American Fork Canyon, UT - Mary Ellen Gulch

Mary Ellen Gulch 4x4 Trail

Description: Mary Ellen Gulch is my one of my favorite trails in American Fork Canyon, unfortunately it has suffered a lot of damage during some heavy down pours this summer/fall.

As always the lower 1/2 of the trail is very rocky, but as you get up to 9,500ft you'll start seeing rock slide/washouts but all are passable until you get to a big rock slide at 10,200ft. DO NOT try to go over this, you will die, there is also another large slide just before the Silver Bell mine. Anything larger than a quad should stop at the last sweeping turn (I've marked this with a waypoint).

The washout on the shortcut between the cabin road and the main road has gotten much worse, it is impassable by quad without help. It should not be attempted in short wheelbase vehicles. Longer vehicles need 35"+ tires and lockers.... People have stacked rocks in the hole but it is not stable, one small error and you are rolling to the road below.

Location: American Fork Canyon, UT. This trail starts at 7,584ft and ends at 10,200 :D (it did before the bad slide anyway)

Mary Ellen Gulch Trail Map (google maps)
[map]http://www.rme4x4.com/posts/maps/MaryEllenGulch.kmz[/map]

Pictures:

View from inside the Silver Bell Mine 10-7-06
View from inside Silver Bell mine 10-7-06.jpg

View from the Silver Bell Mine 7-10-07
View from Silver Bell mine 7-10-07.jpg

Impassable slide 11-26-07
Impassable slide 11-26-07.jpg

Cabin 9-25-05
Cabin 9-25-05.jpg

Washout 11-26-07
Washout 11-26-07.jpg

Lower Globe mine
Lower Globe mine site 11-26-07.jpg


MEG .gpx & .gdb Files
View attachment MEG .gpx .gdb.zip

To View trail in Google Earth: Download the attached .KMZ File and Open.
 

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fj40fax

Registered User
Great trail! We went up yesterday with the scouts. Got stopped by snow about 1/2 mile from the Lower Globes. Hiked in and had lunch on the road across from the Globes. Let the scouts explore all over there. Got a little sketchy for them crossing the glacier between the mines, one boy slid all the way down on his bum. Good times had by all. Will definitely go back when the snow melts.
 

cruiseroutfit

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That is not the Lower Globe mine, there is no such thing :D That is the Yankee Mine, both were owned by the Globe Consolidated Mining Company, so its possible it got the name Lower Globe somewhere in its life :D
 

cruiseroutfit

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Thanks, Kurt. The boys want to know what was mined up there also.

Silver was the mainstay, small amounts of other goods were pulled out too.

From the Yankee Mines and the collapsed buildings, if you continue south you will arrive at the upper terminus for the tram. The tram once ran from Deer Creek (now Tibble Fork Reservoir) to the mines carrying ore out :cool: You can still see a standing tram tower on the ridge south of Mary Ellen Gulch, there are several others that have been cut down and are laying on the mountain.
 

Meat_

Banned
Location
Lehi
That is not the Lower Globe mine, there is no such thing :D That is the Yankee Mine, both were owned by the Globe Consolidated Mining Company, so its possible it got the name Lower Globe somewhere in its life :D

You should phone up the USGS and tell them their map is unclear.
 
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cruiseroutfit

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You should phone up the USGS and tell them their map is unclear.

Which one you looking at :D

The Globe Mines wern't even on the USGS maps until the 50's... 40 years after they were really active. Gotta love the USGS :D
 
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Meat_

Banned
Location
Lehi
Which one you looking at :D

The Globe Mines wern't even on the USGS maps until the 50's... 40 years after they were really active. Gotta love the USGS :D

TOPO! The dots south of where it says "Yankee Mines" don't really look like they belong to "Yankee Mines". But I'll take your word for it :D
 

cruiseroutfit

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TOPO! The dots south of where it says "Yankee Mines" don't really look like they belong to "Yankee Mines". But I'll take your word for it :D

The later maps did add some confusion to the mix...

