In this ride, pass through lightly populated farmland to get to Belmont Mountain, an area rich with mining. Numerous trails keep the mining and off-road enthusiasts alike busy.
Start off by exiting on Wintersburg Rd. from the I-10. Then turn right and head north until you reach Indian School Rd. where you turn left. After one mile, turn right onto 387th Ave. Follow this for four miles past a dairy farm and a few small houses and turn left onto Northern Ave. After a mile on this road, turn right onto 395th Ave. Follow the road left until you pass over the CAP (Central Arizona Project) Canal. Staging is off to the right just after a small road. This road is an optional way to return later. Once unloaded, begin riding north and reset your odometer. Follow the trail right at .8 miles and left at 1.3 miles. Continue right at 2.5 miles as trail enters small wash. Stay to the left side of the trail as the trail climbs at 4.15 miles. We had to help someone get his truck out of the two foot ditch on the right here. Once you have climbed this moderate hill you arrive at the ‘junction’ of all the trails. Feel free to take whichever ones you want. By going left and then left, you go to the main entrance of the Tonopah-Belmont Mine. You have to walk to see this because the trail is blocked to prevent motorized vehicles. Also here are the foundations to some buildings used to process the ore (which can be seen as approaching Belmont Mountain). To the left and then right leads to a dead end on a hill with nothing but a good view. To the immediate right, are more foundations and other remnants of mining equipment. If you continue straight you pass a remain of some sort of building probably used to store explosives. If you go right here (at 4.5 miles, not including side trips) you end at a hill with a good look at Belmont Mt. as well as some mining cuts in the hill to the south). Continuing straight and then turning left at 4.6 miles will take you to the vertical shaft of the Tonopah-Belmont Mine. Go left after 0.3 miles on this trail and then at 0.5 miles bear left uphill to get to the vertical shaft, which is quite deep and is blocked by enforced steel bars. This is pretty neat and you should check it out! Go back and turn left to reach the Morning Star mine and the optional route back. After 0.3 miles from the left turn, turn right onto Vulture Mine Rd. The Morning Star Mine is at 0.75 miles along this trail Be careful as the mine is not properly fenced off and is right near the trail. If you wish to take a more difficult route back to your car, follow Vulture Mine Rd. south for another 3.8 miles and turn right at the ‘T’ to get back to your car. However if you don’t feel up to it, you can take the 5½ mile trail back the way you came to your car.
This trail is only about 10 miles (add 3-4 for side trips) roundtrip and should only take 1-2 hours (add 1-2 for side trips). The total time depends on how much you explore this neat area. The trail (as of January 2010) is in good condition except for the last hill to get to the ‘junction’.
A map showing the main 'junction' of Belmont Mountain
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Status: Open | Trail Type: Out & back / one way | Length: 15 miles round trip | Approx. Time: 2-3 hours