camp out and do that.

My boys would like to hike in to the Maybee mines and camp out for a day or two with the intention of opening one of both entrances. It doesn't look like it would take too much to do that. Although I wonder what the air inside would be like? Anyway, it sounds like it would be a great adventure, and I would love to see what the Maybee mines look like inside. I hear the quartz vein they were following was over 4 feet wide in places. Makes my heart race just to think about it.

The last mine that is supposed to be in that vicinity is a valley or two north of Bluebird creek. Which puts it somewhere accross the Washougal from Prospector creek (gotta love that name!) John and I looked over there once, but came up empty handed. We found old roads and stuff that made it look like the right place, but couldn't pinpoint any mines. Guess we will have to try again another time. :)

So, does anyone else have any experience with any of these mines? If so, I would love to hear about them.

I will eagerly check the forum on Tuesday.

Kirk

speedy
02-20-2007, 06:41 AM
Nice pics, thanks for sharing.....Speedy

kvangeld
02-20-2007, 09:50 PM
Ok, I am going to give you all a chance to let us know which mines surrounding Silver Star Mountain you have been to.

For the record, there are mines on all sides of Silver Star, North, East, South, and West. As well as a couple way up high on the mountain itself.

Anyone found the Silver Creek one yet?

How about the one that is about 3,000 feet long, that was still open as of two years ago?

I look forward to reading about your adventures. :)

Kirk

rwerland
02-21-2007, 12:06 PM
Hi Kirk. Ryan here. I have been to the two little mines up the dead end road over the log (before the new bridge of course) at Copper Creek and hang a left and climb up. These two caves were pretty lame. A bear wouldn't even want to go in these :).

I think some of your boys were in a cave (peeking out) that is along Road 41 just off the road. I have been up Star Creek a little ways, but have yet to explore it further. I need to take a machete if I remember. I lost a nice pair of sunglasses on that old road next to Star Creek. I found an abandoned Isuzu Trooper there in 1995.
I noticed on the USGS map that there is what appears to be a huge waterfall at the end of Star Creek.

I would be interested in know where the 3,000 ft. deep cave is and if and how far you have been into it.
I think my brother and I may go up this Saturday (weather pending) and try to find the cave you mentioned on copper creek at the Road 4109 car bridge crossing.

Looking forward to more great information.

Ryan

kvangeld
02-21-2007, 11:58 PM
Hi Ryan,
Questions and answers below and within. Kirk


Hi Kirk. Ryan here. I have been to the two little mines up the dead end road over the log (before the new bridge of course) at Copper Creek and hang a left and climb up. These two caves were pretty lame. A bear wouldn't even want to go in these :). Those are great ones to find first since it is easy to be impressed by the next ones you find. As I remember those are pretty much out in the open on the side of the hill? Is that correct?

I think some of your boys were in a cave (peeking out) that is along Road 41 just off the road. Good eyes, that is correct. I am constantly amazed every time I see that one. There doesn't seem to be any reason for it to be there, and there aren't any around it that I have found. I have been up Star Creek a little ways, but have yet to explore it further. That is a gorgeous valley. It has awesome waterfalls on it. My boys like going up there. I need to take a machete if I remember. I agree, it has really gotten bad toward the top of the climb and beyond. There is virtually no sign of the road anymore. I lost a nice pair of sunglasses on that old road next to Star Creek. I found an abandoned Isuzu Trooper there in 1995. I think I may have seen the same one.
I noticed on the USGS map that there is what appears to be a huge waterfall at the end of Star Creek. Yes, it comes from high up on the North side of Silver Star and falls between a huge crack in the rock. This is the only trip I was able to take in the area this past summer. It was a tough hike to get there. Took us all day to make the round trip and we only stayed at the Waterfall for about an hour or so.

I would be interested in know where the 3,000 ft. deep cave is and if and how far you have been into it. It is on Skamania Mines Road on a tributary off the West Fork of the Washougal River. It is easy to get to, but hard to find. You only have to walk about 200 feet off the road to get to it. I will leave it at that for now. :)


Now, one thing to know about this one. I believe it is on private property. The last time I was there about 3 years ago, it had a no trespassing sign on it. But it was open.

I have been all the way to the back of it about 3 or 4 times. It is awesome. Bring a good flashlight and batteries. Take a look up at how wide the quartz vein is in parts of it.

Note: virtually all of the mines have water in them that range from a few inches to over a foot. So boots are nice, unless you just like sticking your nice warm feet in very cold water. :)

Note #2: Many of the mines have vertical shafts either in them or near them, so be careful. But since the mines have water in them, you won't fall down hundreds of feet (some are this deep), but it would make for a cold dip. We've been in a couple of water filled mines that have a vertical shaft in them where the roof timbers have fallen down and partially covered the vertical shaft. Carefully climbing over them adds an element of adventure when you stop to think what would happen if you fell through the timbers, sunk down over your head and then had the timbers close the surface of the water......

So if you go in any of them, play it smart, be careful, leave someone outside of the mine (with the car keys), and tell people where you are going. Then have maximum fun! :)


I think my brother and I may go up this Saturday (weather pending) and try to find the cave you mentioned on copper creek at the Road 4109 car bridge crossing.

Cool, go downstream from the bridge about 1/8th mile and look on the North side of the creek near the water level.

While you are there, go through the camping area upstream of the bridge. I believe there are a series of mines on the north side of the creek beyond the camping area.

Be sure to let us all know how it goes! And take pictures.

Looking forward to more great information.

No problem, my experiences with researching and finding the mines has been a high point for me. I hope it holds the same for you. Kirk

Ryan

kvangeld
02-25-2007, 09:35 PM
Hi Ryan,

I know the weather wasn't great on Saturday. But did you get up to Copper Creek and hunt for the Copper City mine? I am dying to know. :)

A really nice day hike is to the Miner's Creek mines (once the weather gets warm (June'ish)). This creek is off of the east end of Copper Creek. There are about 6 or 7 mines up there, the longest is at least 200 feet long. There is also a couple of vertical mines at this spot, so that is kind of cool to see (filled with water). It is also a nice place for a picnic.

Has anyone been to these?

Kirk

rwerland
02-26-2007, 10:52 PM
Hi Kirk, No adventure yet. My brother is willing to go and check some places out with me. The snow level dropped way down last week and I really didn't want to go out in the rain all day. I am definitely looking forward to going soon. I think sometime in March the snow level may move up higher and at least let me get to Road 4107 to park my truck. I'm not sure I can talk him into looking for the old "cabin". For some reason when I tell people I am going off the trail they don't seem trust me after the first few shortcuts that actually end up taking twice as long. :)

I'll check back in throughout the week.

Have you found any caves along hwy 14 ? I know of one that's near a pullout, I believe before Stevenson and you hike down and it's next to a waterfall. I have looked into that one. Very nice size opening.

Talk to you soon,

Ryan

kvangeld
02-27-2007, 11:26 PM
No, I didn't know there were any along it. I don't get up that way very often but it sounds like it would make for a nice reason to go! :) Did you go in it? Can you give me a bit more info on the location? I am heading to Minnesota on Wed (lots of snow I hear) and will be gone until Sat, but will try to check in on this thread while away.

I am still waiting to hear other people's adventures with any of the mines around Silver Star. I will post some of my other adventures with these mines when I get a chance.

Kirk

kvangeld
03-08-2007, 10:47 AM
http://skystryder.googlepages.com/StarCreek008.jpg

A Waterfall on Star Creek.

Gixxerdawg
03-08-2007, 07:38 PM
Kirk.....You're taunting us! Please give us more directions, stories, etc. about the mines......I'M waiting in restless anticipation.......:) or....you could always write a book.......in either case...MORE, MORE, MORE!!!!!!

Brian
(lurking and waiting....)

kvangeld
03-08-2007, 11:05 PM
Hi Brian, No book, at least for now. :) Way too busy! :(

There is a whole series of water falls, like the one pictured, on Star Creek, which is on the North Flank of Silver Star Mountain. You can get there by going up to Copper Creek on Forest Service road 41 (I believe). Then you have to go through a Green Gate to get down to Copper Creek. At that point you cross the creek on a walk-on bridge. Then head downstream following the old road/trail. Not too long after the trail turns up the Star Creek valley, and you hear falling water, you can climb down to Star Creek and see at least 3 or 4 very nice waterfalls that average about 30 feet each. This hike is not very difficult to this point. I believe it only took us about 20 - 30 minutes to walk from the bridge to the first waterfall

If you are really adventurous, you can continue following the creek to the face of Silver Star mountain (which is what we did last summer on the pictured trip). Unfortunately, not much beyond these waterfalls, the trail disappears in an expanse of brush. We stuck to the creek and pushed our way through the brush for the additional half mile or so to the base of the mtn. At that point there are piles of large boulders that create some nice pools, with a bit of a waterfall falling about 100 feet into a pool. It was very hard getting to this point. It took us about 3 hours to travel from the previous waterfalls to the base of the mtn. And it was very hard going. No trail, crawling through brush, climbing over fallen trees, climbing over large rocks and boulders, climbing up waterfalls, and walking in the creek. We were very tired by the time we got back to the van.

A friend, John, and I had made this hike at least once before about 15 years ago. At that time there was a reasonably nice trail that took us to the base of the mtn. But we couldn't make it out anymore. Too bad, since that made for a very nice day hike.

As it is, I would recommend the lower falls to just about anyone. You can do them in a half day depending on how long you want to spend at each waterfall.

If you want to go all the way??? Make sure you start early and expect a challenging hike (this might not be the right word). But I can pretty much guarantee that you won't have to worry about running into others at the end. :)

I will have one of my boys post an article from the Columbian I cut out several years back regarding this general area. But don't blame me for causing "Gold Fever" :)

kvangeld
03-10-2007, 10:27 PM
http://skystryder.googlepages.com/NewspaperClip1.jpg

http://skystryder.googlepages.com/newspaper2.GIF

kvangeld
03-20-2007, 09:49 PM
Hi all,

With the lengthening days and warming weather, has anyone ventured up into the hills yet? I am curious about the snow levels.

And for those of you planning mine expeditions, I will tell you that there are some very nice ones on the West side of Silver Star Mountain, along Rock Creek (well, the mines are not very close to Rock creek, the ones on the creek side of the gravel road, are fairly close to the road and go under the road.) There are a couple of them at that place. In order to get into them you have to crawl over the collaped roof of the mine (dirt at the opening and then becoming rock) and then crawl down into them. When you get in and turn around and look, you can see that a large chunk of the roof has slipped a few inches and appears to be nearing collapse, so make sure you leave someone outside with car keys and a shovel. :)

There is also another one or two mines on the opposite side of the road from the creek, a bit up one of the valleys. These are definetely off the beaten path and not easy to find.

When I get a chance I will post a crude map that shows the general location of these mines.

Happy hunting! :)

Kirk

rwerland
03-24-2007, 01:34 AM
Hi Kirk, Glad to see you are keeping this thread alive. I actually went out last Saturday with my brother and did some coyote hunting/calling up around Ariel (east of woodland). We were able to get up around 2200 ft level in a few of the clear cuts.

With the warmer temps, one could easily reach Rd 4107 and maybe a little further to the rock climbing rock/viewpoint rock on Rd 41 I spoke of. Here is a photo of the viewpoint from about 1994 if I remember correctly.
http://iinet.com/~ryanandwendy/images/Little%20Baldy-Small.jpg (http://iinet.com/%7Eryanandwendy/images/Little%20Baldy-Small.jpg)
My brother on the right and a friend (who moved to Oregon years ago) on the left. My how time goes by fast.....

I am excited about getting up to the Copper Creek area. It will probably be next month
before my wife will let me escape again.
I also may have some info on some caves from my brother's brother in law Gary. He was in a caving group when he was younger and knows some inside info on some of them. I'll check into that. looking forward to seeing the map and hearing more.

Ryan

kvangeld
03-25-2007, 10:41 PM
Hi Ryan,

That is a great picture. I love that spot. We try to stop there every time we go past it. I do get a bit concerned by the vertical cracks running down thru the rock. It sure looks like the front portion is ready to fall off down the canyon. I'd hate to ride that one down. :)

Let us know after you go up that way again. I will be interested how the snow level is and the access to Copper Creek. It is not likely that I will have time to get up that way until May or June at the earliest. But I am hoping to get up there at least a few times this summer.

Gixxerdawg
04-19-2007, 07:38 PM
hey guys......Keep this thread alive! I am still waiting to hear more of Kirk's stories, and the weather is just about to start getting good enough to start getting out there and seeing some of this stuff. Keep the posts coming!!!

Brian

kvangeld
04-19-2007, 09:29 PM
Hi Brian,

I've been gone on business trips for the past two weeks. Just got back recently and trying to catch up on all the work. But I sure enjoyed the bit of sun we had today, and it made me think that exploring old mines is just around the corner. :)

Anyway, another nice set of old mines are the Miner's Creek Mines. These are on Miner's Creek which flows into Copper Creek near the east end. To get there you go down to Copper Creek (past the green gate), cross the new bridge, turn left and head upstream (downstream takes you toward Star Creek, which I wrote about awhile back). The trail starts out like a road for a good way(except for a washout). And then it turns into more of a trail. You have to again cross to the North side of Copper creek and follow a very old road/trail over to the Miner's Creek valley. Not far from crossing Copper Creek you will be posed with a fork in the trail. The left one takes you over to Miner's Creek. The right one takes you back to Copper Creek where there are several smaller mines on the north bank of Copper Creek.

Anyway, once you get to the Miner's Creek Valley, you will run into a horizontal mine on the South bank. And a vertical mine next to it. There is also a vertical mine accross from these on the north bank. And there are a couple of other mines further upstream, but these are harder to find.

These were some of the early mines that we discovered, and hold a lot of fond memories of the adventure. The horizontal mine on the south bank presented us with our first adrenaline rush. The entrance had caved in, leaving a pile of rubble blocking the access into the mine except for a very small hole to crawl through. In other words, if we were going to get into it, we had to lay on our stomachs, crawl over the rubble pile, and at the same time squeeze between the rubble and the roof of the mine. There was just enough room to fit between the pile of rock and the roof of the mine. What made it worse was the fact that when you poked your head and shoulders into that small space, it cut off all light, making it pitch dark to climb into. All kinds of thoughts of bears and other wild animals went thru my head as I was the lucky one to go in first. Also, it is a bit disconcerting once you stand up inside and realize that the entrance has collapsed at some point in the recent past, pretty much blocking the way, and wondering if it was so inclinded to do so again in the immediate future.

Thankfully, there were no large wild animals in there (at that time anyway), just the cave spiders we came to expect. Since the pile of rubble blocked the opening, water couldn't flow out of the mine very well so there was about 18 inches of water in the bottom (boy is that water cold!). If you are not afraid to get wet, this mine is about a couple hundred feet long. I don't believe this one has old timbers in it. The rock seems pretty stable (except for the entrance).

Outside the mine is a nice place for a picnic near the creek. And it is a nice creek for kids to play in.

You will have to go see the other mines at this location to discover what they have to offer. I don't want to spoil all of your excitement. :)

All in all, these are some of our favorite mines to visit due to their remoteness, yet reasonably accessable nature. I would recommend them to anyone capable of an intermediate difficulty hike.

Have fun exploring! :)

Kirk

PlumasDancer
04-27-2007, 02:16 PM
Kirk, are you affiliated with KVAN radio in Vancouver?:)

kvangeld
05-09-2007, 08:18 PM
Hi, No, relation there. But I do live in Vancouver. :)

So, has anyone gone out exploring mines yet this year?

Kirk

kvangeld
05-28-2007, 03:30 PM
So are all of you running around Silver Star Mtn exploring the mines and not sharing? With the nice weather lately I would have expected at least one or two of you to get out and play around up there???

Come on, let us know what you are finding! :)

Kirk

salamander
05-30-2007, 12:41 AM
man i ran around mabee mines a lot and never even thought to look for a mine. i used to run out there after work to wheel or go for a hikle just becous it was close at the time.

Now i go to elk city or Valsets now that im in siletz or

Tsarevna
05-30-2007, 01:14 PM
Hey Salamander,
I heard there's nothing really there in Valsetz anymore, except maybe one building. Have you gone to (Old) Kernville? Anything there to see? Got any pictures?

salamander
05-30-2007, 05:07 PM
Hey Salamander,
I heard there's nothing really there in Valsetz anymore, except maybe one building. Have you gone to (Old) Kernville? Anything there to see? Got any pictures?


valsetz is just a wherehouse

old kernvill still hase soem i can get you pictures as its about 20 minuets from my house by main road and 10 by off road

Tsarevna
06-02-2007, 04:40 PM
Excellent, I can't wait for pictures. I keep meaning to go to kernville, but with gas recently at $3.47 that became out of the question. :(

Redcoat Rob
06-02-2007, 08:17 PM
We were driving on forest road 41 today and came across this hole next to the road, looks like an old mine entrance, approx 2 miles west of Bluff trailhead.



http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1022/527088216_5d051e526f.jpg
View into the opening...
http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1098/527088228_010660baa2.jpg

speedy
06-03-2007, 06:16 AM
Nice pics, Rob. Thanks for sharing.....Speedy

kvangeld
06-04-2007, 08:57 PM
I agree, nice pictures.

That mine has always baffled me. It is hundreds of feet above creek level unlike almost all of the other mines in the area. Someone sure went to a lot of work digging it there, they must have seen something of interest, although I have no idea what.

So Rob, is the snow all gone up there? At least off the road?

Several years ago, a friend and I tried to get up there on Memorial Day. We had to stop well short of that mine due to heavy snow on the road.

Thanks,
Kirk

Redcoat Rob
06-08-2007, 08:57 PM
There was absolutely no snow along the road. Looking up at Silver Star there were some patches visible in shady spots near the summit on the north side. We made it up to the Bluff Mountain trailhead in a Ford Taurus so it can't be that bad. The worst thing was the potholed stretch near where 4109 branches off.

I collected a small amount of gravel from a stream west of that mine and panned down to a few tiny flecks of what I believe to be platinum...and that stream looks like it flows into Copper Creek so is a tributary of the East Fork Lewis. Maybe the source of the platinum that wound up in the Lewis placer deposits is in the vicinity of this mine?
I imagine that as with the gold veins in the Silver Star area any platinum would be so thinly spread as to be uneconomical to mine.

Kirk, have you been into this mine? If so how far in does it go?

Also, forest road 4107 that leads down from 41 to Miners Creek and Copper Creek is closed with a gate, looking at the USGS map of that area there are a bunch of mines down there. Do you know why it is closed off?

Here is a shaded USGS topo of the area for those not familiar with it, you can see the mine in my earlier pics marked in the top left section along 41:
http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1364/537344731_a301fe8b56_o.jpg


Rob

nathanaelrensland
06-10-2007, 01:12 AM
actualy when they were going for copper back in 1902 the found a small vien of silver so they tried to mine it. If you go back into the mine a few hundred feet back you might find a couple old picks. Just go to the forest department they will fill you in on the goodies :)

kvangeld
07-04-2007, 03:49 PM
Hi Rob,

I thought I had already answered your questions above. But I think I started to and then got called away, and it never got submitted. I'm sorry about the delay. Also thanks for the update on the road conditions. Answers below.


Kirk, have you been into this mine? If so how far in does it go?

Yes I have been in that mine a few times. It doesn't go back very far (about 30 feet or so if my memory is correct). But it is very easy to get to, so it is great for beginners, little kids, or the wife who doesn't want to "tramp all over God's green Earth, looking for holes in the ground" with you. :D


Also, forest road 4107 that leads down from 41 to Miners Creek and Copper Creek is closed with a gate, looking at the USGS map of that area there are a bunch of mines down there. Do you know why it is closed off?

I believe so. There are a bunch of mining claims down along the creek behind the gate, owned by a local gold prospecting club. I think they use it to control access. But many times the gate is wide open. Even when it wasn't , it usually wasn't locked. All we had to do was push it open. I drove down there last year when my boys and I hiked up Star Creek.

And yes, there are a bunch of mines upstream from that point that are well worth searching out.

So, has anybody else gotten up around Silver Star yet? I am waiting for some good stories of mine discoveries.

Have a great 4th of July!

Kirk

rwerland
07-27-2007, 11:39 AM
Hi Kirk & All, Ryan here. I personally haven't been able to get out yet on road 41 or 4107. My mother-in-law is moving out after six years and my wife and I have been helping out quite a bit. With her mother gone, that will give us an additional 1200+ SF.

The closest I got to doing a little exploring was the Skamania Mines Road two weeks ago. I took my 5 year old son Joshua. We went by Larch Mountain and took the 1200 road I think. Nasty road. The road goes by the one of the trailheads to Silver Star Mtn.

I did snap a picture of the warning sign on Skamania Mines road. I sure would like to check that one out with permission. Looks like they guard the area pretty well. Very interesting area. Quick views of Silver Star and Bluff Mountain.

Like most of the
low lying areas, there needs to be some serious brush clearing or logging. These old mining areas would make really neat hiking trails, etc. Lots of history up there.

It's too bad it's buried in brush and rocks. I am suprised it's not state land where Skamania Mines are located. Here is a photo of the sign. I can't wait to get out after the m-in-law moves August 5th.

