MSA FIELD TRIP INFORMATION
RED CLOUD & NORTH GERONIMO MINES
MEET TIME: 8:45 AM, Friday, December 3, 2021 (meeting location and trip details will be sent via email after registration)
END TIME: Day trip or overnight based on attendee desires.
TRIP DETAIL: Trip is planned as an overnight trip starting early on Friday, Dec 3rd and returning on Saturday, Dec 4th or Sunday, Dec 5th. It is up to you if you want to stay overnight Friday or Saturday.
LIMITED TRIP: No Limit
FEE's: Red Cloud collecting Fee's (see below).
TRAVEL NOTE: Please allow at least 1/2 hour more time than normal to get to the meeting spot. The delays were not noted on the state of Arizona highway condition website.
VEHICLE: Higher Clearance vehicles required. 2WD okay and 4WD recommended.
SAFETY: *** No Carpooling being arranged ***
· Red Cloud/Mines: rock hammer, chisels, 3-5 lb sledgehammer, hard hat, safety glasses, gloves, long pants, long sleeve shirts, collecting container/bucket. Sturdy shoes or boots and normal day hiking items. Sunscreen, hat, extra water.
· Fluorescent Hunting: portable UV lamps or lights.
· North Geronimo (limit number of collectors and physical condition): headlamp as well as hard hat. (Charged up batteries for headlamp)
MATERIAL: Wulfenite, Fluorescents, Vanadinite, Fluorite, Calcite
CO-TRIP LEADERS: Chris Whitney-Smith (MSA) and Bill Freese (DMRMC)
RSVP REQUIRED: By Wednesday, December 1, 2021 @ 6 PM.
Red Cloud Mine 2020, Steve Kaminski photo.
Wulfenite, Red Cloud Mine, Chris Whitney-Smith photo.
MSA at Red Cloud Mine 2020, Chris Whitney-Smith photo.
Our first trip in December is to the world-famous Red Cloud Mine for Wulfenite and fluorescents, just north of Yuma. This is a joint-club trip with our friends of Daisy Mountain Club. Trip is planned as an overnight trip starting early on Friday, Dec 3rd and returning on Saturday, Dec 4th or Sunday, Dec 5th. It is up to you if you want to stay overnight Friday or Saturday. It is about a 3-hour trip to the meeting spot and another hour-half to the mine. You have the option of staying at a hotel in Yuma on Thursday and then it is only a 45-minute drive to the meeting spot on Friday morning.
Here are the important points to be aware of:
1. Meet-Up ONLY on Friday, December 3rd between 8:45-9:00AM and Depart for Mine at 9:00 AM SHARP.
Meet Up Location: (meeting location and trip details will be sent via email after registration)
2. The cellular coverage is spotty at best and non-existent in some locations, so do not rely on that for communication. Quartzsite and Yuma are good, but between that is a crap shoot.
3. This is intended as an overnight trip for those who desire, with tent camping at the mine site (an RV doesn't' have a prayer getting there and back). You're free to head home or to a hotel (nearest is in Yuma) after collecting, but it is highly advised that you plan to be at least back to Martinez Lake by dusk. You can also make it a long one day there and back trip or book a motel room in Quartzsite or Yuma. Entirely up to you but some of us will be camping for at least one night.
For those who camp overnight Friday and/or Saturday, plan is for late afternoon gathering for dinner and hang out by fire bowl. Bring your grub, drink, and chairs…maybe warm clothes.
If you stay the night or until after dark, Red Cloud is an excellent night collecting spot for fluorescent minerals so bring your portable UV lights.
4. From the meet up spot to the mine is another 16 miles and takes a full hour and a half (or more). The last 14 miles are off-road with both rocky and sandy areas. High Clearance is REQUIRED. 2WD okay, but 4WD recommended. Do not even think about trying to take an RV or trailer from the lake to the mine. As someone from another club found out the hard way as you will get stuck.
5. Ride sharing is not being coordinated for this trip.
6. Red Cloud is open to the public, so this trip is not limited to just dues-paying members. Feel free to invite rockhounding friends.
7. Red Cloud is also private property, not just a claim on federal land, so behave and follow any rules or instructions the mine manager tells you. GOLDEN RULES apply.
8. See below for fee info including the extra fee (and gear required) to collect at the North Geronimo. Cash only and bring extra cash. Roger will likely have specimens from both mines for sale, at discounted prices, which are better quality than you're likely to find.
9. Please RSVP to me by Wednesday, December 1st with how many people in your group if you're planning to meet at the meetup spot on Friday, December 3rd so we know to expect you and include your cell number and vehicle description.
As always, text or email if you have any questions. Chris Whitney-Smith at 602-405-1502 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Red Cloud/Mines: rock hammer, chisels, 3-5 lb sledgehammer, hard hat, safety glasses, gloves, long pants, long sleeve shirts, collecting container/bucket. Sturdy shoes or boots and normal day hiking items. Sunscreen, hat, extra water.
- Fluorescent Hunting: portable UV lamps or lights.
- North Geronimo (limit number of collectors and physical condition): headlamp as well as hard hat. (Charged up batteries for headlamp)
Red Cloud, collecting in the tailing piles and in the pit rubble: $35 per person per day. No bucket limit as long as it's reasonable and you keep what you find. There may be other fees for collecting in other areas. Roger (the mine manager) is a great guy and will try to accommodate other requests.
Bring hard hats if you have them. If not, he has some available. Hard hats will only be required at Red Cloud if you are digging on the shelves in the pit, or you at the bottom when people are digging on the shelves above you. Falling rock hazard if you haven't guessed.
North Geronimo: (for a brief period known as the Pure Potential): Roughly a mile from Red Cloud, under the same ownership. Very, very well known for exceptional vanadinite. $55 per person per day, firm and may not be combined with Red Cloud fees, and no more than 5 people in the mine at the same time. Keep what you find.
North Geronimo is underground collecting only, there are no tailing piles. He considers it a very safe mine to be in, but hard hats with attached lights are absolutely, positively 100% required (charge up your light batteries). Don't assume Roger has spare lights. Hard hats and lights are cheap at Home Depot.
The kicker: you must be physically fit. The mine is not deep, but it is small and cramped compared to other underground mines. The opening is small, I'm guessing no more than 3 feet by 3 feet through the steel grate covering the shaft. The first ladders are vertical and drop for 20 feet to a platform, then there's another 40 feet of ladder down the incline shaft (approx. 30 degrees incline). Total depth is about 60 feet. Roger recommends that gear be lowered and raised by rope down the first 20 feet. Vertical ladder climb up and out of North Geronimo can be strenuous.
Roger will also have specimens available for sale from both mines, at wholesale prices so bring extra cash if you want to buy. Prices will range from $10 into the hundreds depending on what it is and the quality and size.
Oh, and one last thing and it's important: Roger and the property owner are bringing in an excavator and plan to turn over the tailing piles and the crap in the pit before we get there. This will expose fresh material and is part of the reason the prices have increased. Diesel for the excavator ain't' cheap.