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Chilito Mine Road

No Reviews
Location Tucson, AZ
Rating Difficult,
Length 15.5mi
Time 5hrs

Vehicle Types

Overview

A fun high-desert, backcountry route to the historic Chilito Copper Mine.

A fun high-desert, backcountry route to the historic Chilito Copper Mine (on private property). Trail winds uphill to great views of canyons and Christmas Mine. See unique cabin with tree growing through the roof. Large gate at Wpt. 06 has been unlocked for years and the area was not posted closed. However, if gate is locked, be prepared to return the way you came, or drive trail in reverse to begin with. Trail crosses some State Trust Land.

Rating

Difficult
Trail Ratings Defined

Trail is mostly moderate. Difficulty comes from steep climbs and intermittent rocky spots. One badly washed-out switchback south of Wpt. 04 could become a problem.

Stats

Length

15.5mi

Time

5hrs

High Point

4,100

Best Time To Go

Fall/Winter

Current Conditions

(520) 258-7200Bureau of Land Management, Tucson Field Office

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Trail Updates

03/15/2021
Submitted by Tom
Great trail! Beautiful views. Not really that difficult, borderline moderate. The only hard spot was the long steep bumpy uphill from 5.1 miles to 6.1 miles. No problem for Jeep Rubicon with off road tires and rear lockers. Yellow gate was unlocked, the eroded spot pass waypoint 04 was (maybe) fixed. Could not find it.
That said, it gave me real adrenalin rush. Long, very narrow, bumpy drive! Luckily we did not met anybody! It would be really scary to meet somebody in places.
Took a friend for spotting. Turn out spotting was not needed, but navigation was. It was a maze of mine roads, one had to navigate really carefully. Often turning to less traveled roads. The book was very helpful, we could not make it without it.
Additional navigation notes:
1) Gate at waypoint 01. Open and close if necessary.
2) At 6.7 use the leftmost drive.
3)At waypoint 03 there is a more traveled easier shortcut to 9.3, if you are in hurry. You will miss the Tree house. New Year mine is just little pile of tailings.
4) Several open mine shafts on left, pass 10.0. Take a flashlight. Be careful.
5) At 11.0, pass the shed, take the left on X. The right actually looked more traveled to me.
6) Keep more-less straight from 11.0 until the end.

It in the mine, it may be even harder to navigate the reverse. If you do it, take the high road, if in doubt.

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