Ryan

http://iinet.com/%7Eryanandwendy/images/SMines-Sign.jpg

kvangeld
08-21-2007, 10:12 PM
Hi all, I have been swamped with work for the past 6 weeks and haven't been able to hardly even think about getting up around Silver Star. I hope to before the rains set in.

How about it? Anyone else get up there recently?

Kirk

Gixxerdawg
08-23-2007, 10:34 PM
Kirk....Unfortunately.......I have been in the same boat as you. Bogged down with work and other "summer activities" and haven't been able to make it up the mountain. Its still on my "To do" list though and I am still planning to make it up there before the weather sets in. Keep us posted on any new...(or old...) discoveries, if you have any. I am still thinking you are holding out on us alot!! =)

Brian

Gravelrash
08-30-2007, 09:57 PM
This has to be one of the best threads I've read on this site so far.
It had it all, the initial enquiry and a bit of info dribbling in and then Kirk appears and "it was on for young and old."
I know I will never see any of these mines but the pictures took me there. With a little recall of my first mine discovery I was able to feel like I was there. The posts that started coming in really conveyed the whole excitement and I learned a heck of a lot of interesting stuff about the American wilderness.
Coyote calling! What the %$#*%!! This I have to try!
Mothers-in-law that take up 1200 sf! Gold prospecting clubs that control access, snow levels being something to consider (what is snow??), snow melts affecting water heights and access, things we naver have to consider in Oz..... the whole post was just one great adventure for me, an armchair traveller a long way away!
Thanks guys, it was a great thrill to be along with you all. I can't wait to hear more. I hope you all get up there this year.

kvangeld
09-02-2007, 07:49 PM
Hi all,
We just had a break in our schedule (after fixing the broken sewer pipe under our house on Saturday). We will be heading up to the mines along Rock Creek on the West side of Silver Star on Monday morning. If anyone gets this in time and want to meet us up there, email me a phone number to call at atsnw@aol.com and I will call you. We will be up there until about noon.

I don't think I've told the group much about these mines. They are pretty easy to get to, but a bit difficult to find. It has been about 6 years since I was last at them so it will be interesting to see how they are still doing.

What is interesting about these mines is that the mine tunnels start in dirt (instead of directly in rock, like virtually all of the others in the area). And since they aren't shored up, the entrances have collapsed over the years and partially blocked the tunnel. This means that you have to climb up over the dirt pile and then slide down the other side between the dirt pile and roof of the mine. When you get all the way in and look back toward the opening, you can see where the next 3 feet of the roof has slipped about 3 inches in the process of collapsing. Kind of ratchets up the level of adventure. :) It will be interesting to see if more of it has collapsed over the last 6 years. Hopefully we can still get into it.

Then there are a couple of more mines up one of the gullies on the west side of the road about 1/4 mile south. There really isn't a trail to these, so not many people have been to them even though they are not very far off the road.

I will try to get some pictures for the forum.

kvangeld
09-03-2007, 06:48 PM
Well, I have put the pictures up at:

http://skystryder.googlepages.com/rockcreek

It just has the raw pictures right now. I will add some captions soon.

kvangeld
10-06-2007, 05:16 PM
Hi all, I tried to post this a couple of weeks ago, but it timed out as I went to submit it and I lost it all. So I will see if I can do it again from memory a month after the excitement.

Anyway, my 7 oldest kids and I were able to get away and see if we could find the mines up around Rock Creek (near Dole Valley). There are two spots where we have found mines before, but it has been at least 8 years since we have been there. A lot can change in that time, so we knew it would be a bit of a challenge.

We decided to look for the downstream mines first since we were coming from that direction. We found a graveled turnout that had a new road running down toward the creek that looked to be in about the right spot, although it was a new road. We parked at the turnout since the road was a bit steep for the í84 Toyota van we were driving. So we got out and walked the road down to a newish bridge which crossed the creek. From there we started scouting around for the one or two mines and their tailings piles that used to be there. We searched all around, but didnít find anything that looked like a mine. We did find a washed out portion of hillside the looked a bit suspicious, but the pile of dirt that had sloughed away didnít look big enough to conceal the opening of the mine. Plus, there wasnít any remains of a tailings pile that we knew used to exist. So we figured we had better head further upstream to see if there was a more likely spot to continue our search. And if not, we would come back and investigate this spot more diligently. So, in the van we piled and headed further upstream looking for another place to search.

It was evident that the trees and undergrowth had grown a bunch since our last visit, so it was hard to distinguish any familiar landmarks. But we kept looking as we continued upstream.

Soon enough we came to the switchback at the end of Rock Creek that I knew was beyond both sets of mines. So we had obviously missed them. It was time to turn around and look closer at the landscape. I knew that the upper mines were on the opposite side of the road from the creek. So we looked for a valley about .4 miles downstream from the switchback (a fact I was pretty sure of from past visits). Sure enough, a little over .4 miles we found a valley that was about the right size. So out we piled from the van. I decided to let the kids go by themselves up the valley to search for it and experience the thrill of the discovery (plus, since there is no trail, it looked like hard work for an old man!)

Before they left, we decided on some signals so I could monitor their progress, call them back if necessary, and let me know if they found the mine. I watched them pick their way thru the brush and up the side hill of the valley. It wasnít long before they got out of sight, but I could still hear them talking as they were looking. After about 10 minutes, I heard the signal that one of them found the entrance to the mine, then sounds of the others coming that way.

A minute or two later all heck broke loose and I heard lotís of screaming and the word ďouchĒ yelled over and over by Heather and Joshua. It seems that Jonathan (who found the mine) stirred up a yellow jacketís nest in the ground as he got close to the mine. He didnít realize that as he got past it before they came out. Unfortunately, Joshua got to that point and decided to stop and take a rock out of his boot, right on top of the yellow jacketís nest. Heather was right there with him. The bees, not too happy to have visitors, decided to discourage their stay and stung Josh 14 times and Heather about 7 times. Josh was in such a hurry to get out, that he left his boot laying by the nest. And then they made a hasty retreat, getting encouragement by angry bees who kept up their assault. Needless to say, that put a damper on going into that mine as the bee nest was only 10 Ė 20 feet from the entrance to the mine.

So, if you go out looking for this mine, and find a new-looking rubber boot, you will know you have found both the beeís nest as well as the opening to the mine. I suspect that you could get in the mine if you can avoid the nest and have a great time of discovery.

After they got back to the van and we picked off some remaining bees we decided to go back downstream and look for the other mines. We knew that the area we started in earlier in the day had to be the correct spot. So downstream we headed.

We scouted the area again and decided that the washed out area did show some promise. So we started to dig down into the pile of dirt right along the fracture zone in hopes of finding the tunnel. Kevin did the digging with an old fold up shovel he had brought. After about 10 minutes of digging he announced that the shovel broke through to an empty spot. A bit more digging and he was able to uncover enough that he could see the top of the tunnel of the mineshaft. We didnít have much more time, so we took some pictures and decided to try and come back this fall with some full size shovels and dig it out big enough to climb inside. If one of you beat us too it, we wouldnít mind. J Actually the digging is very easy as it is virtually all dirt and no rock. We reckon it would take about 30 minutes for one or two people to dig out.

Warning. If you do dig it out, it may have bad air in it as it has been bottled up for at least the last few years. So I would either want to let it sit open for a day or two before going it, or use some sort of ventilation device to force good air into it (thatís what leaf blowers are made for, right?)

By reading this and looking at a contour map, you should be able to locate these two mine sites. If you need some more clues, let me know and I will see what I can do.

Surely some others of you have made it up to one or more of the mines this summer??? If so, we are dieing to know about it! :)

Kirk

Gravelrash
10-06-2007, 09:00 PM
.......
Anyway, my 7 oldest kids and I were able to get away ....
Kirk

7 "oldest". My Gawd, how many do you have!!! It's a wonder you have the energy to get out of the house, let alone go mine hunting! Good on ya, mate!
Your posts are great, btw - I'd offer to go get the rubber boots, but I doubt I'd get in there on my crutches!

kvangeld
10-08-2007, 09:17 AM
Quote: 7 "oldest". My Gawd, how many do you have!!! End Quote

I have 11 kids, with another on the way in Feb. Never a dull moment around here. :)

bad bob
10-08-2007, 09:24 AM
Quote: 7 "oldest". My Gawd, how many do you have!!! End Quote

I have 11 kids, with another on the way in Feb. Never a dull moment around here. :)



Wow! Do you adopt? I know a 60 year-old "kid" in BAKErsfield that could use some parenting. :o

Gravelrash
10-09-2007, 12:40 PM
Yeah, but Bob, are you handy around the house?

bad bob
10-09-2007, 02:03 PM
Yeah, but Bob, are you handy around the house?



Yep and I even do windows.
:)

GaryB
10-12-2007, 05:35 PM
I have 11 kids, with another on the way in Feb. Never a dull moment around here. :)


Well they say you should never go exploring alone.....

kvangeld
10-20-2007, 02:57 PM
What's one or two more? You would probably just blend in, except for the window washing part. That would be a dead give away that you are not one of us! :)

Still hoping to get back to the Rock Creek mines once more before the end of the month and winter locks us out. I think we can dig the one out in less than an hour, if someone hasn't beat us back to it yet?

Let us know if you do.

Kirk

kvangeld
11-24-2007, 03:59 PM
Hi all,

Just wondering if anyone had any success this summer getting into some of the mines we have been discussing this past year? (Maybee, Bluebird, Skamania, Last Chance, Copper City, etc)

Are Gixxerdog and Rwerland still lurking around? Did you guys make it up there this summer? If so, let us know what came of it.

On a side note, a couple of my boys and I met with two other experienced Maybee miners last week at the Camas library to compare notes. It was very profitable as each group has been to mines which the other group had not yet found. So now we each have new expeditions planned for next summer.

Anyone interested in comparing notes in this way after Christmas? We could do the same thing and meet at a local library? Let me know and we can schedule a meeting. :)

Kirk

Gixxerdawg
12-09-2007, 05:23 PM
Hi all,

Just wondering if anyone had any success this summer getting into some of the mines we have been discussing this past year? (Maybee, Bluebird, Skamania, Last Chance, Copper City, etc)

Are Gixxerdog and Rwerland still lurking around? Did you guys make it up there this summer? If so, let us know what came of it.

On a side note, a couple of my boys and I met with two other experienced Maybee miners last week at the Camas library to compare notes. It was very profitable as each group has been to mines which the other group had not yet found. So now we each have new expeditions planned for next summer.

Anyone interested in comparing notes in this way after Christmas? We could do the same thing and meet at a local library? Let me know and we can schedule a meeting. :)

Kirk

Kirk, I'm still around here, but sorry to report that we never made it up to the mines this summer. We had the best intentions, but work/school/etc. was always getting in the way.

I'd be very interested to get together and compare notes, although I'm afraid that I would be the one to benefit the most, since I don't have much to contribute as of yet.

:) Brian

kvangeld
12-11-2007, 09:09 PM
Hi Brian,

I know how busy it gets, we too were severly limited on the time we could spend exploring this past summer. :(

We would still enjoy getting together and talking about all of the various mines, look at maps, pictures, etc. Even if you don't have a lot of info to bring with you, it is always fun to reminisce about our adventures.

Maybe we can get together between Christmas and New Year's if you are in town? If not, then January should work well!

Have a great Christmas!
Kirk

Redcoat Rob
01-22-2008, 07:28 AM
Glad to see this thread keeps going!

Like others I didn't get to do much exploring in the summer, I will have to try a bit harder once the weather gets better to just get up there more often.

The Two Rivers Heritage Museum in Washougal has a collection of local mining claim forms, I need to go back and get specific details.
Several list the area as being "Bald Knob". Would that be Little Baldy?

I'll post more info when I get it...

Rob

kvangeld
04-02-2008, 07:47 PM
Since the sun is starting to peek out from behind the clouds and summer is just around the corner, I thought I would propose a meeting of any interested Maybee miners on the evening of April 22nd? We could share stories, maps, and even plans for visiting the mines this summer. Depending on who wants to get together, we may be able to meet at either the Washougal library or the Vancouver library, or???

Let me know if anyone is up for this.
Kirk

Redcoat Rob
04-06-2008, 01:13 PM
I would be...I live in Camas and work in Vancouver so wherever is fine with me.


Rob

kvangeld
04-08-2008, 09:37 PM
Hey Rob, unless we hear from others who can't make it there, why don't we plan on the Camas Library. It looks like it is open until 9:00pm.

I can be there from about 6:30 on.

See you there.

Kirk

Redcoat Rob
04-15-2008, 07:34 AM
Ok Kirk, I'll be there at 6.30...

treasure_trekker
04-24-2008, 08:38 PM
Found this forum by accident while trying to find info on mines in the area to go explore. So I had to join and say that I am very interested in going with anyone who plans a weekend to do some mine exploring! Just let me know the time and place to meet!
After reading some of these posts, it sounds like it would be a ton of fun!

kvangeld
08-09-2008, 09:49 PM
Hi TT,

As it is getting closer to the end of the summer, I am getting the urge to make the trek up to the mines. It also helps that my boys are eager to give it a go also.

I am hoping we can get a date set soon to do it before the middle of Sept.

I will post my plans once we get them settled, in the hopes that others may be able to go along.

Back with you soon,

Kirk

Tim
01-23-2009, 10:45 AM
HI guys,

Theres a big gap here... Did anyone one have success? I too found this site while surfin the net and wanted to share that I too have been there. A real adventure it was! I am a washougal native and know alot of history on the area and the mines along the washougal. I have lots of pics and stories. When I learn to post them here I will share. Or feel free to E-mail me -Tim E-mail cletrac55@msn.com

kvangeld
03-15-2009, 09:22 PM
Hi Tim,

I would love to hear your stories and see your pictures. I am rooting you on in sharing them with us.

Also, I figure it is time to start thinking about the mines for a summer trip. :)

Kirk


HI guys,

Theres a big gap here... Did anyone one have success? I too found this site while surfin the net and wanted to share that I too have been there. A real adventure it was! I am a washougal native and know alot of history on the area and the mines along the washougal. I have lots of pics and stories. When I learn to post them here I will share. Or feel free to E-mail me -Tim E-mail cletrac55@msn.com

Trackicker
03-15-2009, 11:17 PM
Wow! Just found this forum and thought this thread had been dead for months, then I saw your last post AS I was reading this thread. Weird:)

I was a student of Kirk's back in1994 - 1996 (He only had 3 or 4 kids then!:D). He would share his findings with myself and a few friends of mine (also students). We became very interested in exploring some of the mines as we were already familiar with area some of them are located.

Kirk would NEVER tell us where the mines were, but instead give us clues like he has in this thread. If my memory serves me right, I'm pretty sure he has given out a few more here than we got back then.:D

Kirk hows it going? Remember me?

kvangeld
07-05-2009, 09:56 PM
Hi,

Sorry it took so long to see your post. I suppose you will give me an "F" for timeliness? ;) Actually, finishing out the school year took most of my available time.

Things are going very well. I am up to 12 kids total now.

I am sure I will remember you. You could be Nate, Matt, or one of several other former students of that time. Give me another clue or two.

A couple of my kids are trying to get me to commit to a Maybee Mines trip this summer (they want to stay overnight). Not sure if it WILL happen, but I would like to do it again this year.

Did you guys ever make it yourselves?

Trackicker
07-05-2009, 11:26 PM
Eh....Close enough, It's Seth! No....none of use never made, although we always wanted to and still talk about it. I can't imagine what it would be like now, it was getting overgrown then and that was 15 years ago. I was just telling Nate about this and we were talking about you on Friday. 12 kids! That doesn't surprise me, I think you mentioned a dozen or so back then. Glad to hear all is going well for you. We're all doing good as well.:)

solst1ce
07-28-2009, 04:03 PM
Hey Kirk-

My adventurous brother and I are planning an expedition to the 3000 ft shaft you mentioned earlier. We usually do our abandoned mine exploration in central Idaho but we never have looked "closer to home" (we live in Portland). Got a few more clues or hints about how to get to it other than the fact that it's on Skamania Mines Rd? That road goes for a while...

Thanks!

kvangeld
09-17-2009, 09:57 PM
Hey Seth,
I should have known, you were always the one to make things happen in the group, while everyone else just talked! Let's see if they are watching this. ;)

The last two months have been non-stop work, so I haven't had a chance to think about this forum.

My 4 oldest boys and I snuck away and went up to the Copper City Mine a week ago and also did a bit of huckleberry picking. It had been a few years since I have been to that one. It was pretty much like I remembered it, about 400 feet deep and pretty tall and wide with a cave in near the end.

It was great getting up there again. You are correct. The trees are getting much bigger than they were 15 years ago. So it is going to make a Maybee Mines trip quite a bit tougher. But my boys want to do it again. So maybe next summer I can find a way to fit it in?

You should bring the guys over some Saturday and chat. I will provide the Cherry Coke!

Talk with you soon,

Solst1ce, I pm'ed you with some additional details on how to find the mine you were asking about. Promise me you will post about it if you make it up there.

Kirk

solst1ce
09-20-2009, 06:42 PM
A couple of days (Aug 3) after I PM'd you about that deep adit, we decided to head up there and see what we could find. Let's just say the mission was a success. Before we left we loaded up the mountain bikes, GPS, flashlights, rubber boots, etc. We drove up the Skamania Mines Rd past a few private property signs and parked the car in a turn out area where I assume the real private property starts. We politely walked up to the very modern looking building with a van parked across from it to ask permission to look around. There was no one there so we decided to try our luck and press on. From there we set on our bikes. After the modern building which is more of a work shed where I think the owner is doing lumber related tasks, if you look to the left you can see a large deteriorating dam structure down on the creek. We thought this was the old hydroelectric power source (I think there might have been a new power station as well). There are two cableways spanning the valley from the road to the other side of the creek.

The road forked ahead and we took the lower, more maintained road down to the creek. Here we found tailing piles and horizontal shafts on either side of the creek along with what looked like an air compressor. This is the farthest mine on the map (Last Chance?). The shaft on the road side of the creek suffered a cave in a little ways in and the earth above it was not ideal. The shaft on the other side of the creek was open, but it was not very high inside and it had about 2 ft of water running through it with enough pouring through the ceiling to keep me out. We hid our bikes and walked up the creek bed another 1/2 mile or so just to see what we could find.

We then retrieved our bikes and backtracked to the other fork. This was very overgrown and looked like a single track bike trail with numerous trees over the road. About 1/4 mile in we ditched our bikes because we had to bushwack through. Staying on the trail/road was becoming more difficult. After a while we came to a sign in the middle of the trail. It told us this was an active claim. To our right was a partially caved in shaft. We crawled though and if I remember right it went back a a few hundred feet. Pretty cool. We explored for a while then continued along what was left of a trail. We came to a creek crossing. At one point it looked like two huge trunks had been used to span the creek (about a 10-15 ft drop). Only one remained now and we crossed it with care. By now we were bushwacking through huge devil's club and we were using some tracking methods like looking for broken stems. We continued on becoming more and more discouraged until we found crudely scrawled into a white tree trunk "Don't start with me." in capital letters. This piqued our excitement and we continued on but to no avail. Who knows what lay beyond?

We returned to the modern looking building but this time there was a rugged looking pickup truck parked there. We very quietly snuck by and as we came in sight of our car, the occupants of another white pick up truck farther down the road were scoping out our car. When they saw us, they sped off. That didn't make me feel to good...

We mounted up the bikes and continued back down the road towards civilization. At one point, my friend told me to stop the car after we cross-examined our GPS readings with the topo map. To our right (heading towards the creek) was a barely distinguishable muddy trail. This time my brother stayed with the car and my friend and I went down on reconnaissance. We found the shaft and the thought ran through our heads, "Could this be Kirk's deep shaft?" It had a good deal of water in it and a lot running from the ceiling and walls but it seemed to be in good shape. From the amount of tailings it looked significant and the cold emanating from the entrance spelled deep. We returned to the car and donned our boots. Armed with three high intensity flashlights we followed the rails inside and went all the way to the end. There air got increasingly less fresh by the time we reached the end and we were soaked from hunching over and having our backs poured on. My friend and I independently counted our paces to get a rough estimate of the length of the tunnel. We both ended up with estimates of around 1700 feet, but this was extremely rough. This was no doubt the Skamania Mine (unless the maps reversed them like you mentioned). I wish I had taken some pictures of this one but all I had was my cell phone. Maybe sometime I'll head back up there and snap a few. Thanks for turning me on to this place, it was a great day adventure.

log crib dam
10-12-2009, 10:47 PM
I own the place you talked about and while I do not mind people visiting and looking around, if you went into that mine, that was a very stupid thing to do.
Did anyone know you were up there? I saw you vehicle parked there and would of gone up there looking for you the next day but not in the mine. That would of been done by a cadaver dog. Go explore caves, but stay out of mines. dave

vancouverpower
10-13-2009, 08:28 PM
I have to admit I once went in the shafts also. What the **** draws us in there anyways?!?! I actually slipped off a 2 x 12 that was spanning a water filled vertical shaft (and went in up to my waist) inside the mine that is across the creek, very scary. BTW for anybody considering it, there is nothing really to see inside, best not to go in.

