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Sunrise at Tombstone, AZ

Wednesday, 20 November 2019

The Mogollon Ghost Town and an unexpected hike up Mineral Creek

More adventures from Glenwood, New Mexico. Elevation 4760 feet.

Monday, November 18th

Ray read about the Mogollon Ghost Town from a Silver City Tourist magazine. and planned to drive up and see it, about a 1/2 hours drive from our campsite. The windy road, and I mean windy single lane road for the last 6 miles ... was really interesting.  You climb up a mountain via a windy road and then drive across the "plains" and then up another big mountain via a very windy road until you reach the top and then it's a very windy road down the mountain into the small village called Mogollon. (Steve and Dianne, your truck would not make it the last 6 miles. There is a parking area just before the road changes to single lane and suspect you can just off-load your quads and go the rest of the way.)

The town still boasts some full time residents as we saw cars outside and probably about 6 more residences that were in great shape, just closed for the winter. There were about 6 businesses that open through the summer tourist season, including a museum, but were closed today. We also saw 2 guys from a work crew checking the drainage for the creek running through town in preparation for the rain/snow coming tomorrow. Elevation at the town is 6800 feet. Not a very large town but interesting buildings and history.

Cinco de Mayo celebration in Mogollon, 1914. Picture below

"For nearly 60 years after the great gold strike of 1878, Mogollon had a reputation as one of the most wide-open towns in the West. Butch Cassidy and his crowd once headquartered there, and gunmen, claim jumpers and gamblers kept things lively. Not even Victorio and Geronimo, nor the troops sent in by the governor, could tame Mogollon. An estimated $19.5 million in gold silver and copper came from Mogollon’s mines. By 1909, Mogollon had a population of about 2,000 people who supported five saloons, two restaurants, four merchandise stores, two hotels and several brothels located in two infamous red light districts. It also boasted the Midway Theatre, a bakery, a photographer, a couple of doctors, and various other retail businesses. Today, Mogollon is home to a very few seasonal residents and a couple of business, but filled with historic buildings of the once rich mining camp that made millions during its hey days, survived numerous floods and fires, but still hangs on today despite its isolated location."

This is the first glimpse of the old mine.

An old mine near town closed off.

Freya and I waiting for the Stage Coach. I think we have a long wait. LOL

Here are some "views" on the way down the mountain.

Worst stretch of road

This adventure only took about an hour and a half including the driving. We took Freya with us for a ride. Back home we relaxed outside and ate our lunch. Our wonderful host "Bucky" came over and asked us if we would like to go on a hike up "Mineral Creek". (according to the map it is called Silver Creek and the road is called Mineral Creek Road). He described it as even more beautiful than the Catwalk and totally natural. The road to it is only a short way up the highway from us so we decided to give it a try. Bucky even drew us a map. Ray and I had not really walked very much this morning so thought we would be "up for it". As there is snow in the forecast tomorrow night this would be our only opportunity as we are "getting out of dodge" tomorrow morning for a warmer climate. He also directed us to see a Crypt on the roadside from a famous Apache raid on the inhabitants of Cooney Alma New Mexico. All of them were killed.

It was about a 6 mile drive down a very well-maintained gravel road to the trailhead parking lot. Before we got to the trailhead we stopped at Coonie Crypt.

Sgt. James Cooney, while serving in the 8th U.S. Calvary stationed at Fort Bayard, discovered a mineral deposit in this canyon. He kept his find a secret until he mustered out of the army in 1876.

By 1880 he had developed a profitable silver and gold mine. In April 1880 he and one other miner rode to Alma to warn the settlers in the valley of the danger of an Indian attack. Returning to the mine, the two were killed by Indians near this site.

His brother and fellow miners interred him in this boulder. Two of his brother’s children are also buried in this rock “crypt.” This small graveyard is on private property, so please pay proper respect.

The following is a list of 7 burials occurring at the Cooney Tomb and Cemetery in Catron County, New Mexico.

Next up the trailhead.

There were fish in the creek too (two per day limit).

There were lots of green bugs bombarding us. They did not seem to bite though. Also at times it was like it was raining/misting and apparently that was the sap from the Sycamore trees. We definitely needed a shower when we got back as that sap can take the paint off of cars according to Bucky.

The picture below shows an old mine that has been cemented over.

The spot on the right appears to be a sealed over cave.

After the picture below we turned around as the canyon became narrower and it was all large rock.  I'm sure the trail would be interesting winding through the boulders.

I think the shadow looks like an owl watching us. It shows the shadow of the arch in the rock. The picture below just shows a peak of the arch behind the tree.

We forgot to ask how long the trail was... but we carried on, stopping constantly taking pictures. It is amazing. More beautiful around the next corner ... When we had gone about an hour we turned around. I guess we walked up a mile. Of course the way back only took about 20 minutes as we didn't stop every 10 feet. lol  The trail actually continues a long way past where we turned around.

On the way drive back, a little fella that looked like this ran across the road in front of us. It's called a Ringtail Cat, from the racoon family.

Image result for ringtail cat

Back home we managed an hour out in the shade before coming in for the night. This has been a great place to park for a couple of days.

In the afternoon we were visited by Bucky's daughter and grandson taking her horse for a walk.

Around 4 pm we also had about 4 does' come visit as well. Fortunately Freya listened and just watched them.  Later in the evening after dark, Ray went out to look at the stars and he heard some noise beside the motorhome .... there was a javelina munching on foliage right behind us. We certainly saw a lot of animals here in the mountains. Bucky mentioned he saw a mountain lion in the driveway 2 weeks ago.


  1. Two fantastic stops in one! Ray was lucky he wasn't charged by that javelina, all's well that ends well. Glad your enjoying yourselves.

    1. We certainly are. Sounds like you are well settled on Salt Spring Island. Hope the weather Gods are good to you this winter.

  2. What a great spot to visit and hike. Do you get the feeling you are being watched by the ghosts of the past?
    So lucky to see that ring-tailed cat. Better than a mountain lion.....although seeing one from a distance would be a dream come true.
    Keep enjoying!

  3. Very cool little town, and loved the hike. We have never seen a Ringtail before.

    1. I had to google what we saw ... never saw something like that either. lol

  4. That's a cool spot you found! Great views from up high on that road. Leslie would not like the drive, she's not a fan of drop offs. Looks like a really nice walk up the Mineral Creek trail. Freya must be doing better, she looks good.

  5. Another beautiful area. Looks like a fabulous hike!

  6. What a fun and gorgeous spot...love the history in those “ghost” towns and they sure make for fun photography! Rusted out vehicles are awesome. Love the hike too! Canyons are my favorite so I am making notes for the future, thanks!

    1. No problem. lol We had fun thanks to our host Bucky informing us of these places.

  7. Yes there were a lot of drop offs on the road to the Mogollon Ghost Town. Fun road for the rest of us though. lol