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EXPLORE AWARE!

North Oak Brush Canyon, Utah

Tooele County

North Oak Brush Canyon is located a couple of miles west of Harker Canyon. The road is known on topo maps as FR 090. The road as of 07/05/2019 was in excellent condition and takes you from approximately 5000" to just over 8000" feet. There was no real need for a 4x4 on the main road, though low range made the climb a lot more easy on the under powered Jeep. A 4x4 is recommended for the road to all the building remains due to some big rocks as well as being very steep. We began the trip up and I decided to follow the main road first and do the other roads on the way back down the mountain. As you begin the accent, you will see what looks like a head frame way up the mountain. We wondered if there would be a hike involved to get close to it but the road actually goes above the frame. When the road got to the area near the frame, we walked over to it and discovered that it was a tram cable support tower and not a head frame. Following the road up to its end, we came to the Hilltop Mine entrance, which sad to say has been blown closed. The mine is registered as being at 8019 feet high. The view looking north over the Rush Valley is phenomenal!   The Hilltop Mine was discovered in the mid 20's and produced silver and lead. It is located in the Columbia District of mines in Tooele County. In 1927, the tramway was built to take the ore down the mountain a ways. They built a concentration plant in 1928 and I believe it was located where we think the tram ended. Let me explain. We finished up top and began the decent and took the first offshoot road to the left/east. This road is where 4x4 will be pretty much required. It lead us to a huge rock outcropping and here is where things got interesting. There are a few building remains in the trees and brush but right at the bottom of the rock lies an old building that has me curious. Where it is situated makes perfect sense that it is the remains of the concentrating building. But, buried in the remains is an old bed springs. You would not want to sleep near the chemicals used in concentrating so either its newer than building and someone just brought it up after the fact, or it was a house of some sort. I am betting it was brought up after the fact and just left there. The road continues up and you run into an old ore bin, an old tram post down on the ground and a concrete base for the tram stop. So, here is how I see it. The tram brought the ore to the top area of this rock outcropping. Gravity sent the ore down the side of the rock to the bin and the bin used gravity to deliver it to the concentrating plant at the bottom of the rock. The stream flows by the eastern side of the rock so water was readily available. But, who really knows????  As I have said, time and mother nature are reclaiming these abandoned sites. Looking at Google Earth, the road continues up a side canyon to another mine so a return trip is going to happen. In total, we traveled about 150 miles round trip from West Jordan so its an easy day trip to visit.   

Hilltop Mine