If you really are the owner, (sorry can't be sure on the computer) would you mind filling us in on some of the history of the mines, equipment, what was mined? I can't speak for everyone here but most of us are simply interested in exploring, picture taking etc, not vandalism. I have been to several mines in the area. I would say most of us go to these mines because they are so fascinating and to try and learn about the past. Who knows some real info from you might cut back on trespassing?



Joe

RedDogSaloon
10-13-2009, 10:21 PM
Now what fascinates me here is not the above post (with a well regarded admonishment about the danger of going into mine shafts) - but the fact that someone joins the forum, posts about a ghost towning experience, then another person joins too, almost immediately thereafter, and posts of owning the property.

A car by the trail head cannot be that rare or unusual an event, so what on earth compelled an internet search to see if - per chance maybe? - someone on that particular occasion posted out there in cyberspace about their visit.

I mean.... what are the odds?

barnbum
10-14-2009, 01:07 AM
Now what fascinates me here is not the above post (with a well regarded admonishment about the danger of going into mine shafts) - but the fact that someone joins the forum, posts about a ghost towning experience, then another person joins too, almost immediately thereafter, and posts of owning the property.

A car by the trail head cannot be that rare or unusual an event, so what on earth compelled an internet search to see if - per chance maybe? - someone on that particular occasion posted out there in cyberspace about their visit.

I mean.... what are the odds?

About a million to one? Does make ya wonder.

silverstate55
10-14-2009, 09:46 AM
Hmmmm....and I thought the abundant coincidences were just a product of my overly-suspicious mind!

dwinslow
10-14-2009, 11:43 AM
Hmmmm....and I thought the abundant coincidences were just a product of my overly-suspicious mind!

Kinda like that guy who jumped on me a few week ago about a photo I posted that was taken 45 years ago. He said he was the owner and wanted to know who showed me the mine and wanted to know if I knew some sort of a cartel up there. Of course he never surfaced again. I kinda wished he had. It would have been fun.

vancouverpower
10-14-2009, 03:23 PM
Now what fascinates me here is not the above post (with a well regarded admonishment about the danger of going into mine shafts) - but the fact that someone joins the forum, posts about a ghost towning experience, then another person joins too, almost immediately thereafter, and posts of owning the property.

A car by the trail head cannot be that rare or unusual an event, so what on earth compelled an internet search to see if - per chance maybe? - someone on that particular occasion posted out there in cyberspace about their visit.

I mean.... what are the odds?

I'm not following you exactly. Are you talking about Sam and Dave? Looks like Sam joined in July. I don't think it is so weird that a owner (Dave) might come across this thread and find a desire to comment. Or am I missing something?

kvangeld
10-16-2009, 11:15 PM
Yes, Dave's post was interesting. Certainly coincidental. I do know that some of the property is privately owned, and have met the owner (at that time) a few years back. He was nice enough.

While I am sure his admonition to stay out of mines in general is prudent, I have been in approximately 50 mines within about two miles of his (if these were his) a number of times over the past 25 years. The longest being about 2,000 feet long. We would always leave someone outside with the car keys in case something happened. But never noticed any issues with bad air, or rock falls. I know it is risky, but so is riding a bicycle on the road (we had a friend die this way last month). Also, I am a firm believer in property rights, and respect the owner's right to limit access. We have obtained permission most times when encountering mines on private property. A few times we didn't realize they were on private property when we found them. Apologies for that.

I too would be interested in any history or stories from Dave, if he is the owner.

Kirk

michael purcell
10-20-2009, 10:17 PM
I think some of the messages I have read would be a little different if you were the land owner and for the last 31 years have endured people coming onto your land. I have had my place trashed, robbed, and my cabin was set on fire and burned to the ground. Three years ago a guy died on my place. Now I try to keep an open mind because it is only that 1% of idiots that come up there drunk. Like I said I do not mind, but do not give permission, for people to look around because they are just curious and rock hounds who want to look at the tailings. Every so often I enter a search with names and postings in forums show up. To find out more about the mines up there go to the Two Rivers History Museum in Washougal. There is a book 'Across Rushing Waters' that has info. I hope to build a museum up there someday to tell the history of the dam and mines and the tough people who worked them. A car up there is a big deal and it is on private land, not a public trail head. So I take notice. I do not appreciate people walking around smoking in the middle of summer with a high fire danger. One of the mines is on private land and the other two are on gov. land but have active claims. Once again, I try to be nice to people and answer questions and you never know who one will meet up there. That road has been there for 100 years. I worked for for the forest service for years and there are a lot of 'dudes' that go out in the woods and act stupid. I will not put up with it on my land . I do not visit forums and if you want to ask me something you can contact me at damdream@yahoo.com

dave

vancouverpower
10-29-2009, 03:17 PM
Where did the last two post's to this thread go? A person made a post about McCloskey creek and I replied to it and now they are gone. What gives?

kvangeld
10-29-2009, 08:53 PM
Hmmmm, can you post again? I am sorry I am to late and missed it.

Hi Dave, I want to thank you for allowing people to explore the terrain around your place. I am sorry you have had to suffer thru some beligerant people. I do hope you will share more of your history, stories, and knowledge of the surrounding area with us on the forum. What I have read and researched is pretty amazing. I am sure there is a lot more to hear.

Take care,
Kirk

silverstate55
10-30-2009, 05:43 AM
Where did the last two post's to this thread go? A person made a post about McCloskey creek and I replied to it and now they are gone. What gives?

Ooooh, well, this is a GHOST town forum, after all.... :cool:

vancouverpower
10-30-2009, 05:30 PM
Hmmmm, can you post again? I am sorry I am to late and missed it.

Hi Dave, I want to thank you for allowing people to explore the terrain around your place. I am sorry you have had to suffer thru some beligerant people. I do hope you will share more of your history, stories, and knowledge of the surrounding area with us on the forum. What I have read and researched is pretty amazing. I am sure there is a lot more to hear.

Take care,
Kirk

Hi Kirk,
The post was just asking if anybody has been to the McCloskey Creek power house, the water pipe that ran to it and about a dam site to store water for the power house. My question is where was the dam?

Also wondered if anyone else had been up to the power house caretaker shack ruins?

log crib dam
11-11-2009, 05:55 PM
Skamania County is planning to close the public right of way to Skamania Mines Rd. Generations of locals have been going up the road to explore, hike, hunt, bike, horse riding, ATV and 4 wheeling. It will be gated and locked at the 1200 rd. Another closed road. Email the county comm. at pearce@co.skamania.wa.us and the county engineer who thinks this is a great idea ( the guy is a jerk) at douglass@co.skamania.wa.us and let them know that this is an imporant road and should not be closed. There is a public input meeting in Stevenson at 5:30 on Dec. 8. They picked this date so as few people as possible would show up. I hate to see this road closed after 100 years of use. dave

vancouverpower
11-16-2009, 05:46 PM
Emails sent:mad:

vancouverpower
11-17-2009, 03:17 PM
From Pearce

What we are doing in vacating Skamania Mines Rd and returning it to the property owners. The county can not afford to maintain it..

From Douglass


Skamania County is considering the vacation of Skamania Mines Road. This means if vacated, Skamania County releases all interest of the road and it goes back to the ownership of the private landowners. It will not be gated by the County, but if ALL of the landowners wish to do that, they could as it would be a choice they can make. No one person can gate the road for closure as they would be blocking access to other owners.

If you have any questions or concerns I would suggest you send a letter to the Board of County Commissioner's so it can be entered into record for the Public Hearing, which is on December 8th. The letter must reach the board by December 1st at noon to be entered into record for the public hearing. I am attaching the notice for any clarification you may need.

Thanks for your interest and I hope this helps.

log crib dam
11-18-2009, 09:02 AM
Skamania Mines Road access's over a thousand acres of timber land that pay property tax and timber tax. And the land owners pay property tax. They make money on this road since they do very little to maintain it. When ever there is flood damage they list the things that need fixing on this road, get federal money and spend it else where. And they are gating the road because when a road has its public right of way removed it gets gated. Email these guys more and let them know they are going to held accountable for this. dave

vancouverpower
11-18-2009, 03:30 PM
Skamania Mines Road access's over a thousand acres of timber land that pay property tax and timber tax. And the land owners pay property tax. They make money on this road since they do very little to maintain it. When ever there is flood damage they list the things that need fixing on this road, get federal money and spend it else where. And they are gating the road because when a road has its public right of way removed it gets gated. Email these guys more and let them know they are going to held accountable for this. dave
Uhh... I did e mail them and let them know I would like to have the road stay open and why etc. But I'm not about to tell them that "they are going to be held accountable for this"

log crib dam
11-18-2009, 06:38 PM
Thank you for sending the emails. When I said held accountable, I meant by Skamania County Residents at the voting booth. This is working. They gated McCloskey Creek Road and I really miss driving on it. Hate to see this happen to Skamania Mines Road. dave

DEATHWIND1
11-28-2009, 06:56 PM
I would like to give it a try After I get my knees Replaced Next Year !----------deathwind1r@yahoo.com;)

sspitka
12-06-2009, 12:45 PM
I would like to give it a try After I get my knees Replaced Next Year !----------deathwind1r@yahoo.com;)
Yes been to most of them mentioned, quite a hike for some to get to, even find.

kvangeld
12-07-2009, 08:04 PM
Hey Sspitka,

I am interested in hearing about your experience with the mines. Can you share your stories with us? Do you have any pictures? Thanks, Kirk

sspitka
12-07-2009, 08:26 PM
Hi Kirk,

Well where do I start, I am in posession of 'across rushing waters' read it from front to back many, many times, referred to it many ,many times, been to alot of places in the book. I've hiked the three miles (from the lower end of) the maybe mines, looked for the yellow jacket mine (didn't find it):(, been to the last chance mine, skamania mine after dynamited. I even know the history of the mouse that burned down years ago between the two mines

kvangeld
12-15-2009, 05:47 PM
Hi Kirk,

Well where do I start, I am in posession of 'across rushing waters' read it from front to back many, many times, referred to it many ,many times, been to alot of places in the book. I've hiked the three miles (from the lower end of) the maybe mines, looked for the yellow jacket mine (didn't find it):(, been to the last chance mine, skamania mine after dynamited. I even know the history of the mouse that burned down years ago between the two mines

Hi Sspitka,

That's a good start. While at the Mabee Mines did you go to the Bluebird Mines? How many times have you visited the Mabee Mines? How long ago?

As far as the Yellow Jacket Mine, do you mean the one that is supposed to be a bit East and North from the Mabee Mines? If so, I have tried to find it also, but was unsuccessful. The same goes for the Silver Creek Mine/s.

I would be interested in hearing the history of the burned down house. I first started going up there when it was still intact. I was disappointed to find it had burned down and hoped it wasn't due to arson....

Was the Skamania Mine dinamited? I was under the impression that it collapsed from water erosion from the top. I am interested in hearing more.

Thanks,

Kirk

sspitka
12-16-2009, 06:43 AM
Hi Sspitka,

That's a good start. While at the Mabee Mines did you go to the Bluebird Mines? How many times have you visited the Mabee Mines? How long ago?

As far as the Yellow Jacket Mine, do you mean the one that is supposed to be a bit East and North from the Mabee Mines? If so, I have tried to find it also, but was unsuccessful. The same goes for the Silver Creek Mine/s.

I would be interested in hearing the history of the burned down house. I first started going up there when it was still intact. I was disappointed to find it had burned down and hoped it wasn't due to arson....

Was the Skamania Mine dinamited? I was under the impression that it collapsed from water erosion from the top. I am interested in hearing more.

Thanks,

Kirk



Hi Kirk,

I've been to the maybe mines twice both a rememberable experience, tryed looking for the bluebird didn't find it:(. also shell white mine, the yellow jacket mine should be a little east of where shirt creek comes in blue boy creek, haven't found it either:(.

will add more later.

sspitka
12-16-2009, 07:32 PM
Hi Sspitka,

That's a good start. While at the Mabee Mines did you go to the Bluebird Mines? How many times have you visited the Mabee Mines? How long ago?

As far as the Yellow Jacket Mine, do you mean the one that is supposed to be a bit East and North from the Mabee Mines? If so, I have tried to find it also, but was unsuccessful. The same goes for the Silver Creek Mine/s.

I would be interested in hearing the history of the burned down house. I first started going up there when it was still intact. I was disappointed to find it had burned down and hoped it wasn't due to arson....

Was the Skamania Mine dinamited? I was under the impression that it collapsed from water erosion from the top. I am interested in hearing more.

Thanks,

Kirk


Hi Kirk,

To continue my story,

In the 80's there was a log cabin that was there and the guy that owned it, his name was cameron blagg, he made his living as an artist, painter. On how we meet was through my dad which he was in 2 way radio, and cameron blagg wanted my dad to install a radio at his house, and we became really good friends. Cameron lived there for I don't know how many years with his wife and two or three kids don't remember. That's how I know the surrounding area.

Just up the river was a man made dam that cameron built witch he had got running water from.........................From the story that cameron told my dad and I that the mine up the road was dynamited, I don't know any other history about thast mine other then that...If I remember right there is a third mine on that road right along side of the road from what cameron used to tell us but it has caved in..

Anyway getting back over to maybe mine valley I've tryed looking for the yellow jacket mine didn't find it:(. haven't been to the shell white or the silver creek mine. There is one other mine I know about farther up the washougal river zinc creek mine on zinc creek but ran out of time in the day and never went back up there, have a pretty good idea where it's at.


Do you or anyone on this blog every get together for meetings or coffee of whatever about your storys. I sure would like to get together sometime and exchange storys, getting me excited talking about these mines again.:)

kvangeld
12-17-2009, 10:12 PM
Hi Kirk,

To continue my story,

In the 80's there was a log cabin that was there and the guy that owned it, his name was cameron blagg, he made his living as an artist, painter. On how we meet was through my dad which he was in 2 way radio, and cameron blagg wanted my dad to install a radio at his house, and we became really good friends. Cameron lived there for I don't know how many years with his wife and two or three kids don't remember. That's how I know the surrounding area.

Just up the river was a man made dam that cameron built witch he had got running water from.........................From the story that cameron told my dad and I that the mine up the road was dynamited, I don't know any other history about thast mine other then that...If I remember right there is a third mine on that road right along side of the road from what cameron used to tell us but it has caved in..

Anyway getting back over to maybe mine valley I've tryed looking for the yellow jacket mine didn't find it:(. haven't been to the shell white or the silver creek mine. There is one other mine I know about farther up the washougal river zinc creek mine on zinc creek but ran out of time in the day and never went back up there, have a pretty good idea where it's at.


Do you or anyone on this blog every get together for meetings or coffee of whatever about your storys. I sure would like to get together sometime and exchange storys, getting me excited talking about these mines again.:)

Yes, I have got together two times to share stories so far. Each time was with a diferent person from this thread. I think they were valuable for all parties. I would enjoy sharing stories with you. Are you free between Christmas and New Years? We have met at the Camas library in the past.

I know some of the mines are labeled inconsistently on maps. I have always considered the Yellow Jacket mine to be what I believe to be the last mine beyond the Skamania and Last Chance Mines. It is right beside the road near the end of the trail (if I am naming it correctly), and it may have been dynamited a bit inside if I remember from about 4 years ago.

I have never heard about the Shell White mine. Where is it supposed to be located.

I believe it is the Zinc Creek mine which we were also unable to find due to a lack of time.

When you say shirt creek mines are you referring to the mines on the north side of the valley across from the Mabee mine? Or a diferent one?

Thanks,

Kirk

sspitka
12-18-2009, 06:54 PM
Yes, I have got together two times to share stories so far. Each time was with a diferent person from this thread. I think they were valuable for all parties. I would enjoy sharing stories with you. Are you free between Christmas and New Years? We have met at the Camas library in the past.

I know some of the mines are labeled inconsistently on maps. I have always considered the Yellow Jacket mine to be what I believe to be the last mine beyond the Skamania and Last Chance Mines. It is right beside the road near the end of the trail (if I am naming it correctly), and it may have been dynamited a bit inside if I remember from about 4 years ago.

I have never heard about the Shell White mine. Where is it supposed to be located.

I believe it is the Zinc Creek mine which we were also unable to find due to a lack of time.

When you say shirt creek mines are you referring to the mines on the north side of the valley across from the Mabee mine? Or a diferent one?

Thanks,

Kirk


Hi Kirk,

Yes I can be free betwwen christmas & new years, My wife I think knows where the camas library is, she lived in camas for a while. Yes it could be the yellow jacket and that could be why it was dynomited. The shell white mine should be up blue boy creek past shirt creek some where.

kvangeld
12-23-2009, 11:08 PM
Awesome. I sent you a personal message with my email address so we can connect up next week.

As far as the Shell Creek mine, I am wondering if that is south of Maybee on what I've seen called BlueBird creek. If so, we found 3 or 4 mines along there. We were able to get into a few of them, but they were in pretty bad shape. But I remember mining cart tracks out in front of the mines that were still in pretty good shape. We had to climb up past a waterfall to get to them.

Were you able to find the collapsed Maybee Mines? We could locate the one on the south side of the creek, but the north side wasn't as easy to identify.

I look forward to sharing stories. I will bring some of my maps and documents.

Kirk

sspitka
12-29-2009, 10:29 PM
Hi Kirk,

What was the name of that other book, mt. st helens something, something. I want to try to find the book and read it

Thanks, Scott

kvangeld
01-29-2010, 09:59 PM
Hi,

The book is called "St. Helens and Washougal Mining Districts" I believe. We found it at the downtown Vancouver library and copied the pages I showed you. I like the very descriptive write ups about each of the main mines around Silver Star Mtn. It sure gave us a big case of "mining fever" since it was about this time of the year that we found the book. So all we could do was dream about the mines and work on plans to locate them.....

Take care,
Kirk

kvangeld
01-30-2010, 12:32 PM
Some excerpts from that book are available from the Cascades Volcano Observatory website. Unfortunately, I haven't found any of the mine diagrams yet.

http://vulcan.wr.usgs.gov/Glossary/MineralResources/description_mineral_resources.html

9812vCTD
03-10-2010, 02:26 PM
Hello all,
I have spent much time exploring Mabee Mines Rd and McCloskey Creek Rd, and everything in between. When attempting to find information about the area on Google I came across this thread. Since then I have been reading everything I can find about mines in Clark and Skamania counties, and have mapped the locations to most of them. I would like to visit them (Mabee mines in particular) so if anybody has any plans of visiting I would be very interested in joining the trek!

-Luke

kvangeld
08-16-2010, 06:49 PM
Hi Luke,
I can't believe summer is about gone, and we haven't been able to schedule a trip up to any of the mines. Has anyone made it up to them this year? Maybe over Labor Day weekend? Any takers?

Kirk

sspitka
08-17-2010, 05:48 PM
I've been waiting for someone to schedule a trip to the mines all summer.

kvangeld
08-18-2010, 09:40 PM
Well. I am trying to keep Labor Day open to go check out some mines. I am not sure I can commit to the Maybee Mines, but maybe the ones which are near Prospector Creek. Thoughts?
Kirk

9812vCTD
09-07-2010, 10:35 AM
I attempted to find Mabee Mines yesterday, with no such luck. It didn't help any that the canopy of trees seemed to be interfering with the accuracy of my GPS.

Some months back I went to the library and looked at the book Across Rushing Waters, and made copies of the maps they showed in there. I cross referenced those maps with Google Earth and was able to approximately pinpoint the locations of the various mines in the area, assuming the maps are correct. My records show that Mabee Mines should be right about here, right?

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=45%C2%B045%2713.00%22N+122%C2%B010%2742.87%22W&sll=45.752133,-122.174664&sspn=0.022369,0.055747&ie=UTF8&ll=45.753152,-122.17932&spn=0.011184,0.027874&t=h&z=16

I question the location shown on the map for a couple of reasons... one is that I hiked all that area and didn't find it (although it's tough terrain and I could have easily missed it). Another is that it took me around 3 hours or so to get down and back up again, not the 8 hours described by others (I'm 25 years old and in pretty good shape, so I don't know if that's a factor). A friend who accompanied me on the trip went to work and told about our unfruitful hike, and she was told by a coworker who had been there that it is indeed a MUCH longer hike than we experienced.

Any guidance from people who have been there?

kvangeld
09-07-2010, 09:30 PM
Hi, First off, if you went in from the top, you passed pretty close to us yesterday. We were up Miner's Creek which is off Copper Creek. You drove just a bit above us. I bet one of the few vehicles we heard were yours. In fact, we saw a bunch of drifting marks heading back to Sunset Falls campground. Any chance those were yours? It looked like fun!

Yes, something is wrong. Where you have the pin located in the map is quite a ways short of the Maybee mine. You would need to go down stream almost to where the Creek (Shirt Creek) meets Bluebird Creek. It looks to me like you got a bit less than half way there.

I took some pictures of the Miner's creek mines on my phone. I am going to try to upload some of them tonight.

Let me know if you have any further questions.

kvangeld
09-07-2010, 09:47 PM
Shirt Creek Valley is the one just East of Bluebird valley, the one you explored.

