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  1. #1
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    Default Mabee Mines-Washougal WA

    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.
    Last edited by rwerland; 01-12-2007 at 07:00 PM.

  2. #2
    Tsarevna's Avatar
    Tsarevna is offline Rawk Crawlin GPS Totin Ghost Towning Expert
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    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?

  3. #3
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    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.

  4. #4
    Tsarevna's Avatar
    Tsarevna is offline Rawk Crawlin GPS Totin Ghost Towning Expert
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    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.

  5. #5
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    Default Mabee Mines

    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

    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.
    Last edited by rwerland; 01-31-2007 at 01:12 PM.

  6. #6
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    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.

  7. #7
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    Mar 2009
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    Battle Ground, WA
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    Default Hello Kirk!

    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!). 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.

    Kirk hows it going? Remember me?

  8. #8
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    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?

  9. #9
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    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.

  10. #10
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    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!

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