This weekend, my son and I ventured out on a rock hounding excursion in the Black Mountains and came across a real bonus – Homestake Mine, a small mining operation open to visitors on the weekends.
The mine was fist blasted and tunneled around 1860 in the Hardy quartz vein. With the technology of the day, there simply was not enough gold in the vein to continue operating for very long. So after blasting 180 feet into the mountain, it was abandoned and sat empty for many years.
These days, two friends operate the claim mostly as a hobby (I don’t , and freely give tours to passersby. Homestake Mine is a true experience of the American West’s pioneer mining era, operating equipment used by the original mining operations, some of which dates from the late 1800’s.
If you’re considering a visit, I would plan for an hour’s drive from Kingman (one way) and at least 45 minutes to tour the facility. There is no admission, but donations are appreciated. I would recommend coming with a little cash for donating and browsing the gift shop, they have some interesting Arizona specimens for sale such as fire agate and fluorite.
Home Stake Mine
Contact Mike for more information at 928-542-3236
Hours: Open to visitors Saturdays and Sundays from 10am to 5pm.
Coordinance: 35.065318, -114.432428
How to get there: Turn onto Silver Creek Rd from Oatman Hwy (mile post 26) about one mile east of Oatman. Follow Silver Creek Road (unpaved primitive road with some rough spots, we did this in a Honda Civic just fine) for 3.4 miles until you see the 'Homestake Mine, visitors welcome today' sign on your left. Follow this driveway for about 1/10 mile to the mine site where you will be greeted by Russ or Mike.
What you’ll see: Russ, who has been working the claim for the last 18 years, will give you a tour of the equipment used to crush rock and extract gold and silver. Mike guides guests into the mine tunnel some 180 feet to where gold and fluorite ore have been extracted.
Directions from the Kingman Visitor Center: