Southern Cache County
James Peak, Bluebell Mine
9.08 Miles round trip
100 oz each person
Open year round
Shade is minimal
Dirt or loose rock
Bring snacks and meals as needed
Flashlights, helmets, water, good shoes, snacks
Trailhead: 41º 24′ 47″ N, 111º 50′ 36″ W
The trail is located on the dirt road between Avon and Liberty. The road is a tad rough but can be done in a passenger car fairly easily. You can access the road from liberty in Ogden Valley or Avon in far southern Cache County. The trailhead is jusy about smack dab between the two.
There are signs warning you to take care not to transport the bad weeds in the area. These are becoming big problems so make sure and wipe yourself down before leaving so you dont track seeds to other areas.
The trailhead is at the base of James Peak. Park anywhere on the road and hike to the trailhead since it is on private land. This is a very beautiful area. I have hiked to the mine twice now.
The mine is on private land but after some research I thought it was still ok to walk in. Then I ran into this marker that proved me right. This marker is the coordinates I have given as the trailhead. Although the entire route is a 4×4 road motorized travel is not allowed. Please respect this so it doesn’t ruin it for all of us.
This is a road that is fairly loose rock a lot of the way. It would be a very challenging and fun bike ride. I have hiked both times. Its a steady uphill the entire way. It climbs about 2300 feet in 4.5 miles. There is only one fork that you will run in to. Take the high road to the right.
The trail at the top close to the mine gets very rough as it is on top of a crumbling peak so large loose rocks to walk through. Once at the cabin you will be done with all the climbing. The view from the top here is phenomenal. You are very close to the top of James Peak. Powder Mountain Ski Resort is directly on the opposite side of the mountain from here.
Here is the view of Cache Valley from the top. Notice the large loose rocks you hike through to get here.
Here is the tip of James Peak.
Once at this spot the old miners cabin is clear visible. It is mostly collapsed but still a very cool piece of history. Don’t touch it and hopefully it will still be there for many years. Whoever worked this mine sure got a beautiful office view.
Right next to the cabin is a pretty large tailings pile.
From the research I have done it was mostly quartzite taken out of this mine. The entrance is really cool with lots of colorful oxidation.
Be careful when entering the mine. You have to climb in on your butt so make sure to wear a helmet. The mine itself once inside is in surprisingly good repair.
There are a couple of side tunnels that shortly end. The main tunnel ends in a 15 foot vertical shaft. I could easily get down but was worried about getting back out so I didn’t descend any further. With rope it could easily be done. I suspect that it doesn’t go too much further but I could not see the end of the tunnel so who knows. There were grouse living in the mine. All the plants they had brought in gave the mine some cool contrasting colors.
Return the same way you came. Its much easier on the heart. Much harder on the limbs.
section label=”Personal Thoughts”]
This mine was a very fun trip. Enough that I have done it twice. Its pretty strenuous but very beautiful and its rare that you will see another person. This is great to see a bit of old history but don’t go if you are only wanting to explore a large mine. The setting makes this trip well worth it. Since it is all private land be respectful so we can keep hiking this for many years.