Sunflower Mine Loop

4.9/5 (13 reviews)
Fountain Hills, Arizona (Maricopa County)
Last Updated: 01/15/2023
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Trail Information

Highlights

Sunflower Mine Trail combines several trails that make for a great day in the Arizona desert. The trail works through a lush and rocky canyon leading to Sunflower Mine, also known as the National Mine. It operated from 1913-1965, mainly producing Cinnabar, used in the production of mercury and the extraction of gold. The mine also had smaller amounts of gold and silver before closing for good in 1985. The ruins at the mine used to be much larger than they are now. In 2014 most of the structures were removed, leaving only a tiny portion of the actual operation.

The real draw is the trail itself. It offers welcome shade while you're rock-crawling your way through Sycamore Wash. You get to push yourself and your vehicle with numerous optional obstacles along the way. The shelf roads may be narrow, but they offer incredible views of the surrounding canyons. Pack for an all-day trip because this trail might surprise you!

ATTENTION: The bridge at Waypoint 6 is currently scheduled for either closure or repairs. Use at your own risk.


Trail Difficulty and Assessment

Trail Navigation

Trail Reviews

4.9/5 (13 reviews)
Ted
150
Status: Open
Visited: 12/31/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Harder

Navigated this trail yesterday with a group of Jeepers in 4 doors on 40’s. It may have been a 5 rating for them but for someone on 35’s and a 2 door it was harder than a 5. Bead locks are a definite plus for a couple of obstacles, wish I had them. Do this trail with a group and you will enjoy it but be prepared for a long day of bouncing and crawling.
Status: Open
Visited: 03/27/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

4 TJ's, one JK, and one Taco tackled this trail again with zero issues. Still one of our favorite trails! Very nice in the shade on a surprise 90+ degree day in March with cold water running in the creek.
Trail Review: Sunflower Mine Loop - Robert Johnston
Trail Review: Sunflower Mine Loop - Robert Johnston
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Status: Open
Rated 5/5
Visited: 10/17/2021
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

5 Jeeps did this trail Sunday, 10/17. Trail is open but more challenging in the creek sections due to several downed trees blocking the optimal line and many boulders have moved. Just the right amount of water in the creek and many large clear pools to stop and enjoy. With an 830 start on the trail we were done at 3 with two long recoveries and a long lunch at the ice cream truck.
Status: Open
Visited: 07/24/2021

If the creek is running its more like an 8 rating. We were in a group of 11, we had the smallest tires (35) and got hung up many times as did many others. When it’s wet it’s a lot of fun.
Bobby Nelson
Official Crew
64950
Status: Open
Visited: 07/07/2021

Arizona National Forests and State Lands are back open for travel. There are still some very important fire restrictions in place. These restrictions can often change by specific areas.

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