I'd love to look at what TOPO! shows, but when I try and zoom in I get an "insert disk" message. :-\
 

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The Globe, Yankee, and Sliver Bell Mines are ALL up there. The Globe was a strip mine, the other two were hardrock mines with adits. And that entire upper area, from about the 9,000 foot level up, has become severely damaged by erosion over the past two years. Trails that once were a solid 3 are now a 4 or 4.5. It is downright dangerous in many, many places. DO NOT go up there alone. Make sure you've lockers, 12" clean ground clearance, 33" tires with good tread, and roll bars, and skids for any of the area above 9,000ft. Was just up there yesterday, and snow still covers much of the road above the 9,500ft level. Use caution... or die.
 

cruiseroutfit

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The Globe, Yankee, and Sliver Bell Mines are ALL up there. The Globe was a strip mine, the other two were hardrock mines with adits...

:confused: Where did you hear the Globe Mine was a strip mine? Where would it have been located? One could argue the small canyon that runs near parallel to the Yankee Mine, extending to the Globe Mine was some sort of a surface working, but if it was it was a very small prospect as more dirt has been moved by erosion than any apparent strip mine? In fact I think the road that cuts between the two likely moved more dirt? The Globe Mine (proper) was absolutely an adit, as it connected to the Live Yankee (Powers Claim) lying to the north and below. This is shown both by maps (Yankee Mine interior maps), my experience in the Globe Mine as well as research by other historians regarding the two. Interestingly enough, the Globe Mine name didn't really come into the picture until the late mining efforts, its likely the mine I consider the Globe (USGS indicated) had a different name prior to the Globe Consolidated's involvement, hard to say.

There were other mines in the canyon too, the CDH Adit, the Mary Ellen Mines, Miller Adit (more properly consdidered a Miller Hill mine as it is on the south face of Miller Hill),

The Globe Consolidated Mining Company may have had a strip claim in the canyon, that I'll have to research some more. There are so many overlapping claims in the canyon that it is difficult to tell who's was what and when. This is the first I have heard of a strip mine in the area though.

And that entire upper area, from about the 9,000 foot level up, has become severely damaged by erosion over the past two years. Trails that once were a solid 3 are now a 4 or 4.5. It is downright dangerous in many, many places. DO NOT go up there alone. Make sure you've lockers, 12" clean ground clearance, 33" tires with good tread, and roll bars, and skids for any of the area above 9,000ft. Was just up there yesterday, and snow still covers much of the road above the 9,500ft level. Use caution... or die.

Huh? We took open diff'd rigs on 31's all the way to the Silver Bell Mine with zero problems last year. There is a rock-slide that pretty much eliminated all travel to the Silver Bell, but all other roads are still completely passable. In the dozens of times I've been there I can't say there are any areas that are particularly difficult?

Unless something drastic has changed in the last 8 months I think your being a bit overdramatic??
 
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cruiseroutfit

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Here is the only potential "strip mine" I can think of... though when you get there in person it looks more like erosion, road building and possibly some adits that surface from the mines.

Mary_Ellen_Google_Earth.jpg
 

Meat_

Banned
Location
Lehi
Huh? We took open diff'd rigs on 31's all the way to the Silver Bell Mine with zero problems last year. There is a rock-slide that pretty much eliminated all travel to the Silver Bell, but all other roads are still completely passable. In the dozens of times I've been there I can't say there are any areas that are particularly difficult?

Unless something drastic has changed in the last 8 months I think your being a bit overdramatic??

The washout that I indicated on the map would not be terribly fun on smaller tires, it defiantly worsened from last summer to last fall. I would suspect that it is even worse now. Other than that careful spotting will get you past the other bad spot in pretty much any 4x4 (the main road in just before you cross the water). I have not been up there this year though, so a LOT could have changed.
 

cruiseroutfit

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The washout that I indicated on the map would not be terribly fun on smaller tires, it defiantly worsened from last summer to last fall. I would suspect that it is even worse now. Other than that careful spotting will get you past the other bad spot in pretty much any 4x4 (the main road in just before you cross the water). I have not been up there this year though, so a LOT could have changed.

That section was technical last year I'll agree, I should clarify me comments to be aimed at the main road (111) up to the Hilton.
 
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Just went up there again today; and I was up there last October. The washouts that have made the above 9,000ft mark so much more difficult have occurred, primarily, SINCE last October. Last year was just the beginning. In fact, I popped my CV Joint today at the 10,000ft mark when the edge of the road gave way due to being water saturated, almost tipping over my FJ. I had to go nose down into a bog area, and during the process broke my driver's side CV Joint, leaving me a rear wheel drive FJ at 10,000 ft in water, washouts, and mud. But for my winch various boulders, and a small crop of pines, I would have been SOL.