You can view the route that I took last time here.

http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&hl=en&msa=0&msid=105807496587288113629.000486d3413b4a203c594&t=h&z=12
(http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=45%C2%B045%2713.00%22N+122%C2%B010%2742.87%22W&sll=45.752133,-122.174664&sspn=0.022369,0.055747&ie=UTF8&ll=45.753152,-122.17932&spn=0.011184,0.027874&t=h&z=16)

kvangeld
09-07-2010, 10:27 PM
Here are some of the relevant pictures I took yesterday.

http://picasaweb.google.com/jvangeld/MiningPictures#

9812vCTD
09-08-2010, 09:31 AM
Yes, I went in from the top, and if I drove near you you definitely heard me. I drive a diesel pickup with stacks, so people tend to hear me before they see me. Drifting would have been fun, although I learned some years ago that if you do that you had better be prepared to be replacing tires from the sharp rocks, so I try to avoid wheel spin/skip/slide. 35" tires are NOT cheap to replace.

I do see now that I was in the wrong canyon, and I can see how that would be when I reevaluated the map from Across Rushing Waters, as it is hand drawn and quite low detail in comparison to what is available in this day and age. Just this morning I was actually given GPS coordinates by someone who requested that I not share them on here, as apparently more and more trash is being discarded there and more and more artifacts are disappearing. I know EXACTLY where I'm going now. :-)

NicholasC
09-08-2010, 12:51 PM
Hi, I'm new to exploring mines but I live in Washougal and I'm EXTREMELY interested in exploring some mines and related sites. I ran across this thread last year and have just now gotten around to making a post. If anyone is planning to go back up and explore within the next month let me know, a friend and I would really like to meet up with some experienced guys (kvangeld?), especially if you have a gps so I don't go and get lost on my own. I have explored the dam that has been dynamited on Mabee Mines Rd. that the steel pipe that runs along the road starts at. Also, last night I was doing some research on Mabee Mines and came across a property listing that is the site of the 1940s Cottrell power house that powered Camas and Washougal in the early 1900s. The address is 3101 Mabee Mines Road and from what I understand the building is still intact with some of the hydro generating equipment still inside, the building resides somewhere on the 28 acres at that address. You can find pictures easily on many realty websites buy using keywords "Cottrell powerhouse Mabee Mines". Does that have any relation to the old dam and steel pipe on Mabee Mines Road? Anyways, I'm excited to hear more info on these and I'm planning to visit a few before summer is over.

-Nick

Jon/M
09-08-2010, 03:13 PM
Hello, i also (along with my freind Nicholas C above), We have been researching the mines in the shirt creek valley area for the past couple days and hope to possiby undergo a expedition to these sites, blue bird and mabee mines, I came across a book my dad hab published in 1977 called "St. Helens and Washougal mining districts of the southern Cascades of Washington" has anyone here heard of it? It has very detailed maps and descriptions of the mines around the area. I am also interested in the copper creek mines and the site of Copper city that burned, is it near the "Copper creek gold area" as labled on google earth?

vancouverpower
09-08-2010, 03:17 PM
Yep the dam and pipe supplied that powerhouse. We always called it the McCloskey Creek Powerhouse.

kvangeld
09-08-2010, 10:28 PM
Hey Luke, I am sure I heard you. It sounded kind of like a log truck but different. I wondered what it was when I heard it. :) Also, I know how easy it is to get confused up there. The first time we went to find the Maybee mines, we took the Silver Creek Valley by mistake. Spent all day trying to figure out where we went wrong. We didn't have very good maps at the time.

Luke and Nick. So when are each of you going to make your next attempt to find the Maybee mines? I have a busy Fall ahead of me, but may be able to break free. BTW, it is a brutal hike back out if you go out the top. The hillside feels like it is vertical. And it is kinda loose like climbing a sand dune, so it is a killer getting out. The one and only time I went in and out from the top, it took me about an hour to get down and about 5 hours getting out. The last time it took us a good two hours getting down to the mines, but we went out the bottom like the drawing shows.

I look forward to hearing your plans!

Kirk

9812vCTD
09-09-2010, 07:21 AM
I plan to try again on the weekend of the 18th. Assuming that the soil is similar to Blue Bird Valley, the climb back up shouldn't be too much more difficult than what I have already experienced. It is heavily vegetated (it would have been nice if it wasn't quite so heavy in some areas), so although the soil was loose and the incline was steep, traction was pretty good. From what I can see the terrain seems to be similar in the 2 valleys.

9812vCTD
09-09-2010, 07:23 AM
Oh, and the "log truck but different" that you heard I can almost guarantee was me!:cool:

9812vCTD
09-09-2010, 09:13 AM
Pictures from Labor Day

A couple of the many views on the way up:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v445/lgp0000/Mining/IMAG0210.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v445/lgp0000/Mining/IMAG0178.jpg

Shirt Creek Valley - Took pics because we parked at the top of it, believing that the next one down was actually Shirt Creek Valley.:rolleyes:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v445/lgp0000/Mining/IMAG0209.jpg

9812vCTD
09-09-2010, 09:14 AM
A rock face in Bluebird Creek Valley:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v445/lgp0000/Mining/IMAG0193.jpg

The top of a small waterfall on Bluebird Creek:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v445/lgp0000/Mining/IMAG0190.jpg

Me:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v445/lgp0000/Mining/59208_1418527591847_1492371043_31030425_307304_n.j pg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v445/lgp0000/Mining/47677_1418527751851_1492371043_31030426_3576083_n. jpg

9812vCTD
09-09-2010, 09:15 AM
A front U-joint came apart, so I made a rope but stripping up a towel to tie the front driveshaft up to prevent it from catching on anything. I didn't really need 4x4 for any of the roads, it just increases control and prevents wheel skip, thus saving tires:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v445/lgp0000/Mining/47677_1418527791852_1492371043_31030427_968850_n.j pg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v445/lgp0000/Mining/47677_1418527831853_1492371043_31030428_335673_n.j pg

9812vCTD
09-09-2010, 12:05 PM
I came across a book my dad hab published in 1977 called "St. Helens and Washougal mining districts of the southern Cascades of Washington" has anyone here heard of it? It has very detailed maps and descriptions of the mines around the area.

Yes, I made copies of the applicable information from that book and from Across Rushing Waters. Both can be found at Fort Vancouver Regional Library for reference ONLY, not for check out. I have put all pages that I copied out of both books in PDF form.

http://rapidshare.com/files/418110041/Mines.rar

There are some good pictures of the mines (Mabee mines in particular) while they were still operational. Some good history in these books.

Jon/M
09-09-2010, 12:57 PM
Me and Nick are about to head up to the McClosky creek area to explore artifacts in the area. We will take pictures of anything we find.

Darin
09-09-2010, 07:00 PM
Even with a broken U-joint, it still looks as though you had a good time! Really nice views of the area too, thanks for sharing. Looking forward to someone finding the mines here....good luck to all who search!

kvangeld
09-09-2010, 10:11 PM
Hey Jon, That book was a huge help when we first started looking for mines back in the mid 80's. Is your dad still alive? It sure would be great to sit down with him and chat.

There are a number of mines along Copper Creek and it's tributaries. I know I have been to at least 9 in that area. The Copper City Mine is the longest of them at about 250 feet, if I remember correctly. It is just down stream from the vehicle bridge that crosses Copper Creek. I believe Copper City was somewhere around the bridge. This is one of the easiest mines to get too.

Thanks for the input!

Kirk

kvangeld
09-09-2010, 10:14 PM
Hey Luke,

Nice pictures. Thanks for sharing. We just might be able to get up there ourselves on the 18th! I know I have a couple of boys that are lobbying me to go! :)

Kirk

Jon/M
09-09-2010, 11:15 PM
I am only 19, so my dad is very much still alive, im not sure where he got the book, but it seems to have been photo copied from a og book at one point. ONe thing my dad did mention is some of the mines over the edge of the windy road once you get over the skamania mines bridge, he said there is some holes and foundations of small buildings "ruins" if you will. Is this the general area of the 3000ft deep mine shaft you talked about?

On another note me and Nick C ventured to the Cotrell power house, im sure many of the people on this thread have been there. I was actually suprised at the amount of intact machinery and other loose artifacts. We found directions on a reality website and made a rough sketch of the computer and went from there, Parked in front of the locked gate and took the old original road down about 2 miles to the powerhouse. We took lots of pictures of the turbines and some of the delapidated foot bridge that still spans the Washougal River. On the way back we opted to follow the power lines road directly straight up to the gate where we were parked, it saved us probably 40 mins of walking, but holy **** for guys our age in good physical shape the switchbacks were not for the faint hearted, i was dripping sweat all over not even half way up. If you have a enduro or some other capable atv or 4x4 the power line route is definatly a time saver, its about 150 feet before the locked gate on the left.

My computer is having problems uploading the pics from the powerhouse right now, but nick might post them tonight.


Next up, camping expedition to Mabee mines and bluebird hopefully. Possibly next week if the weather coperates. Anyone else planning a expedition up there anytime soon?

Jon/M
09-09-2010, 11:20 PM
Oh by the way sorry if i confused anyone when i said " i found a book my dad had published in 1977" i just meant he physically had it in his possesion, haha, should have put a comma in there.

NicholasC
09-10-2010, 02:38 AM
So Jon and I hiked down to the Cottrell/McCloskey Creel powerhouse today. Not the most difficult hike getting there, about 1 1/2 I'm guessing taking the old road down there, after about maybe a mile, or little over a mile, the road starts to get a little over grown and then stops immediately at a wall of blackberries. There is a trail bypassing around this and then leads back to the old road getting closer to the building. On the way back up, we decided to take the extremely steep way which was probably 3/4 and took about half an hour versus the hour-ish hike down the road.

Its really neat to see how intact the building is, does anybody know what year it was closed? Its obvious that other people have been there and camped and had fires inside of it, though, luckily the other visitors didn't leave trash and destroy too much over the years. Pictures soon to come soon of the powerhouse and remnants of the foot bridge.

Anyone going up to some mines anytime soon, post up. We plan on exploring the mines near Skamania Mines road next.

9812vCTD
09-10-2010, 11:10 AM
You could have saved yourself quite a bit of walking if you had a 4x4. The steep powerline road is easy work for a 4x4, but is too steep to climb back up (or descend in a controlled manner) in a 2wd. If you take a right at the bottom of the hill, as you found out, it takes you back up to Mabee Mines Rd on the other side of the gate. Another entrance onto these roads is through the woods on the North side of the McCloskey Creek Rd gate, although its a steep muddy climb coming out. 4x4 is a must here as well, and a spotter is recommended to help navigate you through the trees.

Before anybody goes ape crazy because I'm telling about how to bypass gates, realize that there is actually an open way in from the back, and can be accessed via the East end of Washougal River Road, it is a LONG LONG detour though. The Mabee Mines Rd/McCloskey Creek Rd gates were closed and locked in late November/early December of 2007 and have been ever since. I don't know who is responsible or why, but it seems to be just to keep the general public out, as they don't seem to be trying too hard to keep the real woodsmen out. :cool:

NicholasC
09-10-2010, 01:19 PM
I wish I had a 4x4, but the powerline road I thought would have been questionable for even a sturdy 4x4 just because of the insane steepness of it. That road is definitely not something my fwd 81 VW rabbit pickup could handle haha, how do you get in from the McCloskey Creek gate? I thought it looked like the road kept on going past the powerhouse but I couldn't tell because it looked kind of patchy, also; where is the wrr entrance? Around the location of the building, the road is on the other side of the river right?

sspitka
09-11-2010, 07:28 PM
You could have saved yourself quite a bit of walking if you had a 4x4. The steep powerline road is easy work for a 4x4, but is too steep to climb back up (or descend in a controlled manner) in a 2wd. If you take a right at the bottom of the hill, as you found out, it takes you back up to Mabee Mines Rd on the other side of the gate. Another entrance onto these roads is through the woods on the North side of the McCloskey Creek Rd gate, although its a steep muddy climb coming out. 4x4 is a must here as well, and a spotter is recommended to help navigate you through the trees.

Before anybody goes ape crazy because I'm telling about how to bypass gates, realize that there is actually an open way in from the back, and can be accessed via the East end of Washougal River Road, it is a LONG LONG detour though. The Mabee Mines Rd/McCloskey Creek Rd gates were closed and locked in late November/early December of 2007 and have been ever since. I don't know who is responsible or why, but it seems to be just to keep the general public out, as they don't seem to be trying too hard to keep the real woodsmen out. :cool:


Hi there, Today, my wife and daughter and I hiked down to the cottrell powerhouse, via the power lines, didn't walk quit far enough. At the bottom of the hill turn right goes back up to the main road beyond the gates (which is not locked). we made a left at the bottom of the powerlines went probably 1/2 mile further them turned back.. now you mentioned in your thread that there are other excess road in to the powerhouse from the north side of the McCloskey creek road, and the east end of the washougal river rd. ?

9812vCTD
09-12-2010, 05:32 PM
McCloskey Creek Rd and Washougal River Road can get you access to the general gated area. There are roads that will loop Mabee Mines Rd and McCloskey Creek Rd together, but it's about a 10 mile loop. There are lots of roads that criss cross, so it's tough to find. I recommend following them on Google maps. Once again, the way in from Washougal River Rd is a WAY WAY long detour! As far as I know, there is no way out off of the road that goes to the powerhouse besides the one you came in on. I have only been part way down to it, but now that I find that the powerhouse is still there I plan on going to it and seeing how far the road goes in the near future.

Yeah, I don't think that an '81 Rabbit Pickup would be a good idea, however I can guarantee you that just about any 4x4 will make it up power line rd. When I had truck issues and lost 4 wheel drive and couldn't make it up the hill, my friend came up to help in his 2000 Ford Ranger (completely stock, including tires) and was able to climb back out despite a heavy rainfall that moved in.

kvangeld
09-13-2010, 06:10 PM
[/QUOTE]One thing my dad did mention is some of the mines over the edge of the windy road once you get over the skamania mines bridge, he said there is some holes and foundations of small buildings "ruins" if you will. Is this the general area of the 3000ft deep mine shaft you talked about?

Next up, camping expedition to Mabee mines and bluebird hopefully. Possibly next week if the weather coperates. Anyone else planning a expedition up there anytime soon?[/QUOTE]


Hi Jon, There are mines up toward the end of the Skamania Mines road, but most of those are on private property (the two at the very end of the road are not on his property). We have talked to the guy who lives on the property before and he was nice enough, but it sounds like he gets his share of partier's who cause trouble. So you may want to seek him out and talk with him instead of making him find you. The 3,000 foot mine is back down the road, closer to the house that is up the hill on the right. I believe those people own the property this mine is on, but I have never talked with them.

There is a possibility that we might be able to go to the Maybee Mines on Saturday, but I am not sure of our commitments yet. You have the right idea about camping out there. That is something we have wanted to do, but hasn't happened yet.......

Kirk

kvangeld
09-16-2010, 12:41 PM
Alright, it turns out that I will be unable to go, but at least one of my sons (Jeremy) will be going. I took him to the mines back in 2002, and he is confident in his ability to find them again. So, what if we plan to meet up at the Heisson store at 8:30 on Saturday morning? From there, everyone can caravan up to the ridge. If it takes an hour to drive up to the ridge and an hour and a half to drop down to the mines, you should have another hour and a half to explore before you need to start climbing back up. I can send Jeremy's e-mail address to anyone who asks in a PM.

9812vCTD
09-17-2010, 11:47 AM
Yeah I won't be making it out this weekend, as I have caught a cold that is just bad enough to drain me of most of my energy. I am going to try for next weekend, weather permitting.

sspitka
09-23-2010, 06:24 AM
How was the trip into the mines last weekend? Who all went to the maybe mines.... did you got to any other mines in the area..

9812vCTD
09-24-2010, 08:55 AM
As I said, I didn't make it last weekend, but I'm going to try tomorrow I think.

kvangeld
09-24-2010, 05:07 PM
If you go, take some pictures for the rest of us. We are tied up tomorrow with a conference and a barn painting, so we can't tag along. :(

9812vCTD
09-27-2010, 11:31 AM
I am SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO annoyed! I just wrote a long detailed response and hit submit and it said my token had expired and I lost EVERYTHING that I just typed! Gotta redo it all, and I'm going to try to remember what all I wrote! :mad::mad::mad:

I made it to Mabee Mines on Saturday, although I was unable to take any pictures due to the fact that I broke my phone on the hike the last time I tried to go, so I left it in the truck this time. As planned, I hiked in from the top, and came back out that way as well. I parked right at the top of the hill, and descended down the mountain. The mountain has a combination of sections of softball sized rock, and other parts with vegetation. It is quite steep and the altimeter on my GPS shows that it was a 2000ft descent from my truck at the top to the mine, the majority of it being this part of the mountain! All in all the descent wasn't too bad. I always carry a side arm while hiking, and recommend it in general, but I especially do here as there were many huckleberry bushes on this part of the trip and I came across several piles of bear feces. Chances are a bear will avoid human contact at all costs, but chances aren't what I like to take.

At the bottom of the steep portion of the mountain I could hear Shirt Creek, so I made a B-line to it to refill my water bottle. I found a pool on Shirt Creek about a meter deep at the top of a 40ish foot tall waterfall. It was like something out of a story book, and I sat for a few minutes resting, drinking, and enjoying the scenery. I climbed vertically down the face of the waterfall, and there were small 1-2ft wide ledges every 8 feet or so and small trees with sturdy branches that allowed me to hang on and lower myself down to the next ledge. It made for one of the more memorable parts of the hike. Once I had gotten down to the bottom of the waterfall I continued on down the creek bed, which I found was extremely littered with dead timber! Everything from medium sized trees to small branches and twigs had stacked up and interwoven to make a carpet over the entire creek bed, and care had to be taken to make sure I stayed on the larger timber, as it was suspended far enough above the creek bed that when I stepped in the wrong place my foot went through and I fell up to my hip. The dead timber was so plentiful and dry that it was a major fire hazard and that should be as good of reason as any to promote logging!

I was glad to be past that portion of the hike and onto where the creek bed was more clear, and it was just rocks and an occasional downed log to navigate, and a few water falls here and there to climb down (much smaller, usually 6 ft at the most... none compared to the the 40+ft waterfall that I had climbed down previously). I probably crossed the creek 20 more times on slick rocks as I navigated the easiest route down. I definitely appreciated my hiking boots that are completely water proof as long as water doesn't go above the ankle. I wasn't paying too heavy attention to the woods around me, as my complete focus was on the creek bed and the best way to navigate it, and it wasn't until I went to cross the creek one last time that I went to step on what I thought was a small log, but then realized that it was actually an iron pipe. At that point I knew I had to be close and looked around me and noticed the tailings piles. I was ecstatic to finally be there after my 3.5-4 hour hike!

It was amazing, and there is SO much stuff there! There are old parts to steam engines, including boilers, crank shafts, connecting rods (the connecting rods looked pretty much like those of modern internal combustion engines, only they were about the length of my arm), etc. There were pots and pans that some #$%^&*@ had put some .22 caliber holes in, a half buried mining cart, mining cart wheels, SO many mining cart tracks strewn about, pipes, plumbing fittings, and on and on and on. There were things I didn't even get to see because I only had 25 minutes to look around before I had to be hiking back. I knew that I would be battling daylight to get out. I've hiked through the woods at night before, and it's not something I care to do. The place comes to life, and you can hear so many animals moving and you never know exactly what is what.

Anyway, I made VERY good time back up the creek. I was literally RUSHING to get out, because I knew that the mountain would take a lot of my time. I climbed the tall waterfall again, and stopped at the pool at the top to drink and refill my water bottle one last time before I began the part that I had been dreading. I don't know if I can say this on here, but that climb was ****! I didn't find any sandiness that Kirk described from his trip a few years ago, but it literally took everything I had mentally and physically to climb that nearly straight up and down section after I had been hiking for 8 hours! It's so steep that I first got sight of my truck when I was within 100 feet of it, and there is nothing that I appreciated more at that moment than climbing in and taking a seat. The 1st stars were already visible as I sat down, and the only thing that I would have changed from there is the fact that I had a clutch to operate down the mountain. I'm not an automatic transmission guy by any means, but if I was that worn out every day I might be. :)

Ideally the best way to get the full experience without all the aching would be to hike in and get lifted out by a helicopter lol! Realistically speaking, however, I can definitely see why others have hiked in from the top and gone out the bottom across the Washougal River, but that takes a lot of prearrangement and somebody who is a great sport about dropping you off and picking you up. I have a friend who is interested in camping out and spending a few days digging because I would like to reopen the mine, and we might do that next year. The idea of being the 1st person in there since it was blown shut in 1916 is exciting to me, and I figure that if there's that much stuff outside, then there's probably stuff left inside as well. Anyway, it's just a dream right now.

