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Thread: Mabee Mines-Washougal WA

  1. #161
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    19

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    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

  2. #162
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Near Vancouver, WA
    Posts
    77

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    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

  3. #163
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    19

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    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

  4. #164
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Near Vancouver, WA
    Posts
    77

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    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

  5. #165
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    19

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    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

  6. #166
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Near Vancouver, WA
    Posts
    77

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    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

  7. #167
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    19

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    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

  8. #168
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Near Vancouver, WA
    Posts
    77

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    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

  9. #169
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    19

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    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

  10. #170
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    19

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    Ok. Just had a chance to sit down and download a couple pictures to photobucket. 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

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