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Hornet Canyon Mines – Farmington Utah
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Overview
Location

Farmington, Utah – Northern Utah

Sights

Steed Canyon, Hornet Canyon, Hornet Mines

Distance

Little more than 3 miles round trip.

Parking Lot Elevation

4805 ft

Summit Elevation

5795 ft

Elevation Gain/Loss

990 ft

Time Required

2+ hours

Pets

Allowed

Fees

None

Water Info

Bring 1-2 liters of water. You will follow Steed Creek and you will be near Hornet Creek.

Best Season

Spring, fall – summer is very hot

Hours

Open year round

Sun Exposure

Shade is minimal

Trail Condition

Visible trail all the way to mines.

Restrooms

None

Visitor Center

None

Camping

Allowed in camping areas

Food

Bring snacks as needed

Equipment

Bring bag for food and water, flashlight (if going in mine) and good hiking shoes.

Trail is steep for the majority of the hike and you will most likely be making many stops to rest along the way.  The views from up top are amazing.

GPS Coordinates

Trailhead: 40° 58.017’N, 111° 52.398’W
Farmington Trailhead: 40° 58.443’N, 111° 52.345’W
Mezzanine Rock: 40° 58.730’N, 111° 51.779’W

GPS Coordinates for Hornet Mines

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Trail Map


Driving Directions:

In Farmington Utah, take Woodland Drive for about .8 miles until you come to a gravel parking lot and you will see a gate on the left hand side.

Park here and this is the trail you want to take.


The Trail:

The trail starts here. It is the same trail you can use to get to Steed Canyon

The trail starts here. It is the same trail you can use to get to Steed Canyon

Hornet Canyon and Hornet Mine are most easily accessed through hiking in from the South entrance (see map above) – It is about a .61 miles to the actual trail head of Steed/Hornet Canyons and the trail that you use to get there is the Bonneville Shoreline Trail.

Follow the trail all the way past where there is a dam in the creek – you will hear running water but not see it.  Past this point, walk for another 50 or so feet until you see this sign (see below picture) which says “Steed Creek Trail”.


There are signs pointing which canyon is which. The left canyon is Hornet and the right canyon is Steed.

There are signs pointing which canyon is which. The left canyon is Hornet and the right canyon is Steed.

The trail is often steep and narrow but clear and visible.   You will see a number of man made retainers to keep rocks from sliding down to the creek below.  Keep going until you see another sign which says “Hornet Canyon Trail and the trail then splits to the left.

Hornet Canyon Mines

The right trail continues up Steed Canyon.

The trail will eventually fork again and you must stay to the right.  The left trail leads to a small camping area and a neat overlook of Farmington and Antelope Island.

The right side continues on for another 75 yards or so until you will come to Mezzanine Rock.

Looking up Hornet Canyon

Looking up Hornet Canyon

Looking back towards Farmington

Looking back towards Farmington


Here is Mezzanine Rock. It has a firepit

Here is Mezzanine Rock. It has a firepit

Here is Mezzanine Rock, which features a great overlook of Hornet and Steed Canyons.


Here is the opening to one of the mines

Here is the opening to one of the mines

About 50 feet up from Mezzanine Rock the trail splits again.  The left side leads to the open Hornet Mine and the right side continues up Hornet Canyon.

Stay left and you will see a tailings pile and the open Hornet Mine just a little bit above that.

The mine itself is just a simple prospect that goes in for about 35 ft or so.  The opening is small so you will have to crawl or slide inside.

It only goes in about 30 feet or so

It only goes in about 30 feet or so


Hornet Mines 2 and 3

Here is the trail to the mine with the ore cart tracks.

Here is the trail to the mine with the ore cart tracks.

There are two other mines in the area but both are now caved in.  Directly to the west of the open mine you will see a small tailings pile and evidence of the caved in mine is directly to the top of the tailings.