9812vCTD
09-27-2010, 12:16 PM
On the road on the way up I ran across this den. I wanted so badly to look in it, but did not want to without someone watching my back, as I could hear something moving in the bushes around 100 yards from me. Fortunately a very friendly family game along and wanted to see inside as well, so we played the buddy system.:)

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v445/lgp0000/Mining/IMG00102.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v445/lgp0000/Mining/IMG00101.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v445/lgp0000/Mining/IMG00103.jpg

It was quite large, and went back into the hill side about 15-20 feet. The opening was just large enough that a medium sized black bear could squeeze in and out. It seems too big for much else (maybe coyotes, but it would be the largest coyote den I've ever seen, and that would be a TON of digging for such a small animal), and too close to the road for something as reclusive as a cat. To be honest I'm shocked that anything would dig a den that close to the road. The ground was well trampled inside and out, although it was just packed well enough that no distinct footprints could be made out, so I'll have to come back once there's fresh snow and see what's been coming and going... or if there's a bear hibernating in there.

Tsarevna
09-29-2010, 11:01 AM
Very nice story and pictures, thanks for sharing!

I'd be willing to bed that's not an animal den. Sure, animals could be dwelling within it now...but that just looks too sculpted to be an animal den. A lot of mine entrances look just like that.

I wonder if it's a test adit? Or perhaps an adit that just caved in deeper inside?

kvangeld
09-30-2010, 08:28 PM
Hey Luke, I feel your pain. Both on the Ghost Town forum timing out before posting (I had the same thing happen to me after writing about a page and a half a couple of years ago, only to have it vanish before my eyes. I now write it in Word and copy it over to the forum.), and on surviving the climb back up out of the Shirt Creek valley. It sounds like you followed the creek upstream and then climbed out. We climbed out the North side right at the mines and then walked the ridge West to the road. So the ground must be somewhat different in the two places. Either way it sounds like it took you about the same time to make the climb. What time did you start hiking down from your truck in the morning?

All that work for 25 minutes. Argh. I think the longest we have been able to spend at the mines is about 2 hours.

Did you actually go by yourself? Wow. I am too chicken to do that. I need someone who is well versed in CPR! J

Its amazing how much stuff is still around there. But after hiking back out, you can see why people don’t want to be hauling stuff back with them. Its hard enough to get yourself out, without carrying a souvenir.

Like you we would like to hike in and spend a couple of days digging it out and exploring it. My only concern is that if it has been shut up for that long, what is the air like in there? Is it safe? It would really be nice to let it air out for a time. No way I am hauling a backpack blower down there. .

Nice pictures of the den/mine. We have stopped and looked at that probably a dozen times in the past 25 years. If you look at it closely inside with light, you can see that it was dug out from the rock. So it is man-made. I suspect they were checking the vein at a higher elevation to see if it was mineralized at that point. Since it is so short, I am assuming that they didn’t deem it worthy of continuing. Also, the opening has fallen in over time, it used to be much more open at the front when we first found it. Now you have to climb over the pile at the opening. But at least it is a nice easy mine to get to compared with the Mabee Mines! J

Thanks again for sharing. It makes me relive that same adventure of physically and mentally struggling to lift my foot for one more step knowing that it is starting to get dark and I still can’t see the top…….I hope I don’t have nightmares tonight! But I bet you slept well!

Kirk

9812vCTD
09-30-2010, 09:43 PM
Hi Kirk, good to hear from you. Yes I followed the creek, but considered following one of the ridge lines. The West one (Shirt Creek runs North and South btw) has a lot of vertical rock faces on it, so that one is probably a no go. Maybe next time I will take your recommended route. Is the underbrush on the ridge thick? Is it a tough fight?
I had a few things come up on Saturday morning so I actually didnít start hiking from my truck until 11:30am. I had planned on being up there around 2 hours prior, but that just didnít happen. Yeah, I went by myself, against the begging of my friends. I have done a lot of extreme hiking in solo in the past, and knew that I wouldnít likely get another good weekend to go, so I was determined to get there even if I had to go alone.
Yes I can certainly see why people donít lug stuff out, although I canít see myself doing so even if it were convenient. I figure that the artifacts are part of what makes the place special, and if they were anywhere else they would just be old junk laying aroundÖ although one of the 2ft long connecting rods would make a good conversation piece, but itís not like I have too much room in my garage as it is lol.
I was talking to a friend and Iím trying to arrange several of us guys to go this weekend, as weíre supposed to have good weather again. If so, weíll camp out and do some digging. Iím well aware of the risks of bad air in an old mine, which is why I would not go in it on the same trip that we open it, as tempting as it will be.
As for the test adit, I thought what I was looking at was dug in the dirt underneath the rock, but I wasnít paying super close attention I was more concerned with what might be living in it and watching from nearby. Yes, it sounds like we have shared similar experiences with a tough time getting up the mountain. Iím pretty sure I was running a decently high fever when I got to the top, which I have experienced before when I was physically broken down from such hard work extended over the period of a day, only to have it go away with a nightís sleep. And yes, I slept like a baby not only for 1, but for the next 2 nights!

9812vCTD
09-30-2010, 10:00 PM
I have maps of many of the local mine shafts , but none for Mabee Mines, although I do have information claiming that they each go down 1700-2000 feet. Does anybody have any old maps of the shafts available?

sspitka
10-01-2010, 05:51 AM
I have maps of many of the local mine shafts , but none for Mabee Mines, although I do have information claiming that they each go down 1700-2000 feet. Does anybody have any old maps of the shafts available?

I used to have detailed maps of the mine shaft's down on skamania mines road, but i had missed placed them somewhere over times.

9812vCTD
10-01-2010, 07:52 AM
Yes I have them as well, and if you look back a few pages there's a link in which I uploaded all the scans of my information.

kvangeld
10-02-2010, 11:47 AM
Hey Luke, You are correct, Shirt creek runs N adn S. I am terrible with direction. The first time we hiked down we went in and out on the East ridge. In 2002 we hiked down the West ridge. You are correct there are some vertical rock facings along there but we were able to pick our way around them. I think I would try the East side again. But with the size of the trees I am sure it will be brutal.

I just dug out my folder of mine info and read up on the maybee mines again. It references Brinsmade's description of the mines in 1916. But the mine was supposedly worked until 1922 and it also says that the concentrator was built on the property in 1917. Even so, Brindle says the West adit goes 400 feet and then follows the vein for over 2,000 feet. So that makes it at least 2,400 feet minimum in 1916. So my guess is that they may be between 3,000 and 4,000 feet long each. It will be interesting to see if that is the case when they are open again. :)

9812vCTD
10-04-2010, 09:51 AM
Due to conflicts in our schedules, I was unable to get a team of guys together to go diggin' this weekend, so on Friday after work I went up to the Silver Star Mine area after work. Since it is so accessible, I figured it would be a good way to burn the last few hours of daylight. I have a map showing the approximate locations of the upper and lower adits of Silver Star Mine (which are quite far apart, suggesting that there is a LOT of potential underground exploration to be done), as well as the location of the mining camp ruins not far from the lower adit. This information is from 1977, so I know that it could be all long gone by now. I hiked the area that the lower adit is supposed to be, and it has all been very recently logged, so I figure that it could have easily been covered up then, if not before. I briefly hiked on the other side of 1200 road where the camp is supposed to be, and didn't find anything, and it may also be in a recently logged portion, depending on exactly how far from the road it was. I was also able to locate the creek that the upper adit is supposed to be located on, however it is much more dense growth there, and I plan to more thoroughly explore all 3 of these locations when I have more daylight. Due to the fact that it is so much less accessible, I think the odds of the upper adit being open are greater than that of the lower.

Does anybody have any current, or semi-current information regarding Silver Star Mine?

sspitka
10-04-2010, 05:52 PM
Due to conflicts in our schedules, I was unable to get a team of guys together to go diggin' this weekend, so on Friday after work I went up to the Silver Star Mine area after work. Since it is so accessible, I figured it would be a good way to burn the last few hours of daylight. I have a map showing the approximate locations of the upper and lower adits of Silver Star Mine (which are quite far apart, suggesting that there is a LOT of potential underground exploration to be done), as well as the location of the mining camp ruins not far from the lower adit. This information is from 1977, so I know that it could be all long gone by now. I hiked the area that the lower adit is supposed to be, and it has all been very recently logged, so I figure that it could have easily been covered up then, if not before. I briefly hiked on the other side of 1200 road where the camp is supposed to be, and didn't find anything, and it may also be in a recently logged portion, depending on exactly how far from the road it was. I was also able to locate the creek that the upper adit is supposed to be located on, however it is much more dense growth there, and I plan to more thoroughly explore all 3 of these locations when I have more daylight. Due to the fact that it is so much less accessible, I think the odds of the upper adit being open are greater than that of the lower.

Does anybody have any current, or semi-current information regarding Silver Star Mine?

next time you go to silver star mine i'll tag along if you like.

kvangeld
10-04-2010, 09:27 PM
Hey Luke,

By Silver Star Mine area, do you mean "Rock Creek"?

If so, I wrote about those on page 6 of this forum, and put a link to some pictures at the lower adit.

The area has completely changed since '77. They cut a new road down to a bridge that crosses Rock Creek. The new road pretty much carved up the opening of the mines. But in the pictures, you can see where we dug out a bit of the caved in dirt to expose the top of the mine opening. So that is definetly the mine. It is on the west side of the road south of the corner that leads to the bridge. It looks like water from a culver washed the dirt away. So if you look for that, I am sure you can find it.

As for the upper adit, it was still open when were there 2 or 3 years ago. But that is where we disturbed a yellow jackets nest right outside the opening and had to abandon the exploration of that mine for the day. One of my boys took his brand new rubber boot off right on top of the nest, so needless to say you may find a boot still there.

It is a ways up the creek valley. And the best way to get there is on the north side of the creek. There is a bit of a trail once you get in off the road a ways.

Let us know how you fair this weekend if you get up to any mines. I have to work again this Saturday.

Kirk

9812vCTD
10-04-2010, 10:16 PM
This is exactly the information that I was looking for. Rock Creek is the area, and I remember reading that now, but I didn't put 2 and 2 together without the name of the mine to go with it. I won't be going up this weekend, as I will be out of town, but we'll see what happens in the near future.

Dave A
10-12-2010, 08:04 PM
There is a lot of discussion on this long thread on how many mining relics are at the mine site, but not much in the way of photos. I guess there were some back several years but they are no longer active. Take a photographer along next trip and post some for all of us to enjoy.

stlhdhntr
10-15-2010, 07:15 PM
Hey ya'll. Steve here. I just ran across this thread. Let me just say you guys have brought my excitement level to the max.let me start out by saying I am a new rockhound and started reaserching the area after I overheard someone talking abot the copper creek "caves". I found out they were really old mines! So I went up there last year (09) and checked out the copper creek mines at creek level. To cool for school. Now youj guys tell me I haven't seen nothin yet. Oh crap I am in deep trouble. I was up copper creek this year in early aug. 4107 is open and in ok shape. The trail up copper is fairly easy, a little rocky, but not bad. Tried to make it to miners creek, but got sidetracked on one of the y's and ran out of time. I have pictures from copper creek mines as well as video of the middle adit. If I figure out how to down load them I will. Now for questions. There are mines up the cat road part way up the trail. Seriously! That's steep. Haven't been up very far though. What is up with the orange paint mark trail past copper creek mines?? Leading me to more? Someone just cutting trail? It was well marked and fresh. I don't remember seeing it in 09, but could be wrong. Maybee mines sounds way cool!! I was looking at my. Delorme and don't see bluebird or shirt creek marked. Is it the creek acroos and south of prospectors creek? If so would it be easier to come in from three corner rock? Wouldn't that open up oppurtunities to explore these other drainages? I was just up rock creek out of stevenson 2 weeks ago. The road showing on my dnr three corner rock shows the road going all the way to the washougal around prospectors creek. I drove part way NOT all the way due to time constraints. I was in the area looking for other things, and then found this info, and got me thinking heavily. Lastly if anyone is interested in going in the area next week let me know I may very well end up out there. Email is stlhdhntr@gmail.com. any further info and response will be greatly appreciated. Steve

kvangeld
10-16-2010, 06:26 PM
Hi Steve, Welcome to the group of Mabee Mines enthusiasts! And yes, there is a lot for you to still find. Here are a couple of answers to some of your questions.

I am not sure which Copper Creek mines you are referring to. But if they are on the way to Miner's Creek, where you take a Y back to Copper Creek, then I can tell you that we haven't found any mines past those. At the same time, I wouldn't say that we have exhaustively searched the area. So you may still want to do that.

Shirt Creek is a branch of Bluebird Creek. Bluebird Creek is immediately north(actually I think it is more east) of Silver Creek and South(west) of Prospector Creek. And yes, you can get to Prospector Creek from Dougan Falls or Rock Creek (from Stevenson). With that said, getting to the Mabee Mines from Prospector Creek is very tough. We have done it several times, but it is very badly grown over, so it would be very difficult. You do need to be aware that there is some private property along the Washougal River southwest of Prospector Creek. So that presents a bit of an obstacle.

We would love to see your pictures. You can also post a link to them if that is easier.

Enjoy,
Kirk

stlhdhntr
10-17-2010, 03:08 PM
Thank you for the quick response. Yes that is exactly the copper creek mines I was refering to. There just was a lot of orange flagging and blaze marks past the campsite after the last mine. It seemed a little curiuos. Also is there more mines up past the y to those ones? I think I know where miners creek m/ines are. Just stay on that main road and don't take any y's. Now if that is correct can I also assume there are others off of those y's?? I have been up past the first y, then at the second I turned right. I followed that up a little ways, not to far, it y's again and the lower one is slid out. The upper trail keeps going up towards the headwaters of copper I think. I hope this makes sense. Again I am assuming since there are old roads back in there they had to go to something.
I thought that would be bluebird. It isn't named on the delorme maps, but looked like that had to be it. Private property up by prospectors? Really! Had no clue there was that far up. Patented mine land?? Just looking at the delorme it looked closer and less elevation change from that side. I am still hopeing to head out this week, probably back down to copper area, and will let you know what I find. Thank you again for the great info.
Steve

kvangeld
10-18-2010, 05:23 PM
Hi Steve, yes you are correct. To get to Miner's Creek, just follow the road and don't take any of the Y's. It is less than a half mile from where you crossed Copper Creek before taking the Y. And when you get to the end, you should be able to find a total of 4 or 5 mines along Miners creek. Take a couple of flashlights and leave someone outside to go for help if there happens to be a collapse at the entrance of the one you have to slide into.

The private property is a fair distance South of Prospector's Creek. But you really need to walk South (west) from Prospectors a fair distance to get to a place you can cross the Washougal River. One time we walked down the river from Prospectors, but the water was about 4-5 feet deep with vertical walls for about 50 yards. So we all got wet. It was in August on a hot day so it was tolerable.

Take pictures if you can!

Kirk

stlhdhntr
10-19-2010, 06:37 PM
Yeah I thought I was close. The guy with me decided we should take one of the y's. Wow my head is swimming. I just found an old dnr report from 77 that writes up the area fairly well. Very interesting. It also had a couple of mine isometrics, which is super helpful especially knowing where some of the winzes are. Just reading the story about floating across on the timbers made my whole body shiver. Oh yes if it looks qustionable someone will be staying outside. Will try to remember to take lots of pictures, and maybe a little video. I will be heading in wed. So should have some results for you in afew days.
Yes it looks better from copper side into mabee. The dnr report had an ok map, and mabee was more north than I thought. Th delorme shows bluebird(not named) but not shirt. The author stated that it was appx. A mile from the road on mckinly(I think) ridge to mabee. Does that sound about right? Also one tunnel was appox. 1700 feet with crosscuts. The other is appox. 2000 feet with crosscuts. Wow that is a lot of work for such a small prodution number. They must have seen something to justify so much development. The dnr report didn't seem very promising. Assays from the 30's were pretty low.
Also have you been into bluebird or silver mines? Doesn't sound like anybodys been there in a long time. The author of the dnr report didn't personnaly visit mabee, bluebird, or silver. That kinda tells you it can't be the easiest to get to.
Sorry if I ramble on, but I find this stuff to be very interesting. Something about reasearching info. Out and then being able to put something physical to that info. Is very cool!!
Again thank you for your info. It is greatly appreciated.
Steve

kvangeld
10-23-2010, 11:58 PM
Hi Steve, I got tied up in evening meetings this week and couldn't check in.

Yes, it is about a mile from the road on the ridge down to Maybee. Quite vertical most of the way, so climbing out is a huge challenge. I am too old to try climbing out any more. But going in the top and walking out the bottom, while difficult, is what we did the last time.

It sounds like there was some salting of the Mabee mines going on to impress the investors. So I am guessing that there was a fair amount of investor money lost in the venture.

I have been to the Bluebird mines twice, the last time a good 20 years ago, but not the Silver Creek mines. We were actually trying to find Mabee, but went up the wrong creek. So once we figured out we were wrong, we looked for the Silver Creek mine, but didn't have time to locate it. The Bluebird mines had pretty much collapsed the last time we were there, so they aren't nearly as exciting as they were.

I am looking forward to hearing about your latest/next visit to these mines! :)

Kirk

stlhdhntr
10-24-2010, 02:54 PM
Well I did get up to the miners creek mines on wed. It was an absolutly gorgous day!! Got started about 1030. Absolutely nobody out there except the guys working on 41. They did some logging up by 4109 and made the road like gumbo. So its good to see them fix there mess. The trail to the mines is in good shape. Looks like a couple quads have been back in there running around. The last couple hundred yards are pretty rough but not bad. The first adit/shaft is still slid over, but accesable. Still a squeeze hole to get in. The second adit on the same side of creek just upstream is completly shut! Don't know if it was last time you were there? The second shaft on opposite side of creek is open. Wow if you didn't know it was a shaft it would be hard to tell! The set of three tunnels upstream from the second shaft were all open. The middle one had 12 inches or so of standing water. The other two short tunnels were dry. We didn't go into any with standing water(forgot the rubber boots!! How dumb). All in all though a wonderful day trip though. The sun was out, the leaves were falling, makeing for a pretty picture. I have lots of pics. And a little video. I will try and sit down this week and download them all. Also have video of copper creek I will post. My phone wants a wifi connection to upload video, so I might have to go get stgarbucks later. Anyway when we were walking out I noticed what looks to be another adit downstream on the opposite side of the creek from the trail. Was running out of time so couldn't investigate further. Have you seen this one before?
Also saw a pink "corner marker" as we left about 200 yards downstream of first adit/shaft up in the bushes. Someones claim marker?? I took a picture and will post.
There was an old timer at the foot bridge when we got back. He says he ran into a couple geologist over the summer back there. Very curious. Does amoco still hold claims up there? Don't know if you do or not. Anyway I will try and post those pics soon. Thanks again. Steve

kvangeld
10-25-2010, 08:42 PM
Awesome Steve! I look forward to the pics and video!

Yes, that second one has been collapsed for probably 20 years.

If you didn't go in any with standing water, does that mean you didn't go in the first one with the squeeze hole? That is probably the best mine of the whole bunch on Miner's Creek.

I am not aware of the downstream mine you mention as a possibility. But we haven't explored downstream very far yet, so it is very possible.

I have not looked into the active claim situation for a number of years, so I don't know if there are any or not. But with gold at $1,350, it wouldn't surprise me.

It sounds like you had an awesome day! And with the current weather, you may be the last ones in there for this year???

Take care!

Kirk

stlhdhntr
10-26-2010, 07:57 PM
No we didn't go in. I slid over the top and started down the back side and got a cold surprise! No I did expect some water but was hopeing it wasn't to bad. No it was really cold!! Yes we definatly had a great time. Excellent weather with a nice hike. Oh and there is a mine at the end. How can you beat that. The video from copper creek should be up on you tube, I haven't checked to make sure but it uploaded the other day so should be there. Search copper creek mine washington and that should pop it up. Will work on pics this week.
Steve

stlhdhntr
10-28-2010, 08:22 PM
Ok. Just had a chance to sit down and download a couple pictures to photobucket.http://s1127.photobucket.com/albums/l639/stlhdhntr that should be the link if I did everything right. The pictures aren't really in any order and there should be descriptions with them. Again if I did it right. I have a bunch more I will try and post over the weekend as well as video from miners creek.
Was thinking about trying to locate the rock creek mines time allowing next week. I was figuring with all the leaves off the trees it might be a little easier going. I will have to let you know if I get the chance.
Also did I read something about a couple above the 4109 bridge? Just seems like I read something a couple pages back about that.
Again thank you very much for you're info and help it is greatly appreciated.
Steve

5cylcoupe@gmail.com
11-07-2010, 03:02 AM
Hi Im new here but today me and my dad, cousin, and uncle went to ride ATVs on Mabee Mines rd. It was really fun. We made it to the top of the mountain where there were really big satellite dishes. Anyone know what they're for or who owns them? Also I don't understand what all those gravel roads are there for besides logging. I looked on google maps and they seem to go farther than Id ever dare go. like they go all the way to Mt. St. Helens. And get this, my teacher lives in Carson but teaches in Vancouver and theres so many trails that you can get to his house from Maybee Mines! Anyways, is there anything to see on Mabee mines rd? I mean like any hidden mines or old abandoned buildings in that area? I know about that Cottrell Powerhouse but haven't checked it out yet.

stlhdhntr
11-13-2010, 08:29 PM
Welcome.. to answer a couple of your questions. Radio dishes, would depend on where you were exactly. Larch has a couple doppler arrays on top. Most are weather some for communication. Yes the logging roads appear to travel everywhere up there. You must be aware that a lot of the secondary roads are being abandoned and not maintained. Also of note it is illegal to ride quads on any logging road, closed and gated or not. This is becomeing a big issue with national forest and dnr. So please do not ride on the roads. If you get caught on a m/otorized vehicle behind a closed gate the fine starts at a grand I bielieve. Just trying to keep you out of trouble.
Are there hidden mines up there? Hidden no. You just have to do some research to pinpoint them. Lots and lots of helpful info in this thread if you read through it. A couple to look for would be up silver creek, bluebird creek, and possibly prospectors. These are all way up high on the washougal. No vehicle access. You could possibly make it part way. Anyway hope I was of help.
Steve

Ariesseeks
01-10-2011, 05:46 PM
Hi
I am familiar with Wayne Moens work. Have the tome you spoke of .pdf. Have read an original copy at Tac pub lib. Copper creek? which one?

