The Sun Valley Mine
These two mines are good fall through spring hikes, not summer. If you have a radiation detector be sure to use it here. We have found carnotite at both mines.
To get to the Sun Valley mine head west of Marble Canyon on Highway 89 to GPS co-ordinances 36° 42' 37" and 111° 46' 45" and watch very closely for a turnoff right by a road marker (Mile Post 550). There used to be a vehicle gate here but it has been permanently closed. Now there is a "people gate" here. There is an old road headed back to the cliff. Cross the fence and follow the road back and up. When you're close to the mine you will see an old pick-up lying about in pieces. It looks like it is probably 75 - 80 % complete but you would have to carry it out as this is a wilderness area and NO motor vehicle traffic allowed!
Go on past the truck and around a couple of bends and you come to the mine workings. The mine itself is a vertical shaft and not wise to enter. One reason not to enter is if you kick up any dust it will probably have radioactive particles in it and you would be inhaling them. You may find some carnotite in the loading chute or near the vertical shaft where ore may have spilled. The GPS numbers for the mine are 36° 43' 00" and 111° 47'37".
The Hack Mine
The Hack Mine is a place for the diehard 4X4er or someone with a quad. The first part of the drive is pretty good but it does get washed out now and then. This is a good location for uranium ore and pyrite samples along with some copper ores.
The Hack Mine is in Hack Canyon. Head west from Fredonia to milemark 24.5 and watch for the sign to Toroweap. Head south for 22 plus miles to the sign indicating the turn for Hack Canyon. From here on you need 4 wheel drive and high clearance !! The mine is on the Fredonia map but a GPS definitely helps.
Once you get close you will need to hoof it. There is malachite, pyrite, carnotite, and fossils here. Most of the carnotite is combined with the massive forms of pyrite which shows up as gray and rusty stains in the soil. dig these up to find chunks of pyrite coated with carnotite. The carnotite is bright yellow. The malachite is deep green so spotting these minerals is not to difficult. It is possible to find arrowheads in the area also. If you look up on the cliff opposite the mine you can still see part of the cable system used to haul the ore up and out of the canyon. There are some nice fossils up there also.
This is an all day trip so be sure to take food and drinks and a camera. Due to the remote location and ruggedness you might not wish to go "solo" , but take two vehicles.
The coordinates for the Hack Canyon Mine are 36° 35.00N & 112° 47.86W.
These 2 pictures show a common rock coated with the carnotite.
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