In a quest to find outdoor activities that are also social distancing friendly in 2020, I stumbled across Vulture City in Wickenburg. Vulture City is a working mine in Wickenburg, but is also a historical mine that started in 1863. So, you can get a little bit of history mixed in with a currently operating mine.
From their website, Vulture City rose to 5,000 residents and produced 340,000 ounces of gold and 260,000 ounces of silver and was the credit of founding the town of Wickenburg. The mine was closed in 1942 because of WWII.
Vulture City is located at 36610 355th Avenue in Wickenburg, and it is far out there.
Be prepared for a dirt parking lot and dirt walkways. Most of the things were very stroller accessible, but I would say it was more geared for an older audience. I felt that this was a much safer and more practical place than the ghost town that we did in Jerome.
Guided tours are available, but we self toured around. It wasn’t very busy, so Tina showed us around. She loved being around the kids and talked with the children about the different layers of rock. In the background you may be able to see the working mine.
The working mine is all fenced off and is not accessible to the general public.
There is a charge for Vulture City, but they do have a Veteran Discount as well.
There are events (socially distanced) for fun things going on! Check out their website for more exciting things going on! They just opened a little bit ago, so they are happy to have new visitors.
A little gasoline station with a register. I remember a gas station near where I grew up had a register like this. What a throw back!
Drill, Baby, Drill
There was a lot of great history and information about drilling. The kids loved seeing all the tools that they used and how they were able to separate the gold. There was even information on the Hassayampa River and how that worked with the mining.
Just some of the information that you will see at their display!
I think this was my kids favorite thing to do-sharpen rocks at the blacksmith shop! They were here for about twenty minutes!
A Long Way Down
This overlooks the mine that goes into the ground! If you stand on the top (it is fenced securely) you can look down 170 feet!). There are light bulbs so you can see how far it goes down. I wouldn’t want to change those light bulbs! My kids and I had no fear about standing on top of the grate. I’m not sure my husband would feel the same.
This is the old mine. I joked with my kids about the wonderful roller coaster ride that this could have been! You cannot reach the actual mine from this angle. It is all closed up and covered. But, my kids loved using their imaginations anyhow. They were ready to go!
It does sort of look like something out of Disneyland, doesn’t it?
We received a laminated map for the mine and had a great time. There is one out house near the parking lot and it has all the modern conveniences of a flushing toilet and running water (I was very happy!). There are no snacks or water for sale, so please bring your own! Also, bring your own garbage out.
Prep for the Trip
We had an amazing time and we had the place almost completely to ourselves other than a few seniors. It was an awesome look back in history. But, it is far out there and you will drive on a road for quite some time by yourself…with not many other people passing by. Vulture City is only open October-May, so make sure they are open. And, make sure you have enough gas, charged cell phone, water, etc. I had no problem with my Verizon phone having cell service.
We had a lovely time and highly recommend it for adults and kids over five!
36610 355th Ave Wickenburg, AZ