Copper discoveries on the north side of the Buckskin Mountains near the Bill Williams River in 1863 led to one of the earliest copper mines in Arizona. A small town named Planet grew up around the copper mine and, in 1902, got its own post office. The mine played out in 1921, and the town was abandoned. Meanwhile, down in the river valley, a large ranch had sprung up. Planet Ranch raised cattle and hay. In 2015, a large portion of the ranch was handed over to Arizona's Game and Fish Commission to establish and preserve riparian habitat for wildlife and ponds for fish, primarily the endangered razorback suckers and bonytail. The acquisition also ensured full access along the historic Planet Ranch Road. Planet Ranch Road is a drive-through history as well as several unique Arizona landscapes. The broad Dutch Flat and Cactus Plain highlight lower desert life. The Buckskin Mountains offer multi-hued geology for your contemplation. The absence of light pollution makes for magnificent stargazing from one of the many campsites along the trail.
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