Chiricahua Mine with the Portal Rodeo Hiking Club

This weeks hike with the Portal Rodeo hiking Club began in the historic former mining town of Paradise Arizona north of Cave Creek Canyon.   Paradise traces its' roots to 1901 with the Chiricahua Development Company work on the Chiricahua mine.   Two shafts were sunk and several other adits are found in the area as well as a 2 story stone building just south of the shafts.

The area was heavily burned in last years Horseshoe Two fire and evidence of high intensity burn are visible.  While the hillsides are covered in grasses and new growth, little new growth at the base of the trees is apparent.  The stream bed experienced significant down cutting with erosion channels up to 5 ft deep in places, a result of last years monsoon rains.  With the loss of vegetation the geology and evidence of past inhabitants is visible across the landscape.  The route along the old road is littered with artifacts from the development of the mine.  Small donkey shoes, tools, and pieces of machinery were found along the stream bed as well as iron/iron ore and evidence of copper.

Granite is visible at the mine entrance and in the mine dump indicating the shafts reached through the overlying limestone into an intrusive granite zone that was probably the source of the copper ore which filtered along the contact zone resulting in mineralization.  Although the mine was not successful it gave Paradise its start.

The hike covered 5.7 miles (including the detour up a side drainage) with an elevation change of 750'.  Thirteen hikers and 4 dogs made the trip including the Gypsy Carpenters who were back in town for Portal Irish Music week.  The map for this hike may be found at the following link.

Hiking route to the Chiricahua mine above Paradise. 

Erosion channel

Building site at the Chiricahua mine.

Shaft at the Chiricahua mine

Oak tree above Paradise


  1. The hiking group is getting bigger now that cooler weather is coming in.

    The old building site at the Chiricahua mine was a nice find!

  2. Yes, it was quite a group and a nice day for hiking.

  3. It was great fun! Good to have Sheila back after her third surgery. Good to have Wynne there and the GC who have not been here in a year.

    I'm only sorry that you didn't put the "Mystery implement" on this blog for all to vote on. We had a lot of laughs trying to identify that metal thing. Was the mystery ever solved?

  4. also, great to have B Alvarius back. He had not hiked in half of forever!

  5. Thank you. It was a busy summer at the Painted Pony Resort and I spent all my time prepping the estate or cleaning. I put the mystery object on facebook.