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Sunflower Mine 4X4 Trail

Fun, challenging trail to standing mill structure

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Rating: 5 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Strenuous
Length: 13.6 miles
Duration: Half day
Family Friendly

Overview :  A real structure to see, not just a pile of mine tailings. The Sunflower Mine (a.k.a. National Mine) produced mercury. Inside the... more »

Tips:  You can see the mine without going on difficult terrain. Simply turnaround at the mine and go out the way you came in. We Jeeped this ... more »

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Points of Interest

1. Start Here

Turn right on Forest Road 201 and head northeast. This area is wide enough to use as staging area for unlicensed vehicles.

2. Start of Loop

The easiest and quickest way to Sunflower Mine is to turn left on Forest Road 25 and go around the loop in a clockwise direction.

3. Forest Road 25A

Continue straight, now on 25A. Road gets narrower and rougher. Forest Road 25 continues to the left here, but eventually ends at the boundary to Mazatzal Wilderness.

4. Metal Bridge

Cross creek over short metal bridge.

5. Turn for Sunflower Mine

Make sharp left turn uphill to reach the Sunflower Mine.

6. Sunflower Mine

Shelf road passes above Sunflower Mine. Side road goes to bottom and gets you closer. Much is left of mill structure, most notably the giant steel pipe that tumbled reddish-brown ore called cinnabar. The mine produced mercury. After your visit here, return to Point #5. From this point, the easiest way back is to return the way you came. To enjoy a... More

7. Hard Right Turn

After following rocky creek bed, you'll turn hard right out of the creek up extremely steep Forest Road 3722.

8. Intersect Forest Road 201A

At top of hill road levels off at good campspot. Stay right downhill on Forest Road 201A. Road gets very narrow and rocky as it drops downhill to creek. Cross creek and continue east uphill.

9. Forest Road 201

At top of hill, intersect with easy Forest Road 201. Follow it right to continue around loop. This road drops downhill on switchbacks and eventually heads south back to start of loop at Point #2, where a left turn returns to start.