Billy Reed
Tacoma
Face book/ Washington State Prospectors

kvangeld
02-12-2011, 08:12 PM
Well, in anticipation of this Summer's mining season, I have posted all of the pictures from our trip to the Mabee Mines back in 2002. You can see them at:

https://picasaweb.google.com/jvangeld/MabeeMines?feat=directlink

jalles
02-21-2011, 03:06 PM
Well I stumbled upon this thread a couple of weeks ago and have been obsessing about Washougal area mines ever since. I've hiked Silver Star on numerous occasions and never realized that there was any mining in the area (yeah, Maybee Mines and Skamania Mines roads should have tipped me off :confused:).

I am certainly going to make a trip out to Maybee later in the year but just couldn't wait that long before seeing one of the fabled Washugal area mines so yesterday I decided to go take a look.

Tying to comply with the property owners wishes I quickly ran down and snapped a picture and then speedily returned.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v390/jalles/last_chance.jpg

I had a good time but snow and locked gates kept me from seeing anymore. Made an attempt at finding the McCloskey power house with no luck.

So how does one get permission to see some of the mines further up Skamania mines road?

Thanks everyone for all the prior posts, this is a great little treasure trove of information!

Jason

9812vCTD
03-08-2011, 09:15 AM
I would also like to know how to get permission to see these mines, including the one you took a pic of. That is amazing!

stlhdhntr
03-13-2011, 02:55 PM
Hey kirk good to see your still posting. Excellent pictures. I posted a few to photobucket. Search stlhdhntr and that should pop them up. Both miners queen and copper. And there is another adit downstream at miners queen;) I was actually thinking about takeing a run up to the area a couple weeks ago, and then the snow came:( might have to try finding rock creek or head up star creek first as a side trip. The rock creek one is really intriguing me. Was on google maps and it looks like they have been logging up pretty close to the area.
As for the last chance, not the skamania, mine area(maps reverse the last two mines on the road) dnr should have records for ownership. Even county can help with that I think. Usually a letter explaining your intentions is a good start. The propertys up skamania mines road are all private property and should be respected. Beilive me I want to get back into that area real bad, I just haven't had a chance to research ownership to gain permisson. Just as a teaser to motivate someone, there are reports of amethyst comeing out of the area circa early 1900's. Very interesting to say the least. It is not the skamania or last chance property either by the way. Anyway hopefully will have current info for silver star area next time in a few weeks.
Steve

VW_Vantucky
05-24-2011, 05:56 PM
Blarg. Went out looking for the Cottrell Power Station today. Both Mabee Mines Road and McCloskey Road are gated and closed for logging. Looks like they are going to clear cut the whole **** area. Mabee Mines Road even has an electronic gate with cameras and signs saying that the cameras will notify the authorities of anyone attempting to enter. Wonder if there are some people that are ****** off enough about logging there to start spiking trees or something... Anyhow, is there any other way to get to the power station? Maybe from the Washougal River Road?

stlhdhntr
05-26-2011, 02:09 PM
Haven't been to the power house myself. Don't know much about that side of the washougal more so copper creek side. That said, washougal river road is blocked just past dougan falls. Big yellow gate where you go over the washougal. On the other side of the bridge is where washougal river road and maybee mines road come together. Maybee road has been closed for some time and is in bad shape at the top end. I haven't personally been out there in a couple years so could be diffrent.
On a different but similar note. Anybody pinpoint copper city site for me a little better? Came across an old report stateing an old pelton water wheel at copper city site. Any remains out there? I know its fairly close to a road so I am assuming there won't be much left.
So has anybody been up to copper,miners, or silver star mines yet??? Way to much stuff going on but if anybody makes it in please post and let us know how the conditions are up there.
Steve

sspitka
05-26-2011, 05:54 PM
Blarg. Went out looking for the Cottrell Power Station today. Both Mabee Mines Road and McCloskey Road are gated and closed for logging. Looks like they are going to clear cut the whole **** area. Mabee Mines Road even has an electronic gate with cameras and signs saying that the cameras will notify the authorities of anyone attempting to enter. Wonder if there are some people that are ****** off enough about logging there to start spiking trees or something... Anyhow, is there any other way to get to the power station? Maybe from the Washougal River Road?

Hi there,

I have been to the Cottrell Power house years ago, If you take the lower McCloskey creek road about a 100 ft or so before you get to the gate there is a power lines road that goes down to the left (pretty steep) go down to the bottom stay left and eventaully ul come to the power house, That is what i remember anyway, it's been so mnany years, i was on a motor cycle riding all over that area. let me know if you need any help been looking for someone to go with to find it again... Thanks...

sspitka
05-26-2011, 05:58 PM
Haven't been to the power house myself. Don't know much about that side of the washougal more so copper creek side. That said, washougal river road is blocked just past dougan falls. Big yellow gate where you go over the washougal. On the other side of the bridge is where washougal river road and maybee mines road come together. Maybee road has been closed for some time and is in bad shape at the top end. I haven't personally been out there in a couple years so could be diffrent.
On a different but similar note. Anybody pinpoint copper city site for me a little better? Came across an old report stateing an old pelton water wheel at copper city site. Any remains out there? I know its fairly close to a road so I am assuming there won't be much left.
So has anybody been up to copper,miners, or silver star mines yet??? Way to much stuff going on but if anybody makes it in please post and let us know how the conditions are up there.
Steve

HI there,

yes i can pinpoint it better for you, but you probably have maybe found it, there is nothing that i know is left that i have not found

ArkTheExplorer
05-30-2011, 01:39 AM
Can someone please post GPS cordinates for these mines , I can plot a course to visit them all and report back????

VW_Vantucky
06-04-2011, 09:54 AM
Hi there,

I have been to the Cottrell Power house years ago, If you take the lower McCloskey creek road about a 100 ft or so before you get to the gate there is a power lines road that goes down to the left (pretty steep) go down to the bottom stay left and eventaully ul come to the power house,

So is the power house between McCloskey creek road and Mabee Mines road, or north of Mabee Mines road? From what it looked like, everything around Mabee Mines Road was getting logged. I've tried looking on google maps, but can't seem to see it, but I do see a switch back trail leading north along the power lines from Mabee Mines Road that sounds like what others where talking about.

jalles
06-06-2011, 09:27 AM
Has anyone been to the Silver Star mines by Grouse and Rock creeks? I went poking around up there yesterday and I think I found the lower and upper adits. The lower adit appeared to be covered by logging debris. I didn't spend to much time looking around there as there were a bunch of guys discharging their firearms at some unsuspecting bottles and cans.

The upper adit appeared to be filled. It was precisely where the topo and GPS said it would be but the terrain there is pretty steep and the foliage dense. Something else could have been pretty close by and I probably would not have seen it. Although every indication pointed to this being it (including the nice little stream percolating out of the ground at it's base).

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v390/jalles/silverstar-upper-adit.jpg

Silver Star Upper Adit

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v390/jalles/silverstar-upper-adit-2.jpg

Silver Star Upper Adit

So does anybody in the know know if that's actually the upper adit? Is the lower adit covered by logging debris?

Jason

stlhdhntr
06-06-2011, 11:06 AM
I personnaly haven't been to the power hose, just been told all about it. Its supposedly on private property thus the reason I haven't gone. Mcclosky creek road peels off maybee mines approximately half way up maybee mines road. I bet a little research will locate the owner. A quick knock and a little chat will probabaly get you out there. I have found at least out here if you are courteous and explain your intentions most people are very accommadating. Most land owners don't realize the history of there property and are as interested as the rest of us.
So has anybody been up to copper, or up the upper washougal yet?? Should be getting about that time.
As for copper city, yeah I probably found it. I figured there wasn't much left, to close to the road. I also heard there are supposed to be tunnels all along copper from copper city up to miners queen. I know almost all the land is claimed up out there, but still curious. Anybody find anything above the copper creek mine? Lots of flagging around last year so was curious if the big boys are checking it out also.

jalles
06-06-2011, 12:17 PM
So has anybody been up to copper, or up the upper washougal yet?? Should be getting about that time.

I tried to get up to the Miner's Queen yesterday. I think I was within a mile or two but was turned around by a good little mud bog. I was with the Wife, daughters (3yrs and 6mths), and in a car. Could have easily made it past with any sort of SUV but I wasn't going risk getting stuck since my wife was already pretty unhappy given the state of the road and my daughters mood. I think I'll return on dirt bike.


As for copper city, yeah I probably found it.

So where is Copper City in relation to the Miners Queen? Just down stream on Copper Creek?

Jason

VW_Vantucky
06-06-2011, 03:31 PM
Sigh. According to real estate sites, the property was sold a month ago. Looks to me like it was sold to a logging outfit. I'm worried they are going to clear cut the whole place, and thus I want to try to get in before it happens. Probably not going to have much luck though.

stlhdhntr
06-11-2011, 12:43 PM
i knew the propertty was up for sale. a logging company bought it?? that can be bad news. i would hope they wouldnt clear cut, but moneys money for them. i heard there was supposed to be some remnants up at the power house, but dont know for sure.
those pictures of silver star kinda look like just a wash out area. could be way wrong tho. the strata showing behind appears to be a deposit type structure rather than hard rock. to my knowledge all the mines in the washougal district were hard rock. well except for stream placers, but thats a diffrent subject. there is a post in this thread that will pinpoint siver star mines pretty exact. cant remember the page, but scroll thru and you should find it. gonna try and find them here in the next week or two myself.
ahh gotta love the forest roads after meltoff. the road will get better as it dries. motorcycle not needed, but it will get you more places than a vehicle. copper city site is farther downstream from miners queen, black jack mines on copper creek. i personnaly dont like to give road numbers over the internet or explicit directions. pm me if you want i will pinpoint better. for those that have an idea of where we are talking about i will beat around the bush so to speak. so the road that takes you to copper creek(main road two numbers) there will be a road that peels off to the right, that is the road to copper city site. is down stream from the road crossing. 1/8 mile i think. there is supposed to be adits all the way up strem to black jack mine. havent personnaly hiked up it so couldnt say for certain. all the land from there upstream is under federal mining claim so be carefull if you take a pan with you. there are a couple groups you can join that hold a couple of the prospects if interested.
continuing on the main road past the first pull off to the right you will come to another road to youre right. it has a gate and is occassionaly closed(never locked) sometimes guys will close the gate to try and keep other people from comeing down. follow road down to copper creek. there will be a foot bridge over copper here. if you want me to pinpoint blackjack or miners queen from here pm me. it is fairly easy to find both, but you can get turned around on the old roads pretty quick.
hopefully i can have a fresh report from copper here in the next few weeks. planning on heading up and doing a little prelimanary scouting for a mabee trip. it looks nasty from the topo maps, but a little eyes on might show me a good way in. anyway happy hunting. steve

jalles
06-11-2011, 08:06 PM
those pictures of silver star kinda look like just a wash out area. could be way wrong tho . . . gonna try and find them here in the next week or two myself.

Hey Steve, it will be intersting to hear your conclusions. If the map in the St. Helens and Washugal Mining Districts circular is to be believed that wash/adit is right where the upper adit should be. I think it looks more like an adit that the top soil has sluffed down into in person, but it's hard to tell.


ahh gotta love the forest roads after meltoff. the road will get better as it dries. motorcycle not needed, but it will get you more places than a vehicle.

Yeah, and it's a lot more fun. :D


if you want me to pinpoint blackjack or miners queen from here pm me. it is fairly easy to find both, but you can get turned around on the old roads pretty quick.

I think I know where they are, just need to find the time to get up there. If I don't have any luck I'll drop you a pm.


planning on heading up and doing a little prelimanary scouting for a mabee trip. it looks nasty from the topo maps, but a little eyes on might show me a good way in. anyway happy hunting. steve

Yeah, I'm hoping to get to Mabee in the next month or so. Thinking about going in from the top as well. I wonder how much of a knife edge ridge that is to the north. Looks like if you hike that east a way you can drop into a draw that will lead you pretty close. Once again I'll be waiting to hear what you find out.

Jason

jalles
06-13-2011, 10:30 AM
I took the motorcycle out for a brief look at the Black Jack and Miners Queen mines yesterday. My maps indicated that access was by forest road that follows Copper Creek upstream. Unfortunately you canít make it all the way by car, as Copper Creek is crossed by a foot/stock bridge. I didnít see any signs prohibiting motorized vehicles so I proceeded on bike. I decided to go by foot at the second crossing of Copper Creek as I didnít feel like fishing my bike out of two feet of freezing water if I didnít make it across.

First off was Black Jack. Once again is was right where I marked it on the GPS, pretty easy to find other than the fact I decided to follow the old road to Miners Queen instead of following a lower road that runs next to Copper Creek. I had to bush whack down slope to get there. I had a copy of the Information Circular #60: St. Helens and Washougal Mining Districts but unfortunately I was looking at the site map for Miners Queen! Doh! I spent a good time puzzling over why the creek seemed to be running in the wrong direction and where the other adits were on the other side of the creek. Yes, Iím kind of dense. I didnít realize my error until I got to the Miners Queen.

A couple Black Jack pics:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v390/jalles/black-jack-3.jpg

Adit No. 3

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v390/jalles/black-jack.jpg

Adit No. 2

Miners Queen was pretty easy to access, well worth the trip as far as Iím concerned. After a disappointing visit to Silver Star last week it was nice to actually see some non-filled adits in such a scenic location. Poked around for a little while, but I wanted to get back home by noon so I had to quickly bug out and hustle back to my bike.

A couple Miners Queen pictures:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v390/jalles/miners-queen-2.jpg

Adit No. 2

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v390/jalles/miners-queen.jpg

Adit No. 1

I didnít have time to scout out the overland route to Maybee or find Copper City. I guess Iíll just have to come back :-)

kvangeld
06-13-2011, 06:28 PM
Very nice pictures, Jason! Thanks for sharing. Makes me want to go start exploring again. But it will probably have to wait until around the 4th of July after I get caught up a bit.

Did you look upstream at the Miner's Queen site? There are some mines up there, although at least one of them is now collapsed at the entrance.

Keep exploring and sharing!

Kirk

kvangeld
06-13-2011, 06:42 PM
Hi Jason,

If we are talking the same mines, the lower mine is downstream just off a logging road maybe 300 feet short of a bridge over Rock Creek. And the upstream mine is a bit of a hike up a valley on the non-Rock Creek side of the main road. Do those sound like the mines you were at? If so, the lower mine was collapsed by putting the logging road in. But if you look closely you can poke a stick through the dirt into the opening of the mine.

The upper mine was still open 18 months ago when my kids and I went up there. But beware, there was a massive yellow jacket's nest right outside the mine opening. The first kid stirred up the bunch and the second and third kid got the brunt of their displeasure. You will know you are close when you find a rubber boot. The second kid stopped to ick a rock out of his boot right over the nest. He was in such a hurry to get out of there that he left his boot. And NO ONE was will to go back after it! :)

Also, I believe that a long time ago, there were two or three mines at the upper site. So you may have found one of the collapsed mines. When a friend and I first found these in the mid 80's I remember being in one that was 30-40 feet above creek level. But it seems that it was collapsed when we went back there 10 years later.

Hope this helps.

Kirk

kvangeld
06-13-2011, 07:03 PM
Hi Jason,

As far as hiking in to the Mabee mines from the top, it is possible. I did it the first time in the mid-80's from the North ridge. It wasn't too bad then because the trees were only about 3 feet tall. Now with them 40 feet tall and full of dead branches down low, it is miserable trying to get through them. That first time in took us only about 45 minutes to get down to the mines. But here about 8 years ago, it took us about 3 hours to get in. When we went in that time, we did it from the South ridge. Either way, there are drop off cliffs to watch out for. Climbing back out is going to be pretty brutal. So give yourself plenty of time.

I think someone did it recently by going down the valley. I can't imagine that being easy, but he seemed to do if fairly quickly.

Let us know how it goes.

Kirk

jalles
06-14-2011, 09:23 AM
Hey Kirk,

I was curious if you were still following this thread; your stories and descriptions have provided a lot of inspiration. Thanks for providing so much information.


Did you look upstream at the Miner's Queen site? There are some mines up there, although at least one of them is now collapsed at the entrance.

No, I didnít have much time. I found the five adits (and a couple shafts) associated with the Miners Queen and thatís it. How far up stream would one have to go to find them?


If we are talking the same mines, the lower mine is downstream just off a logging road maybe 300 feet short of a bridge over Rock Creek. And the upstream mine is a bit of a hike up a valley on the non-Rock Creek side of the main road.

You know, I went back and read your original post on the Rock Creek Mines (Silver Star Mines?) and Iím sure what I saw is not where you visited (pretty close though). Do you think the mines you discovered are the Silver Star Mines from the #60 DNR Circular - St. Helens and Washugal Mining Districts? Itís interesting, because according to the Circular the adits were caved when they visited in 1977. The locations I visited seem to match pretty well with the map but maybe I just stumbled upon some small prospects or a slide area I misinterpreted as a caved adit. The one I took pictures of is visible from the road.

I guess Iím going to have to go back and see what I can find.


Climbing back out is going to be pretty brutal. So give yourself plenty of time.

Will do. I hope to make an attempt sometime in the next month or so. Iíd like to try it from below, but I donít want to hassle with trying to get property owners permission.

Jason

jalles
06-14-2011, 09:53 AM
Hi Jason,

If we are talking the same mines, the lower mine is downstream just off a logging road maybe 300 feet short of a bridge over Rock Creek. And the upstream mine is a bit of a hike up a valley on the non-Rock Creek side of the main road. Do those sound like the mines you were at? If so, the lower mine was collapsed by putting the logging road in. But if you look closely you can poke a stick through the dirt into the opening of the mine.

OK, I think I was slightly off by both counts. I decided to overlay the map form the Circular #60: St. Helens and Washougal Mining Districts with Google maps to get a better fix on the locations. As you can see I was pretty far off on the upper adit and pretty close on the lower. The day I visited there were a bunch of guys shooting the place up right where the lower adit should be, so I really didnít explore around there very much. The thing that threw me off with the upper adit is the map in the circular doesnít show the more pronounced draw/valley to the north, so I was assuming this is the one illustrated on the map, not the smaller one to the south.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v390/jalles/silverstar-map.jpg


Anyway, hopefully someone can learn from my mistake.

kvangeld
06-14-2011, 02:10 PM
Hi Jason, I believe the original markings are more correct as to the location of the lower adit. I know what you are talking about with shooters. The last time we were at the lower adit, there were some people shooting off some high powered rifles. What concerned me was first the beer. And second, they were laying on the ground shooting up into a pile of stumps, which wasn't very solid. So I could envision lead ricocheting in our direction.....

As far as the upper adit goes, The map looks off to me. Your marker looks like it is about the right distance from the switchback to the south. But that doesn't jive with the topography. I do think you need to be a smidge further off the road though. The upper mine is definetely up one of the valleys.

Good luck exploring! Let us know how it goes!

Kirk

kvangeld
06-14-2011, 06:53 PM
Hey Kirk,

I was curious if you were still following this thread; your stories and descriptions have provided a lot of inspiration. Thanks for providing so much information.


You are very welcome. I try to check in regularly, but sometimes I get out of the habit and a month or three go by. It is fun watching new guys get interested, start exploring, and sharing!


No, I didn’t have much time. I found the five adits (and a couple shafts) associated with the Miners Queen and that’s it. How far up stream would one have to go to find them?

They are only 100 - 200 feet upstream, so it sounds like you found them. I talked to someone who claimed there is one downstream. But I haven't had time to look for it yet.


Do you think the mines you discovered are the Silver Star Mines from the #60 DNR Circular - St. Helens and Washugal Mining Districts? It’s interesting, because according to the Circular the adits were caved when they visited in 1977. The locations I visited seem to match pretty well with the map but maybe I just stumbled upon some small prospects or a slide area I misinterpreted as a caved adit. The one I took pictures of is visible from the road.


Hmmmm. Good question. I just assumed that the map was wrong. So I didn't bother looking anywhere else. Seems like there might be two sets of mines. But I know at least one of them was open the first time we were there. I think the second one had a collapse 10 - 20 feet in. The upper adit is definetely too far from the road to see. If you look carefully, once you get off the road a bit, you can see somewhat of an old trail on the north side of the valley, which leads to the mine.


