Vulture Mine, Wickenburg

3.8
#9 of 11 in Things to do in Wickenburg
The Vulture Mine was a gold mine and settlement in Maricopa County, Arizona, United States. The mine began in 1863 and became the most productive gold mine in Arizona history. From 1863 to 1942, the mine produced 340,000 ounces of gold and 260,000 ounces of silver. Historically, the mine attracted more than 5,000 people to the area, and is credited with founding the town of Wickenburg, Arizona. The town that served the mine was known as Vulture City.HistoryThe Vulture mine began when a prospector from California's gold rush, Henry Wickenburg, discovered a quartz deposit containing gold and began mining the outcrop himself. In 1863, after Henry Wickenburg discovered the Vulture mine, Vulture City, a small mining town, was established in the area. The town once had a population of 5,000 citizens. After the mine closed, the city was abandoned and became a "ghost town". The deposit was later sold to Benjamin Phelps, who represented a group of investors that eventually organized under the name of Vulture Mining Company.The desert surrounding the Vulture Mine did not give much in the way of produce, so an enterprising individual by the name of Jack Swilling went into the Phoenix Valley and reopened the irrigation canals left by the native peoples. Agriculture was brought back to the valley, and a grain route was established. This grain route still exists today under the name of Grand Avenue. Phoenix, Arizona, grew up around the agricultural center spawned by the needs of the Vulture Mine.In 1942, the Vulture Mine was shut down by a regulatory agency for processing gold. This was a violation at the time because all resources were to be focused on the war effort. The mine appealed the shut-down order and reopened, but with less vigor. A few years later, the mine closed permanently.
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Vulture Mine Reviews
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48 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • We live in Arizona and have for a few years. Our hobby is to visit ghost towns and vacant buildings. Vulture is an abandoned ghost town but privately owned. You need to make reservations to have the o...  more »
  • Fun and informative trip. It was like stepping back in time to see the old buildings and mining equipment. It is worth the short drive there.  more »
  • A good place to visit to learn about the old west and gold mining. Call to make sure that the tour is running that day. Tour stops during the summer time for the hot weather.  more »
Google
  • The history of a place is more than just the stuff in it. The people who work here have a sincere passion for the land, the history, and the buildings themselves. I was disappointed that some of the areas are no longer available to visit. However, the reason why you can no longer visit all of the buildings is because the mine is now active again. There is something special about Vulture Mine carrying on the legacy of the area while restoring and preserving it. Every building on the site is currently in some state of being repaired or restored. These structures, even in their current state, are unlike anything else I have seen. The long life of the mine sees stone and timber houses with knob & tube wiring. I had a good time and look forward to seeing the area when they get done restoring it.
  • Went to visit and tour but it was closed on 10/16. Fun drive and visited the circa 1830 cemetery on the way there. Gave it 5 stare but check out their website before you make the drive.
  • As of May, 2017, the mine is closed for renovations, like the picture attached shows. 5 stars just because the road to get there is worth it.
  • The comment made earlier that someone purchased the mine and it was no longer there is incorrect. Today is December 27th 2016 and I drove up to the mine to check it out (as my great grandfather was the assessor for the mine) and it's still there, and they still have tours however it was closed today as it rained very heavily on Christmas Eve and as their tours are "walking tours" they needed to close for a few days as they had a lot of mud. - Note the cardboard sign notice. 😉
  • My brother said that the mine is no longer there.some one bought it

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