I heard about Swansea – an old, haunted copper mine near Parker, Arizona – on a YouTube video from Russ at RVerTV. It looked very interesting so Abby and I took off without realizing the adventure we were undertaking.
Swansea is 17 miles off a paved road, over roads that are a 4-wheeler’s dream. Problem was that we were in a 4-wheel drive Chevy pick up. To give you an idea, here’s one of the better stretches along the road to Swansea (pay close attention to that sign however).
Now here’s some more challenging spots along the route.
Actually, it was great fun, well, except for the last three miles that took us down a very steep grade on a mostly one-lane, loose gravel path into the valley where the mine was located. Sorry there aren’t more photos, but it’s difficult to hold a camera when both hands are “white knuckling” the steering wheel!
Once down the mountain, we found what remains of a time long ago.
By the time the mine closed in 1944, they had a school, hospital, train station and houses for the managers. The Bureau of Land Management preserved the site. They have done a fantastic job of saving and continuing to care for this piece of history.
I threw the Silverado into 4-wheel high and had a ball climbing back up the mountain. On the way back, we passed over the central Arizona Aqueduct- it seemed strange to see a beautiful waterway in the dry desert.
We had a fun and interesting adventure, one that won’t soon be forgotten.