Copper Globe Mine | Central Swell

Roadside Attraction Copper Globe Mine - Central Swell Roadside Attraction Copper Globe Mine

Central Swell

Overview

RATING: Roadside Attraction / Short Hike
LENGTH: 1+ hours
MAPS: COPPER GLOBE, UT

Fri

Showers and thunderstorms likely after noon. Mostly sunny, with a high near 85. Northwest wind around 6 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%.

85 | 64

Sat

A chance of showers and thunderstorms after noon. Mostly sunny, with a high near 85. Chance of precipitation is 40%.

85 | 64

Sun

A chance of showers and thunderstorms after noon. Mostly sunny, with a high near 84.

84 | 64

Mon

A chance of showers and thunderstorms after noon. Mostly sunny, with a high near 83.

83 | 63

Tue

A chance of showers and thunderstorms after noon. Mostly sunny, with a high near 85.

85 | 63

View Full Weather Details
SEASON: Any when the roads are dry. Hot in the summer.
GEAR: Standard Hiking Gear
WATER: None, bring all you need.
NOTES: The road is rough to reach the mine. I would recommend a true high-clearance four-wheel drive vehicle or ATV. This would also be a reasonable mountain bike route.

Fri

Showers and thunderstorms likely after noon. Mostly sunny, with a high near 85. Northwest wind around 6 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%.

85 | 64

Sat

A chance of showers and thunderstorms after noon. Mostly sunny, with a high near 85. Chance of precipitation is 40%.

85 | 64

Sun

A chance of showers and thunderstorms after noon. Mostly sunny, with a high near 84.

84 | 64

Mon

A chance of showers and thunderstorms after noon. Mostly sunny, with a high near 83.

83 | 63

Tue

A chance of showers and thunderstorms after noon. Mostly sunny, with a high near 85.

85 | 63

View Full Weather Details
The first building from the trailhead at Copper Globe Mine

The first building from the trailhead at Copper Globe Mine

Copper Globe Mine had been on my list to visit for years. I had made an initial attempt many years ago, but the road had proved too rough for my medium clearance vehicle. We finally visited in the fall of 2023 while in the area and in a more capable vehicle. It turned out to be a highlight of our weekend in the San Rafael Swell. The old mine, steeped in history, has several old buildings, shafts and interesting things to see. It also is in an absolutely stunning spot, surrounded by towering sandstone cliffs and domes. This turned out to be an attraction our family thoroughly enjoyed and one I would highly recommend, especially to those interested in the history of the Swell.

History: The Copper Globe Mine was initially worked by Jesse Fugate and his son Conn and was most active between 1900 and 1905. It continued to be mined, off-and-on to a lesser extent, until World War II. It produced copper.

Owners invested substantially in the project, spending $3000 to have an improved road built from Moore, to about the current day I-70 to help move the ore more easily to Price. The mine consisted of numerous vertical and horizontal shafts. A few of these are still visible and fenced and/or grated to prevent entry. There are also still buildings, a woodpile, and cistern to visit.

The mine was fraught with some costly misfortune. A smelter was built onsite to process material and reduce shipping to only high-grade copper. This seems like a great efficiency, but improper bricks were used, and the smelter collapsed when it got hot. Also, the prominent shaft on the north side of the dome that has a grate over it went down and under the dome. The vertical shaft south of the dome was meant to intersect the horizontal shaft from the north, but miscalculation caused them not to intersect.

All-in-all, the mine did not prove profitable.
Shepherd's Grave Monument: "HENRY H. JENSEN OF MAYFIELD, UTAH WAS FOUND DEAD DEC 16, 1890.BLOOD AND TRAILS IN THE SNOW SHOWED HE HAD WALKED AND CRAWLED A MILE AFTER HE WAS SHOT. HE STILL HELD TO HIS RIFLE. HERDING SHEEP FOR THE WITBECKS. IT IS SAID THE ROBERS ROOST WARNED ALL SHEEP TO "STAY OUT OF THIS HERDING MESA". HE WAS CARRIED OUT ON A PACK HORSE TO THE BRINK OF EAGLE CANYON TO A BUCKBOARD 7 MILES. HE WAS FOUND BY WILL & OTTO WITBECK. OTTO WAS KILLED IN THE LOPEZ MASSACRE WEST OF UTAH LAKE. 1913"
Copper embedded in the sandstone.