Will do. I hope to make an attempt sometime in the next month or so. I’d like to try it from below, but I don’t want to hassle with trying to get property owners permission.

If you park where Prospector empties into the Washougal River, you can walk down the River to Bluebird Creek and then walk up it to the Mabee Mines (or the Bluebird Creek mines). There is one narrow spot in the River which pretty much means you have to go wading (a good 4 feet deep). This keeps you off of the private property.

I'm looking forward to hearing details of your trips!

Kirk

stlhdhntr
06-16-2011, 12:46 PM
Ahh good to hear from ya kirk.
As far as the miners queen mine it sounds like you found the upper adits. Should be a set of three on the opposite side of the creek. One completly collapsed adit on same side as partially collapsed adit. And yes there is one more adit down stream from the adit/shaft on the opposite side from partially collapsed adit. Look at the circular, it shows the lower adit. I haven't checked it out personnaly, just saw it on the way out last year. I consulted the circular and bam there it is. It looks like just a snub. The partially collapsed would be the one to check out. Pretty long. TAKEING PROPER PRECAUTIONS! Ok gotta throw the disclaimer. Make sure someone knows where you are, leave someone outside with keys in case something goes wrong (thanks kirk;) and know the dangers before you go in! Since we are at the start of the season I will take a second and list a couple things that you will run into in these mines. There is a winze (downward dug hole/shaft) in the first adit at copper creek (blackjack mine). It is almost at the end. This is the only one that I am personally aware of. Most of the mines around here have standing water, so a long probing stick is a must! Kirk tells a story of going for a swim! Scary! Just be aware folks. Some common sense and paying attention goes a long ways. Not trying to scare anyone just want you all to be aware.
As far as the silver star mine, I wonder myself if there isn't multiple upper adits. It seems like I might have read that in the circular, but will have to back and reread it to make sure. I haven't found them yet, but will be out looking in the next couple weeks. Like I say I need to reread the circular, but it seems that it was the one with the best assays also.
Total side note. I was up canyon creek past the camp ground on jakes creek, and was finding some interesting float material. Reminded me of miners queen material. I know there is a granitic intrusion around Saturday rock. Does anybody know of anything up in that area?? I have found a huge massive quartz vein up the green fork, but haven't made it all the way around Saturday rock. Just curious if anybody knows anything and is willing to share.
Steve

9812vCTD
06-16-2011, 08:58 PM
I think someone did it recently by going down the valley. I can't imagine that being easy, but he seemed to do if fairly quickly.


Yes, that was me back in October, I went straight down the valley from the top and back out the same way. I will tell you that it was EXTREMELY difficult to climb back out, and I'm young and I keep myself in good physical condition. I would not recommend it to most. After talking to a few people I am convinced that there are easier ways of going about it.

stlhdhntr
06-30-2011, 09:40 PM
So I was up to bluff mt area yesterday with a buddy. Hiked the trail all the way around to bluff mt. Still some snow on top on the ridgeline!! Isn't it almost july?? So like a dumb *** I left the map in the truck, so I got a little twisted around when we were up there. The fact that we were in the clouds most of the time didn't help either. We couldn't see down east into any of the drainages. The west side by copper was a little clearer. After consulting many maps I believe the ridge you want to drop down is going to be right where you make the right turn and drop back towards bluff mt. Does this sound right?? If I am not mistaken the bluebird creek drainage should be the one on your left as you drop down towards bluff mt.??? Okay I have to admit that it was probably good I couldn't see 200 yards thru the clouds. Fun was not the first word that came to mind. It was an f word tho;).
Also does the spur road off bluff trail possibly hook up with the roads down on copper, miners creek? Just curious. If it does, does that mean there might be some more possobilities between copper and the ridgeline. Like I said before it seems like I came across something that was talking about the headwaters of the copper. Sound familiar to anybody? Anybody do much exploring beyond blackjack mine?
Anyway waiting for a good sunny day to go back and eye the area some more. Hopefully be able to pinpoint the diffrent drainages, and hopefully eye a few diffrent routes down in.
Steve

jalles
07-05-2011, 11:36 AM
Hey Steve,

Nice to see someone is getting out.


After consulting many maps I believe the ridge you want to drop down is going to be right where you make the right turn and drop back towards bluff mt. Does this sound right??

I'm not sure what ridge you're talking about so a created a quick map:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v390/jalles/maybee_map.jpg

I was thinking about taking Ridge 1 on my map, is that the one you're referring to? Does there look to be a better option?


Also does the spur road off bluff trail possibly hook up with the roads down on copper, miners creek?

I also labeled a "Road to Copper Creek", I certainly saw this road coming in from the east when I visited the Miners Queen a couple of weeks ago. If you saw a spur running west from the top, I'd have to think it connects. Is that the road you're talking about, or is there one closer to Bluff Mtn. that heads down (North) Copper Creek?

Let us know what you find out!

Jason

stlhdhntr
07-06-2011, 12:21 PM
Hi jason thanks for the response. You the man!! Excellent map and detective work!
I was looking at what you have labeled ridge 2. When we were up there last week we were in the clouds and couldn't see crap down the east side. Once we made the turn towards bluff just past bluff 2 it opened up a little bit more. So I teally was guessing more than able to see down into the drainage. From what I could see(which was about 200 yards) it looked like ridge 2 was a little less steep, but couldn't see much. If I remember correct kirk's map shows him going down ridge 2 also. I will have to go back and verify that. There was also someone who went straight down the drainage last year, but he descibes the hike as brutal. I think I tend to agree with kirk that going down and out the washougal would probably be the best approach. Comeing back up looks to be the worst part, so if you can avoid it I think I would;).
Yes that is the road I was refering to. I have walked up it from the copper side for a few miles. Then we saw the road up top dropping you back towards copper. I don't have a good usgs map just delorme and google earth. Non of them list either road! I figured it would probably hook up but wasn't sure.
So knowing that the road goes all the way thru does that make anyone as curious as I. Does this mean there might be more prospects up higher?? I have heard of grumblings about some prospects high up on silver star. Hmmmmmm.
Will try and go back up this week and get a better look down into the valley. Not sure if I will or if the call of pretty agates and jasper distract me;).
Steve

jalles
07-06-2011, 02:31 PM
I was looking at what you have labeled ridge 2.

Good to know. When I finally get out there I'll have to scout around. Google earth shows a scree field going north east down Ridge 3 that also looks interesting. How forested are the ridge tops. Google maps satellite view makes it look somewhat sparse.


I think I tend to agree with kirk that going down and out the washougal would probably be the best approach.

For some reason this does not appeal to me. Probably because I'm a glutton for punishment and I always have to learn the hard way :mad:


So knowing that the road goes all the way thru does that make anyone as curious as I. Does this mean there might be more prospects up higher?? I have heard of grumblings about some prospects high up on silver star.

Certainly makes me curious! I'll have to go back on the motorbike and see if I can get through.


Will try and go back up this week and get a better look down into the valley.

As always, let us know what you find out.

Jason

kvangeld
07-06-2011, 08:19 PM
Hi Jason and Steve,

Good to see you getting out there a bit! I went down ridge 1 the first time from the top. But that was 25 years ago when the trees were still small. And yes the ridges are heavily forested. About 7 years ago we decided to use ridge 2 because it looked easier. I am not sure it was, but we made it by pushing hard through dead branches and sliding down steep sections of the hill. I also remember it was hard to keep our bearing because we couldn't see anything most of the time because of the trees. Thinking about how much work it was pushing through the trees going downhill, I would hate to try and come back up through them......

Also, I think your X on the map for Mabee needs to be pushed upstream about 100 yards.



I also labeled a "Road to Copper Creek", I certainly saw this road coming in from the east when I visited the Miners Queen a couple of weeks ago. If you saw a spur running west from the top, I'd have to think it connects. Is that the road you're talking about, or is there one closer to Bluff Mtn. that heads down (North) Copper Creek?


Yes there is a road (very loose term) that runs from just short of Miner's Queen up to the main road to Bluff Mtn. A friend and I rode motorcycles from the bottom to the top once. It was pretty rough but we made it. But it looks a lot more over grown now than it was then.

Steve, I have been to two small mines futher up the North side of Silver Star. They were pretty short, but interesting. I also know that there was a guy who took a cat up Copper Creek past the turn off to Miner's Queen and dug out the bottom of the creek and built an earthen dam. He did that in the late fall and was going to come back in the spring and dredge the part he dug up. I have no idea if he did, but he moved a bunch of rock around up there. It wouldn't surprise me if there aren't a mine or two up in the head waters of copper creek.

I look forward to reading about your next trip! :)

Kirk

stlhdhntr
07-07-2011, 04:45 PM
Well no chance to get out this week, but there is always next week;). Yes it looks to be pretty brushy, woody on the way down. I hear the glutton for punishment thing. But ever since I screwed up my back I've learned to asses exactly what I can and can't do. Going down in looks fun and not a problem. Comeing back up does not!! I know some already have, and if you are in reasonable shape it shouldn't be a killer. Still fun going up, but doable. Trying to go out through the washougal can present its own problems. I.e. finding someone to pick ya up. Trying to two car shuttle in one day would make for a long day for sure.

Kirk good to hear from ya. I sent you an email a while back. Did you get it?? Anyway I thought you had said something about the north side of silver star. Back up the cat road I am assuming? Someone got a cat back up there! Now if he didn't return for whatever reason it could be very interesting! Curious if anybody knows if amoco or a subsidiary still has the area claimed up? I know there are a couple private placer claims below blackjack mine down past copper city site. But does anybody still hold placer or hard rock mineral claims up there? I had run into an old timer up there last year that stated he had run into a couple geologists up there. If so I am assuming that would answer my question eh?
Hopefully somebody was able to get out and enjoy the sun this week.
Steve

angellwaves
08-18-2011, 11:19 AM
Hi, So I've spent the last hour reading over all these posts. I homeschool my two children and we are starting a unit study on our town Washougal. I have the two books "Across Rushing Waters" and "Looking Back". We plan a field trip to the Two Rivers Heritage Museum. I was gathering information and researching the mines in our area when I came across this forum. Thank you so much for all the info you've shared and pictures you've posted!

Kirk, thanks so much for all you shared! I especially think it's cool that you took your kids to explore the mines! I would love to do that but I don't think my hubby would be game for that:) I do have a friend though who is building a house in Star Valley and she says a couple of the mines are very close to their property and that we could hike to them with her!

Anyways I just wanted to say how much I've enjoyed reading all about the mines and history behind them!
Tamara

BADBAJA
10-02-2011, 08:36 PM
Been following this thread for months and reread it several times. Heading up to miners queen mines tomorrow. Hopefully find some remaining signs of the camp that was there.

Darin
10-02-2011, 08:42 PM
Welcome to the forum...hope you have a great time here and looking forward to hearing what you find in your travels.

BADBAJA
10-03-2011, 05:51 PM
Made it up to the firing area today. I used the map on the previous page with the over lay. Is this the same area off L-1200? I went to the bridge below where they shoot and could not find anything below on either side. So then I tried to find remains of the camp that is on the other side of the road and that was a no go as well. Just want to make sure I am hitting the right area.

I am taking my MD next time to look for stuff. Also want to check out the copper town area people were talking about. Everything is so hit and miss with 21 pages. Lol

kvangeld
10-04-2011, 10:14 PM
Hey Badbaja, Welcome to the fun! It sounds like you were in the right place. In fact, I would guess that you walked right past the caved in mine. It was a couple hundred feet short of the bridge on the oposite side of the road from the creek. In you don't look closely, it just looks like a place where water runs from the road up above. Go check it out again, look closely and I bet you will find it. When I was there two years ago, we had to dig down a foot or two to find the top of the mine entrance.

Tamara, I've been checking in regularly since you posted, but have been too swamped with work to write. Those are good books which gave us the initial incentive to go searching. And we've had a lot of fun along the way. Btw, we homeschool our 12 kids, so I have an appreciation for that. It sure helps to get them interested in things like old mines to motivate them to read, study, research, and plan. Makes for great schooling!

I've been dying to know where Star Valley is exactly. I looked on the internet and it sounds like it might be up around the upper reaches of the West Fork of the Washougal River. Is that correct? Is it short of the log dam up by the Skamania/Last Chance Mines? My wife knows some people who built a house up near there several years ago.

Take care,
Kirk

stlhdhntr
10-06-2011, 11:11 AM
Ah kirk long time no hear. Totally understand the to busy to do anything game;)
Anyway another summer gone to fast!! Only one trip to the ridgeline above mabee this year unfortunatly. Loved the view from up there. Hopefully if it doesn't rain to hard I can make a trip into miners queen before the month is over. Still want to check out that first adit.
Star valley was the valley that star creek goes up from copper I thought???? Could be wrong. I have been looking at some old (70's) and wow has the roads and there numbers changed over the years. Very interesting trying to match up old maps with new maps. Makes you scratch your head sometimes!!
Speaking of star creek, wasn't it up the cat road where you (kirk) ran into the cabin?? Been obsessing over the area. The rockhound bug is getting the better of me;) just have a feeling there is something interesting floating around up there.
Well off on a blue agate search trip!! Got distracted from the mines for a day by reports of blue agate in the skamania county area. Will report back on that also.
Steve

wimc
10-06-2011, 12:49 PM
I live on Mabee Mines Road. Only few miles from the mine, and dam.

BADBAJA
10-06-2011, 04:32 PM
Stlhdhntr I am going to try and get back up on Monday's. I know it's a awkward day but its what I got for sure as of now. I would like to check out some cabins and this camp that's on the previous map. Also there are some monstrous rocks at the top of a hill close to there where it looked like they might have caves. My jack russells gave up on me 3/4 way up so it's a little hike. Let me know if there is a day you might want to meet up there.

wimc
10-07-2011, 12:21 AM
The mine and dam that I mentioned are on McCloskey creek road, take road right at turn around area, taking left is Mabee Mines Road. Photo I took some years ago of the dam or waterway to power station near Washougal river.

7323

BADBAJA
10-07-2011, 04:53 PM
So is that a public area to go up by the dam? Might head up Monday if work is slow.

BADBAJA
10-07-2011, 07:21 PM
Wimc thank you for the info. I see on the map where it goes to the right how far up McCloskey creek road do you go or is there a landmark or just off the road. Looks like a few homes in that area and I am not the trespassing type. :cool:

I also metal detect for old coins, and caches. So if you know of anything feel free to let me know. I always split the gold and silver.

Feel free to contact if anyone wants to set up a time. I really want to check out the copper city that was mentioned a few pages back. Cool stuff.

I also have found a mine on private property here in Clark that I am trying to get permission to view. I am not one for going into abandoned mines unless a bunch of things are in order first. Believe it or not the mine is in the basement of a house. I will post a thread with full written permission of the owner of coarse.

Darin
10-07-2011, 09:53 PM
Believe it or not the mine is in the basement of a house. I will post a thread with full written permission of the owner of coarse.

That would be an interesting read...can't wait!!!

wimc
10-08-2011, 05:48 AM
So is that a public area to go up by the dam? Might head up Monday if work is slow.

Last few years they gated it up there, if gate is closed can just walk to it (not a long walk, perhaps ~1 mile), there is a place to park before you get to the gate.

The photo I took, the mine is other side of the dam/rocks. Haven't been up there for quite sometime, last time I was there you could clearly see the mine entrance. Been caved in for decades though. Haven't seen other mines or heard of others, lived on Mabee Mines Road for 21.5 years. Possibly the reason not knowing others is, haven't spoke to anyone around here.

FYI: they are logging up there somewhere. Beware.

No houses near the one I mentioned.

kvangeld
10-08-2011, 02:15 PM
Badbaja,



Believe it or not the mine is in the basement of a house.


I am very interested in hearing more about this one. The only houses I know of that are anywhere close to mines are up the West Fork of the Washougal River, near the Skamania and Last Chance mines..... Although we have never found the one that is supposed to be near Texas Gulch (Creek) and that is a bit closer to civilization.... Can't wait to hear more! :)

Kirk

BADBAJA
10-08-2011, 05:38 PM
The house was built around what was the remains of the mine from what I hear. Looking on google
Earth I can see tailings. Trying to contact the owner and the renter for permission will be the toughest part. If it does not happen I will divulge the information as available. There is a lot of history besides the fort around Clark county. Hint hint Just have to look. Please if you have a idea of who it is just mail me and I will confirm whether or not it is.

Also if you guys have not checked in with the map maker down off main(Vantucky) your really missing out. Email if you want his info.

Gime2469@hotmail.com

stlhdhntr
10-18-2011, 12:24 PM
Ok fair warning this may get a little ranty!! I made it up to blackjack yesterday with a buddy from tacoma. Got to the trail head around 930 and there was three vehicles already parked down there!! Never have I run into anyone out there before!! One guy was doing crack clean up on the creek(hope he was affiliated with the group that holds the claim!!) And didn't see anyone else around. Proceeded up the trail. Was pretty uneventful. Made the turn to blackjack and turned the corner by the pipe, and at the first little clearing before the first adit is two new blue spray paint arrows pointing you across the creek!! These are new! Trail on opposite side of creek looks pretty fresh. I didn't check it out, was there for other things! Proceeded to the first adit, and lo and behold there is a brand new NO TRESPASSING sign posted at the entrance. Active mining claim, active mining stay out!! What the ****!!!! Went to the middle adit, and same thing again, except opposite the no trespass sign was discovery monument with jar attached with paperwork inside. This would make it a legitimate claim folks!!!! Went to third adit and again same **** thing!!! Got back to the truck and evreybody else was gone. Don't know if anyone was at miners queen and we missed them, or if nobody went up that way. Either way noone up at the mines that I know of.
Ok so here is my rant. My unfortunate suspicion is that someone is using the info from the forum! Don't know anything for fact just a feeling I have. Maybe even someone just looking at info. That being said I will no longer post road numbers, common names(historical mine names only), directions, or general info. Will happily drop clues, but will not put the x on your map!! There is plenty of good info if you look thru all 22 pages! Time consuming? Yes but that is how I started finding out about some of this area. Dnr has lots of resorces. Do some homework. It will pay 10 fold.
If I am wrong I apologize!! Just very interesting timing!!
Side note. Why would someone claim this??? I have dnr reports for this mine!! Very low grade copper deposit!! Like 3% at the BEST!! That tis the highest assay out of about a dozen!!! Most are much lower!! Not even economical as an open pit!!! One of the big mine companys(asarco or another I have to look it up) had control of the entire upper copper and miners creek locked up in claims as late as the 70's and possibly into the 80's. I assumed they still controlled it. Guess I was wrong!! That big company obviously WALKED AWAY!! Why??? Because the deposit is NOT economical!! As a kicker the gold assays on blackjack are all below one tenth of an ounce to the ton!!!!!! Very little copper, almost non existent gold, and you have a recipe for a MONEY PIT!! This is why I am not understanding the situation!! A placer claim up there, sure why not there probably is a few flakes up there;) but a lode claim!! I don't know for fact that it is a lode claim, but if you are trying to claim the adits it WOULD have to be a lode claim correct?? See now I am almost afraid to go to miners queen fearing finding the same thing!! Almost tempted to go run around and start claiming all the old mines I know about, but how is that fair?? I am not looking for big dollar mines!! I am a rockhound trying to get good specimens as well as to learn more about our history. There are not really any economically viable mines around here! Wind river would be the exception!! Not that they aren't out there. They haven't been found yet!!!! There is a platinum source up the east fork somewhere!! It has been dredged from the east fork below horseshoe falls. The source has never been found!!!! Just an example. Why claim something that is not worthwhile when the possiblitys of new better discoverys is very real!!
Hope no one has taken personal offense. Just very frustrating to find a very cool place locked up by the uninformed! I do have pictures of the signs and discovery post and will try to post them shortly.
Kirk if you are still watching, shoot me an email I would still like to meet up with you sometime.
Steve

kvangeld
10-19-2011, 03:55 PM
Hi Steve,

Just shot you an email. Hopefully we can meet up in the next 3 -4 weeks.

That's disappointing if someone is just trying to lock it up..... I do know someone tried to do that to the Mabee mines a long time ago....They lost interest pretty fast and didn't renew it.
Can you post the name on the claim paperwork. I would be interested to know...

Also, I am dying to hear more about the house that is supposedly built over one of the mines in the area....I looked on Google Earth and didn't see anything in the areas of the mines I know about.....anticipation!!!!! :)

Kirk

log crib dam
10-19-2011, 05:40 PM
One of the reasons people file these claims is they think it enables them to get a piece of land. It is a mineral claim only and any no tresspassing signs are not allowed. One can walk anywhere on the claim, go into the addits and they cannot stop you. But if you pick up a rock it is a federal offense. They will say otherwise but it is not so. Report them to Forest Service. I have gone after these people and reported every infraction.

BADBAJA
10-30-2011, 03:02 PM
Sthdhntr I am glad I have not gone up cause I would have taken my metal detector and probably got in trouble. Thats why I wanna stay clear of the creeks and just try relic or cache hunt the copper city or any mining towns. I only try and find clad, silver or gold caches. If I knew it was a claim I would shurly ask permission to only check out the towns or old cabins of any sorts. The creeks are ok but I agree there was never any nugget size gold coming out of these mines but it never hurts to check unless trespassing without permission.