The other mine is probably more substantial than the other two but it is sadly also closed off.   The reason why this mine is worth a mention is because it still has ore cart tracks leading out of the mine.  The opening is only covered with dirt but rocks scatter the area that are colored in greens (oxidized copper) and reds.

To access this mine, go up the trail from Mezzanine Rock until you come to a small pile of rocks to the left of the trail which I created during my last visit. This rock pile points you in a north west direction and you will see a lone Juniper bush (see the top of the picture to the right) below some Cottonwood trees. You will need to bushwhack through this area.

There is no evidence of a trail so I assume people usually skip by this or do not even know it exists.


Ore cart tracks are still visible

Ore cart tracks are still visible

Once you come past the scrub oak bushes you will see the tailings pile.  Climb to the top of this and you will see the caved in mine and the ore cart tracks.

The mine is completely closed off and probably under more than 15 feet of dirt and rock.

Historical Information:

Here is some information about these mines.

In the book by Glen Leonard, A History of Davis County to 1890, he makes mention in the book about two brothers who may have mined in Hornet  Here is the quote from his book:

The Abbot brothers, L.E. and Jed, had mines in at least two places.  Some were on the north side of Steed Canyon canyon, near the head of Hornet Creek.  They had other prospects near the top of the mountains in the vicinity of the Farmington “Little Lake.”  

Now even though the book isn’t explicit in the location this is the only information I have found that has actually attached names of people to the mines in Steed and Hornet Canyons.  It would make sense that the Hornet Canyon Mines are the same mines that the Abbot brothers were at.  The mines are located very high elevation at almost the “head” of Hornet Creek.

Also here is some more information about a first hand account that I personally had with a local Farmington resident:

One day while hiking up Steed Canyon, I had the chance of meeting an older gentleman who said he lived at the bottom of Steed Creek.  I asked him a few questions about the canyons and the mines.  He knew about the three mines up Hornet Canyon.  He said two of them only go in about 30 feet or so but the one with the ore tracks goes in several hundred feet.

 

Ore Cart Tracks in Hornet Canyon Mine


The Return:

Go back down the same way you came up.


Personal Thoughts:

I have never heard of Hornet Mine until I was looking on the internet and found a Farmington City map which showed it listed.  After not finding any other information about it, and no pictures too, I decided to climb up Hornet Canyon to see what I could find.  The hike is more enjoyable than the mine prospects themselves so keep your expectations low for the mine and just enjoy the hike.

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Hiking up Hornet Canyon

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Difficulty
5.0
Technicality
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The Bottom Line

Difficulty is basically the length, duration and stress of the Trek. If the Trek is really long then it will receive a higher rating. If the Trek is short then it won't receive that high of a rating. However, difficulty rating also includes how tired we were at the end of the Trek.

Technicality is how strenuous the Trek is. If there is lots of bouldering or if there is bushwhacking involved then the rating will be higher. Technicality also includes if there are steep inclines or the need for ropes and other equipment.

Enjoyment is strictly how much fun we had doing the Trek. Regardless of how tired and exhausted we were, if we had a ton of fun doing the Trek then it will receive a higher rating.

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About The Author
Jeff Johnson
Questions or comments? I'd love to hear from you! JeffTJohnson@ymail.com

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2 Comments on "Hornet Canyon Mines – Farmington Utah"

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Matt King
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There’s a fourth mine in that group. It is also collapsed. It is below the three about 100 to 200 yards southwest, just about twenty feet west of a rock outcropping that is below the Hornet Canyon trail. It has a tailing pile that would indicate a tunnel of 80′ to 100′. Here’s a photo of that particular mine with the miner from the State Historical Society. The location they give is wrong. It’s not in Farmington Canyon–this is Hornet Canyon. Find it and compare to the photo. No structures are left, obviously. http://content.lib.utah.edu/cdm/singleitem/collection/USHS_Shipler/id/4887. Here’s another photo of the same… Read more »
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