Spanish conquistadors visited this area in the 1500s. By the 1800s, adventurers were exploring the area the conquistadors had named Oro Blanco. Discovery of a gold vein in the 1870s brought an influx of settlers and miners. By 1900, Ruby was the largest mining camp in the area. Nestled at the base of Montana Mountain, Ruby peaked in 1938, boasting 1,200 residents, a hospital, and a school. The ore gave out in 1940, and Ruby entered the inevitable decline shared by countless other mining towns in Arizona.
Today, visitors can tour Ruby on weekends. One of the main draws is the nightly flight of bats out of the old mine shaft. Camping is available in several locations, including on the mine's sandy white tailings. Visit Ruby's website for information and reservations.
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