I hope I can get up to see these before they get closed. Or worse blown up.


Also please feel free to email me if your going up or pm me through here. I am pretty flexible on schedule as of now.
Gime2469@hotmaildotcom

kvangeld
11-04-2011, 05:26 PM
Hey BadBaja..... You haven't posted anything more about the house that has the mine in the basement..... You are killing me here :~ ..... I did spend a fair amount of time on Google Earth looking at the areas I think that mines are possible, but didn't find anything...... So.....give us a bit more to go on..... Thanks!!! :)
Kirk

BADBAJA
11-04-2011, 06:13 PM
In the Vancouver city limits. I don't think I ever mentioned it being in the hills or mountains. ?

It's funny you were saying google earth. I spent 2 hours searcing that **** meteorite that was discovered then lost in southern Oregon in 1800s. Dang rock is worth at least 20mil. I want to find thAt rock. Those specimens are so beautiful. No way I could sell the whole thing I would have to keep a specimine.

NicholasC
11-29-2011, 05:53 PM
Long time no see, I haven't posted here since last winter probably. Just poking my head in here to see whats up? Its unfortunate to read about the "mining" operation. A friend and I plan to go out and explore before too much snow comes in the higher up parts. Anyone up to meet and explore? I'm in Washougal.

wimc
03-04-2012, 05:37 PM
Should mention when gates are open do not drive through, logging company working in the area told me just because gate is open doesn't mean anyone can go on past gates for Mabee Mines Road and McCloskey Creek Road. Just coming from Mabee Mines Road, have not seen gates coming from the long back way.

mmeadows
04-12-2012, 12:12 PM
Hello my name is mike and I am 22 and a PSU senior who is majoring in political science and business, I have had a few geology classes but realistic my knowledge in mines or mining is zero. I originally came on to this form looking for ghost towns, I climbed mt. hood this past Saturday and was looking for my next adventure. As I was reading on and came to the forms I clicked on this particular one because it was in Washington and I live in Tigard Oregon. As I read on about mines I saw a few posts about flooded mines and as an avid scuba diver became interested in diving in some flooded mines (I still am very interested in doing this, so if you know of any good places to try let me know, but my story does not end here.)

As I read on even further I was very happy to see that this form has been going for so long. After bouncing a couple of ideas around I think itís clear to me I want to make a week or two camping trip up to mabee mines and reopen them, and since it is 2012 instead of photos I will take a gopro (if you donít know what it is look it up on YouTube) and document my journey, and hopefully go deep into the mine and have it on camera for everyone to experience. I realize this will take a lot of work but fortunately youth and time are on my side, however I am completely ignorant of the area and history, and realistically just basics of mining. Iím hoping this is where the collaborative knowledge of everyone can help. Frequently maps are referenced on this form, what maps are you using US Geological?, BLM? I know some use Google and the posting of those maps will be helpful. Like I said earlier I want to document this entire experience so that everyone can enjoy the journey with me, especially the first entry into the mine!
I look forward to hearing what people think and their replies and advice are . Iíll be busy the next few days with school but will be checking in soon, I really hope to hear from you as well Kirk!

I would also like to thank everyone who helped keep this form going for so long. I hope to add a great deal to it.

mmeadows
04-12-2012, 09:47 PM
where did my long post go? has anyone seen it? lol

mmeadows
04-12-2012, 09:54 PM
so i posted a long thread here and it has yet to show up, im going to post this to see if it shows up at all.

to sum up my last post, im going to hike gear to mabee mine, camp there for a couple weeks and reopen the mine. i also want to record the entire journey on the new gopro camera so everyone can watch the first time someone reenters the cave. my mine knowledge is zero however, so i really will be depending on the knowledge of this community this form has birthed over the past few years.

on another note, anyone know of some flooded mine shafts that i could explore via scuba?

look forward to figuring thing form out. i will also repost my long post on my other computer

mmeadows
04-15-2012, 09:27 AM
Hello my name is mike and I am 22 and a PSU senior who is majoring in political science and business, I have had a few geology classes but realistic my knowledge in mines or mining is zero. I originally came on to this form looking for ghost towns, I climbed mt. hood this past Saturday and was looking for my next adventure. As I was reading on and came to the forms I clicked on this particular one because it was in Washington and I live in Tigard Oregon. As I read on about mines I saw a few posts about flooded mines and as an avid scuba diver became interested in diving in some flooded mines (I still am very interested in doing this, so if you know of any good places to try let me know, but my story does not end here.)

As I read on even further I was very happy to see that this form has been going for so long. After bouncing a couple of ideas around I think itís clear to me I want to make a week or two camping trip up to mabee mines and reopen them, and since it is 2012 instead of photos I will take a gopro (if you donít know what it is look it up on YouTube) and document my journey, and hopefully go deep into the mine and have it on camera for everyone to experience. I realize this will take a lot of work but fortunately youth and time are on my side, however I am completely ignorant of the area and history, and realistically just basics of mining. Iím hoping this is where the collaborative knowledge of everyone can help. Frequently maps are referenced on this form, what maps are you using US Geological?, BLM? I know some use Google and the posting of those maps will be helpful. Like I said earlier I want to document this entire experience so that everyone can enjoy the journey with me, especially the first entry into the mine!
I look forward to hearing what people think and their replies and advice are . Iíll be busy the next few days with school but will be checking in soon, I really hope to hear from you as well Kirk!

I would also like to thank everyone who helped keep this form going for so long. I hope to add a great deal to it.

jvangeld
05-02-2012, 05:13 PM
Hey all,

I am thinking of going on a quick trip to the mine that is further down Copper Creek sometime soon after the snow melts. If anyone wants to come along, let me know and we should be able to work out a date.

Jeremy

jvangeld
05-22-2012, 01:33 PM
I am hoping to check in on the Copper Creek mines with a friend of mine on Saturday. I'm hoping that we will make it back.

jvangeld
06-26-2012, 04:38 PM
Hey, our posts showed up! Thanks to whoever fixed that!

Anyways, we went to the Copper Creek mines at the end of March. Everything was as Stlhdhntr reported. It didn't look like they had done any work. I was hoping that they would be working there so that we could get a chance to talk shop with them.

On the 8th we tried to go to the Mabee Mines but scrubbed the trip because it was snowing.

The 15th and 16th were beautiful days, but I was busy with the Spartan Sprint and a funeral.

So, we are going to try to go to the Mabee Mines again this Friday. We will spend the night and walk out on Saturday afternoon.

Mike, Dad has some plans of several of the flooded shafts in the area. They were in some mining publication by the state. We will have to show them to you when we get together.

jvangeld
08-11-2012, 05:54 PM
We visited the Copper Creek and Miner's Creek mines today. The No Trespassing signs were still at the Copper Creek mines, but there weren't any at Miner's Creek. It appears that someone dug some ditches from the mouths of the Copper Creek mines, which brought down the water level by quite a bit. So maybe the sign-painters did do a bit of work on them. Miner's Creek was the same as always. But the last bit of trail is right over a washed out part of the streambank. Someone with a machete should probably realign that soon.

kvangeld
05-04-2013, 11:30 PM
Hi all, With the warm weather this weekend, it started thoughts of the Mabee Mines. It is likely that I won't be able to make it up there until the end of July or August. But since things have been quiet for awhile, I thought I would ask if anyone has made it up there in the past 8 months or so? Chime in! :) Kirk

bobsheadache
09-20-2013, 09:55 AM
I have found the cabin built in the hillside did not go to it. It is way up from dougan falls. I also found a large cave about two miles up from the falls

bobsheadache
09-20-2013, 10:09 AM
Hi Steve,

Just shot you an email. Hopefully we can meet up in the next 3 -4 weeks.

That's disappointing if someone is just trying to lock it up..... I do know someone tried to do that to the Mabee mines a long time ago....They lost interest pretty fast and didn't renew it.
Can you post the name on the claim paperwork. I would be interested to know...

Also, I am dying to hear more about the house that is supposedly built over one of the mines in the area....I looked on Google Earth and didn't see anything in the areas of the mines I know about.....anticipation!!!!! :)

Kirk
I have been to the cabin

kvangeld
09-27-2013, 07:24 PM
Hi Steve,
Can you give me more of a hint? :)

"Way up from Dugan Falls" Would that be on the Washougal River? Or a tributary? If a tributary, which one? I suspect there is a mine on the west side of the Washougal River just a bit downstream from where Prospector Creek meets it.

I would still love to get together with you. I am swamped the next month or so. But things should slow down in Nov.

Thanks,
Kirk

Graham
12-20-2013, 08:33 PM
Hey everybody!

New guy checking in from Portland. I've been to a handful of mines in the area including the Skamania Mine, Last Chance Mine, Yellow Jacket Mine? (not sure if that's the correct name). and the Wind River Mine. I've also been to 30ish mines outside of the area in Oregon and Washington, I've got plenty of interesting stories if you wan to hear haha.

I do have a question for you guys though; does anyone know anything about the Cheney Creek Mine(s) and the Ogle Mountain Mines? They're in Oregon relatively close to Mt Hood, I'm especially interested in the Ogle Mountain Mines because they are said to have been very extensive, but I don't know about the current condition of these mines. I know that there's an open adit at the Cheney Creek Mines, but I know absolutely nothing about the Ogle Mountain Mines, I can't even find a picture.

Let me know if you have some information for me, or if you want to hear some stories :)

All the best,

Graham

kvangeld
12-21-2013, 02:37 PM
Hi Graham,

Welcome! We would love to hear about any of your experiences with mines, etc, especially the ones around Silver Star Mountain!

I'm sorry I can't give you any help on the OR mines. My experience for now is limited to the Silver Star area....although I did make a trip trying to find an abandoned mine on East Fork of the Lewis river. Didn't find it, need to make another trip.

We look forward to hearing about your experiences!

Kirk

Graham
12-21-2013, 03:25 PM
Hey guys!

The only mine I've been to in the area that was open was the Last Chance / Skamania (names were mixed up a long time ago but it's one of those). Anyways it was a copper mine so there was tons of blue colored rock everywhere which was very cool! It went back a few thousand feet i'd say, it took us a full hour to get through it!

I've got to say the coolest thing about that mine was at the end of the tunnel, there were names of the miners who worked in the mine written with coal or something. I took a video of it so the following photos don't looks too great:
Number 01 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/84057552@N06/11486311085/in/photostream/) Number 02 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/84057552@N06/11486450936/in/photostream/) Number 03 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/84057552@N06/11486463993/in/photostream/)

While I'm at it i'll share some other pictures from other mining districts in the area.

This is the Oregon King Mine, (http://www.flickr.com/photos/84057552@N06/8674813213/sizes/l/in/photostream/) one of the most successful mines in Oregon; it was absolutely massive but sadly I couldn't go inside.

Here is some text that was engraved (http://www.flickr.com/photos/84057552@N06/11486444295/) about 1,000 feet back in the Wall Street Mine of Central Washington.

Alright one last picture before I go. (http://www.flickr.com/photos/84057552@N06/11486569704/) This mine is nowhere near us, located in Baker County (sorry) but I just learned a lot more about it and it's very interesting and I wanted to share! This is called the Jevne Adit, it actually was not as much of a mine as it was a transport tunnel. The plan was to connect two different ore bodies from the Columbia Mine and the North Pole Mine with a 4000 foot long tunnel (WOW!!). Unfortunately for the miners this idea didn't really pan out, and the tunnel was cut short after no more than 1000 feet. I was truly amazed when I saw this tunnel because of it's sheer size, it's about 15 feet tall and 12 feet wide. We were only able to make it back a couple hundred feet before we ran into a massive collapse, but it was an amazing mine to visit nonetheless.

Let me know what ya'll think!

All the best,

Graham

Graham
12-21-2013, 06:57 PM
Hey guys!

The only mine I've been to in the area that was open was the Last Chance / Skamania (names were mixed up a long time ago but it's one of those). Anyways it was a copper mine so there was tons of blue colored rock everywhere which was very cool! It went back a few thousand feet i'd say, it took us a full hour to get through it!

I've got to say the coolest thing about that mine was at the end of the tunnel, there were names of the miners who worked in the mine written with coal or something. I took a video of it so the following photos don't looks too great:
Number 01 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/84057552@N06/11486311085/in/photostream/) Number 02 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/84057552@N06/11486450936/in/photostream/) Number 03 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/84057552@N06/11486463993/in/photostream/)

While I'm at it i'll share some other pictures from other mining districts in the area.

This is the Oregon King Mine, (http://www.flickr.com/photos/84057552@N06/8674813213/sizes/l/in/photostream/) one of the most successful mines in Oregon; it was absolutely massive but sadly I couldn't go inside.

Here is some text that was engraved (http://www.flickr.com/photos/84057552@N06/11486444295/) about 1,000 feet back in the Wall Street Mine of Central Washington.

Alright one last picture before I go. (http://www.flickr.com/photos/84057552@N06/11486569704/) This mine is nowhere near us, located in Baker County (sorry) but I just learned a lot more about it and it's very interesting and I wanted to share! This is called the Jevne Adit, it actually was not as much of a mine as it was a transport tunnel. The plan was to connect two different ore bodies from the Columbia Mine and the North Pole Mine with a 4000 foot long tunnel (WOW!!). Unfortunately for the miners this idea didn't really pan out, and the tunnel was cut short after no more than 1000 feet. I was truly amazed when I saw this tunnel because of it's sheer size, it's about 15 feet tall and 12 feet wide. We were only able to make it back a couple hundred feet before we ran into a massive collapse, but it was an amazing mine to visit nonetheless.

kvangeld
12-28-2013, 10:53 AM
Hi Graham,

Thanks for the pics and stories! Also, there are a lot more mines around Silver Star Mtn for you to explore. Although none of the ones you can still get into are as long as the Last Chance/Skamania mine.

Happy mine exploration!

Kirk

teds280z
12-30-2013, 05:48 AM
Ok fair warning this may get a little ranty!! I made it up to blackjack yesterday with a buddy from tacoma. Got to the trail head around 930 and there was three vehicles already parked down there!! Never have I run into anyone out there before!! One guy was doing crack clean up on the creek(hope he was affiliated with the group that holds the claim!!) And didn't see anyone else around. Proceeded up the trail. Was pretty uneventful. Made the turn to blackjack and turned the corner by the pipe, and at the first little clearing before the first adit is two new blue spray paint arrows pointing you across the creek!! These are new! Trail on opposite side of creek looks pretty fresh. I didn't check it out, was there for other things! Proceeded to the first adit, and lo and behold there is a brand new NO TRESPASSING sign posted at the entrance. Active mining claim, active mining stay out!! What the ****!!!! Went to the middle adit, and same thing again, except opposite the no trespass sign was discovery monument with jar attached with paperwork inside. This would make it a legitimate claim folks!!!! Went to third adit and again same **** thing!!! Got back to the truck and evreybody else was gone. Don't know if anyone was at miners queen and we missed them, or if nobody went up that way. Either way noone up at the mines that I know of.
Ok so here is my rant. My unfortunate suspicion is that someone is using the info from the forum! Don't know anything for fact just a feeling I have. Maybe even someone just looking at info. That being said I will no longer post road numbers, common names(historical mine names only), directions, or general info. Will happily drop clues, but will not put the x on your map!! There is plenty of good info if you look thru all 22 pages! Time consuming? Yes but that is how I started finding out about some of this area. Dnr has lots of resorces. Do some homework. It will pay 10 fold.
If I am wrong I apologize!! Just very interesting timing!!
Side note. Why would someone claim this??? I have dnr reports for this mine!! Very low grade copper deposit!! Like 3% at the BEST!! That tis the highest assay out of about a dozen!!! Most are much lower!! Not even economical as an open pit!!! One of the big mine companys(asarco or another I have to look it up) had control of the entire upper copper and miners creek locked up in claims as late as the 70's and possibly into the 80's. I assumed they still controlled it. Guess I was wrong!! That big company obviously WALKED AWAY!! Why??? Because the deposit is NOT economical!! As a kicker the gold assays on blackjack are all below one tenth of an ounce to the ton!!!!!! Very little copper, almost non existent gold, and you have a recipe for a MONEY PIT!! This is why I am not understanding the situation!! A placer claim up there, sure why not there probably is a few flakes up there;) but a lode claim!! I don't know for fact that it is a lode claim, but if you are trying to claim the adits it WOULD have to be a lode claim correct?? See now I am almost afraid to go to miners queen fearing finding the same thing!! Almost tempted to go run around and start claiming all the old mines I know about, but how is that fair?? I am not looking for big dollar mines!! I am a rockhound trying to get good specimens as well as to learn more about our history. There are not really any economically viable mines around here! Wind river would be the exception!! Not that they aren't out there. They haven't been found yet!!!! There is a platinum source up the east fork somewhere!! It has been dredged from the east fork below horseshoe falls. The source has never been found!!!! Just an example. Why claim something that is not worthwhile when the possiblitys of new better discoverys is very real!!
Hope no one has taken personal offense. Just very frustrating to find a very cool place locked up by the uninformed! I do have pictures of the signs and discovery post and will try to post them shortly.
Kirk if you are still watching, shoot me an email I would still like to meet up with you sometime.
Steve

Just saw this thread wwith some recent activity. Some great photos. Being somewhat of an oldtimer on this forum I would like to inform members we try not to give actual directions to locations for the reason to try not to incourage riff raff from finding sites. We believe that if you are interested one can do more research to find old mines and ghosttowns.
Thank you guys for being active on this site.
Also I lived in Ridgefield WA,by Vancouver, fo several years and have been to the area you are talking about but didn't do any exploration.

stlhdhntr
02-09-2014, 10:14 AM
Just saw this thread wwith some recent activity. Some great photos. Being somewhat of an oldtimer on this forum I would like to inform members we try not to give actual directions to locations for the reason to try not to incourage riff raff from finding sites. We believe that if you are interested one can do more research to find old mines and ghosttowns.
Thank you guys for being active on this site.
Also I lived in Ridgefield WA,by Vancouver, fo several years and have been to the area you are talking about but didn't do any exploration.

absolutely. now I know better than to be blunt about directions for some places. not that the info isn't available it just is easier to go to the internet and find it quickly then spend time reading to find what you want. I used to be frustrated by all the people that would post pictures about there cool finds but not tell you where. now I am the one not telling where I find everything. funny how it works. when you put research time, boot time, and shovel time into something funny how all of a sudden you don't want everybody just walking up and takeing advantage. not that I care if you come help yourself that's the point. just frustrating to find areas you have gone to locked up.
anyway I was unable to make it to any of the mines this last year(2013). I was blessed with the birth of my daughter in feb and have been slammed busy since. had a few reports from copper that someone is up working copper queen. second hand info so don't know for sure. if they were I would be mighty curiuos if they did any good. just curious myself. have heard that working the moss up there is the way to go. make sure you belong to the club that has the placer claim first tho PLEASE. anybody make it out there this last year? let us know what your experience was. we always like to know how its looking out there.
ok first to start it this year. whos up for mabee this summer? kirk still around? would love to meet up and compare notes one day still. hopefully we can get a trip together, I want to get up in there bad!!
also for the gentleman that posted the wall street mine pics. color me jealous!!!! that is on my wish list of places to explore. liberty area if ya didn't know. the name in there is one of the original explorers up in the area. VERY COOL!!!! always neat when you can actually touch history not just read about it!!!
steve

Graham
06-16-2014, 06:46 PM
Hi everyone,

I'm going to attempt to locate the mines along Copper and Miner's creeks (Black Jack and Miner's Queen) tomorrow. I'm not too worried about finding them, it should be pretty easy, but if anyone wants to come let me know! I'll be leaving from NE Portland sometime in the AM.

grahams107[at]gmail.com

hamellr
06-24-2014, 05:14 PM
I do have a question for you guys though; does anyone know anything about the Cheney Creek Mine(s) and the Ogle Mountain Mines? They're in Oregon relatively close to Mt Hood, I'm especially interested in the Ogle Mountain Mines because they are said to have been very extensive, but I don't know about the current condition of these mines.

Location is here for the Ogle Mountain Mines (http://itouchmap.com/?r=b&e=y&p=44.8917886,-122.3342475:0:0:Ogle%20Mountain%20Mine). If you go up there, I'd love to ride with you. Here's a newspaper article about them (http://oregonnews.uoregon.edu/lccn/sn00063698/1904-09-02/ed-1/seq-1/) from 1904. 500 foot tunnel that goes down 200 feet.

Graham
07-11-2014, 07:06 PM
Location is here for the Ogle Mountain Mines (http://itouchmap.com/?r=b&e=y&p=44.8917886,-122.3342475:0:0:Ogle%20Mountain%20Mine). If you go up there, I'd love to ride with you. Here's a newspaper article about them (http://oregonnews.uoregon.edu/lccn/sn00063698/1904-09-02/ed-1/seq-1/) from 1904. 500 foot tunnel that goes down 200 feet.

I'm very interested to go, but it's such a long drive according to Google Maps that it might never happen. Also I've noticed that the Ogle Mountain Mine area has been logged heavily making a collapse even more likely. I'll post on here a few days in advance if I do end up going though!