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Thread: Mabee Mines-Washougal WA

  1. #191
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    Feb 2007
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    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

  2. #192
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    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

  3. #193
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    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

  4. #194
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
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    Tigard, OR
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    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by kvangeld View Post
    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?

    Quote Originally Posted by kvangeld View Post
    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by kvangeld View Post
    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

  5. #195
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    Default Silver Star Mines

    Quote Originally Posted by kvangeld View Post
    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.




    Anyway, hopefully someone can learn from my mistake.

  6. #196
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    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

  7. #197
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    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
    Last edited by kvangeld; 06-14-2011 at 05:56 PM.

  8. #198
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    Oct 2010
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    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

  9. #199
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    Quote Originally Posted by kvangeld View Post
    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.

  10. #200
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    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

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