One Way Ore Another: Abandoned-Mine Hunting in Arizona by 4×4 – by Jay Kopycinski ( – January 2, 2023)

The Route 66 area in northwestern Arizona is rich in mining history, so we took five 4x4s on an off-road adventure to visit a few old mine sites.

Here’s something you might not know: The Route 66 area in northwestern Arizona is rich in mining history. Something else: 4x4s are required to access some of the old, abandoned mine sites.

With that in mind, we set out to explore a few old mine sites that were prolific in the past. Our method of conveyance was five well-equipped 4x4s. Our group consisted of three modified Lexus SUVs, a trick Toyota Tacoma pickup, and a modded Jeep Wrangler.

Cool Springs sits on the eastern slope of the Black Mountains between Kingman, Arizona, and Oatman, Arizona. This water source was first used by native tribes, then in the 1850s as a watering site for U.S. Army horses and camels. A gas station was built here in the 1920s when Route 66 began bringing cars and trucks to the area.

About Route 66

The infamous asphalt ribbon of Route 66, completed in 1926 and officially decommissioned in 1985, once stretched nearly 2,500 miles from Chicago to Los Angeles. Our plan was to explore some destinations along a portion of Route 66, then point our 4x4s onto the dirt to follow 4WD trails on BLM land.

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