Copper embedded in the sandstone.

Getting There

Take exit 116 off of I-70, and head south. This is the same exit as the Moore cutoff road, and about 45 miles west of Green River.

  • Reset your odometer on the south side of the highway. Stay on the main road as it parallels the freeway heading east. ( 12S 507451mE 4300698mN / N38° 51' 18" W110° 54' 51" )
  • 1.4 miles - Pit toilet and large parking area on the left. Stay straight, heading east. The road becomes a tangle of side roads to campsites. Stay on the main road through this section. ( 12S 509213mE 4299569mN / N38° 50' 42" W110° 53' 38" )
  • 2.1 miles - Junction, signed Copper Globe. Go right here. The road turns and begins descending into Devils Canyon. This is the start of the rougher sections of road. High clearance required past this junction. ( 12S 510519mE 4299160mN / N38° 50' 28" W110° 52' 44" )
  • 4.0 miles - After the road crosses Devils Canyon, it stays in the bottom of a side canyon. At mile 4.0 you may notice a side road on the left. If so, stay right. The road begins climbing up out of the wash bottom here. Left is a rougher ATV trail that heads east toward the San Rafael Knob. It was not very obvious on our visit. ( 12S 508917mE 4298379mN / N38° 50' 03" W110° 53' 50" )
  • 5.75 miles - For those that find old signatures interesting, there is a bluff north of the road here with a cave visible from the road. A short walk to the cave on an ATV track leads to some modern graffiti, as well as a signature from Glen Black, November 24, 1930.  ( 12S 508828mE 4296229mN / N38° 48' 53" W110° 53' 54" )
  • 6.5 miles - Junction. Go right to go to Copper Globe Mine. ( 12S 508158mE 4295363mN / N38° 48' 25" W110° 54' 22" )
  • 6.52 miles - Side road on the right a short distance to the Shepherds Grave marker. ( 12S 508103mE 4295348mN / N38° 48' 25" W110° 54' 24" )
  • 6.85 miles - Trailhead and parking area with an information board and the mine to the west. ( 12S 507812mE 4294964mN / N38° 48' 12" W110° 54' 36" )
Checking out the old shaft and homemade winch.

Checking out the old shaft and homemade winch.

Route

From the trailhead, the woodpile, and a building are visible to the west. Visiting these, you will also find a gated shaft angling down with a few remains of an old ladder. I know at least a few people have thought that was all to see, and headed back at this point!

Instead, continue hiking on a social trail that ambles around the east side of the dome. As you go around the dome, be sure to look at the sandstone closely. It is riddled with small copper concretions that are blue and green. It is fascinating, I haven't seen something like this before.

Around the dome are a couple of more buildings, a large fenced and gated off vertical shaft, and partial walls of a cistern in the wash bottom. The cabin to the west is still in good condition, with some old mattresses and such in it. It feels like a window back in time.

Returning, if scrambling is your thing, be sure to scramble over the notch between the dome and larger sandstone cliff. There are some carved steps to help get up the south side, then a scrambling move or two to get down the north side.


Maps

Cave and Signature

12S 508815mE 4296320mN

N38° 48' 56" W110° 53' 54"

Shepherds Grave

12S 508071mE 4295356mN

N38° 48' 25" W110° 54' 25"

Trailhead

12S 507812mE 4294964mN

N38° 48' 12" W110° 54' 36"

North Shaft

12S 507681mE 4294931mN

N38° 48' 11" W110° 54' 42"

Cabin

12S 507571mE 4294909mN

N38° 48' 10" W110° 54' 46"

Vertical Shaft

12S 507583mE 4294894mN

N38° 48' 10" W110° 54' 46"

Cistern

12S 507600mE 4294907mN

N38° 48' 10" W110° 54' 45"

Cabin

12S 507591mE 4294894mN

N38° 48' 10" W110° 54' 45"

Wood Pile

12S 507731mE 4294929mN

N38° 48' 11" W110° 54' 39"

Building

12S 507755mE 4294967mN

N38° 48' 12" W110° 54' 38"

Shaft

12S 507860mE 4295101mN

N38° 48' 17" W110° 54' 34"

Smelter Ruin

12S 507729mE 4294908mN

N38° 48' 10" W110° 54' 40"

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