Cochise County rocks!

From stalactites to stalagmites to gold, copper, and silver, Cochise County is rich in geologic finds just about anywhere you look.

From the explosive force of a volcano to water’s slow seepage through tiny crevices deep inside the earth, forces have shaped geologic wonders in Cochise County.

Photo Credit: (top) @stevenabates, (bottom) @the.losthypsy

Cochise County, ranked as the third-highest gold-producing county in Arizona, has a very rich mining history. In addition to gold, Cochise County produced copper, silver, tungsten, and turquoise.

BISBEE (COPPER)

Hugh Jones was first to discover Bisbee’s copper stores, but he left, disappointed it wasn’t gold. Savvy prospectors anticipated copper’s importance to electricity, and Bisbee grew into a bustling city.

Through the Queen Mine Tour, visitors can explore the mine’s depths, then learn about mining life at the Bisbee Mining & Historical Museum, a Smithsonian Institution affiliate.

DOUGLAS (COPPER)

Douglas had a helping hand in copper mining history. Phelps Dodge established a smelter in Douglas in 1900.

Mining executives stayed in comfort at the Gadsden Hotel. Complete with Tiffany-stained glass mural, an impressive stained glass dome, and Italian marble stairs. Legends say Pancho Villa rode his horse up the Gadsden Hotel’s famed stairway.

SIERRA VISTA (GOLD)

Strike it rich! Prospectors hoped they would do just that in Arizona’s deserts.

Francisco Vásquez de Coronado of Spain searched southeastern Arizona for the Seven Cities of Gold. The Coronado National Memorial near Sierra Vista pays homage to his quest.

QUEEN MINE (COPPER)

Tour the Queen Mine, one of the most productive copper mines of the 20th century. Don the mining lanterns, hats and slickers of the miners, ride the mine train deep into the mine, and search for remaining veins of copper, gold, turquoise, silver, lead, and zinc.

You’ll experience the lives of miners as they toiled in the subterranean tunnels. Listen for the little people known as “Tommy Knockers” who were said to warn miners of danger by knocking on rocks.

Tours last approximately 1 hour. The mine is a cool 47 degrees year-round. Dress warmly, wear closed-toe shoes, and arrive 20 minutes prior to the tour.

RESOURCES

Looking for more information on mineralogy? Check out the resources below.

 

1 The USGS Mineral Resources Data System provides mine location data for Cochise County and the entire U.S. The locations and other information in this database have not been verified for accuracy. It should be assumed that all mines are on private property. Visit
2 Mindat.org is an outreach project of the Hudson Institute of Mineralogy, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, and provides extensive mining and mineralogy data. Visit

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