What to do when it’s raining and the trails are muddy? Find a ghost town!

Jerome, AZ sits up in the mountains with gorgeous views which eluded us for the day. It’s a winding drive and I can only vouch for the winding portion.

Heading up to Jerome in the low lying cloud cover

Jerome grew as a mining town. The first mine was claimed in 1876. Cooper then gold and silver were all mined successfully here. Jerome was once nicknamed the Billion Dollar Cooper Camp. Once the mines closed and the population dwindled, the town eventually became known as a ghost town. Fortunately, the town decided to live up to its name and through the 60s and 70s not only promoted the ghost town experience but expanded into more art and music and began to thrive once again.

The Ghost Town

Gold King mine operated until 1914; now has morphed into a ghost town. It’s an interesting place to visit. We spent our rainy day in the Sedona area exploring this collection.

Haynes, AZ sits above Jerome and was a large mining operation in the heyday. When Haynes Cooper Company dug a 1200 foot deep shaft they were disappointed to not find cooper. However the miners struck gold instead.

Over the last 3 decades, it has morphed into a collection of mining buildings, a collection of trucks and antique mining equipment, and relics from a time that has note quite been forgotten. You can immerse yourself here for quite a while; it is a fun walk back through time.

I had a little too much fun with take pictures all through the property.

There was a shoe repair shop, a laundry, a service station all with the same implements, machines, tools, etc. from when the gold town was thriving.

There were also roosters, chickens, goats and two town cats.

Ghost Town at the King Cooper Mine

Jerome’s Mine Musuem

The mine musuem operated by the Jerome Historical Society and is located in an old popular saloon in town. The musuem provides an interesting read through the town’s timeline and builds a visual of life during the mining boom. We enjoyed going through the musuem and walking through the rise, fall and then rise again of this little town. The population was at 15,000 in the 1920s and down to just over 50 in 1953.

I hope to do this drive up here again and actually visit more of the town and experience the mountain town views we missed out on.