The road has become bad from the first part of the Old Cabin Shortcut Cutoff (parallel to to the lower mine dumps), which "shortcut" has itself become a mess, on up, with patches of road still in good shape, but other patches that look damn awful. And NO, I'm not being dramatic. I've NEVER popped a CV Joint nor come this close to tipping the FJ, and I live a few miles from the Rubicon and Fordyce Creek, some of my favorite trails in the country. 9,000ft and up on Mary Ellen Gulch is a totally different experience right now than it was last October. Go and try it. Once the snow is melted and the groud dried out, the washouts will likely stablize and make the trail somewhat easier; nevertheless, the washout damage will leave the upper part of this trail a new challenge for anyone with less than 35" tires, 12" or more ground clearance, and dual lockers.
 
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The Globe Mine (proper) was absolutely an adit, as it connected to the Live Yankee (Powers Claim) lying to the north and below. This is shown both by maps (Yankee Mine interior maps), my experience in the Globe Mine as well as research by other historians regarding the two.

Interior mine maps? How can one obtain such maps, particularly of the Yankee and Globe Mines?
 

cruiseroutfit

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Interior mine maps? How can one obtain such maps, particularly of the Yankee and Globe Mines?

Through a lot of digging & shelling out $$$ ;) I'm working on a project that will include all sorts of maps and pictures of the canyon during it mining hay day. Thats why I would love to know more about this strip mine you talk of? Do you know any more about it? Where did you hear about it?

FWIW both the Live Yankee and Globe are partially/completely caved.

A teaser shot of the Yankee/Globe Map:
 

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cruiseroutfit

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Just went up there again today; and I was up there last October. The washouts that have made the above 9,000ft mark so much more difficult have occurred, primarily, SINCE last October. Last year was just the beginning. In fact, I popped my CV Joint today at the 10,000ft mark when the edge of the road gave way due to being water saturated, almost tipping over my FJ. I had to go nose down into a bog area, and during the process broke my driver's side CV Joint, leaving me a rear wheel drive FJ at 10,000 ft in water, washouts, and mud. But for my winch various boulders, and a small crop of pines, I would have been SOL.

Well, to start... it sounds like the ideal thing to do would have been to wait for the trail to dry a bit more and not encourage any trail damage. To boot the trail is virtually impassible due to the rockslide at roughly the 10,200 ft mark, just shy of the mine portal. Another issue with this road, it is private property... so getting any repairs done on the road is difficult to work out, and tire marks all over the hillside surely doesn't help.

The road has become bad from the first part of the Old Cabin Shortcut Cutoff (parallel to to the lower mine dumps), which "shortcut" has itself become a mess, on up, with patches of road still in good shape, but other patches that look damn awful.

Where is the "Old Cabin Shortcut Cutoff" and where did you hear that name? Thats another name I've never heard before... Are you referring to the actually road to the Live Yankee Mine and Tram or the road to the Globe Mine entrance and Hilton. By shortcut I'm assuming your talking about the spur that links the two roads?? While a fun road, its not even a legal one sadly. Take a look at this map:
http://www.rockymountainextreme.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=35702&d=1215759370

Is your Old Cabin Shortcut Cutoff the one in Yellow or the upper one in pink? By "old cabin" I'm assuming NOT the Mary Ellen Hilton (the brick building at the end of the Globe Mine access road) as it is much newer than any of the other cabins in the area.

And NO, I'm not being dramatic. I've NEVER popped a CV Joint nor come this close to tipping the FJ, and I live a few miles from the Rubicon and Fordyce Creek, some of my favorite trails in the country. 9,000ft and up on Mary Ellen Gulch is a totally different experience right now than it was last October. Go and try it. Once the snow is melted and the groud dried out, the washouts will likely stablize and make the trail somewhat easier; nevertheless, the washout damage will leave the upper part of this trail a new challenge for anyone with less than 35" tires, 12" or more ground clearance, and dual lockers.

Sounds like I need to run up there next weekend as I'm leading a group of rigs up there in August as part of the U4WDA Summer Convention. I appreciate your insight and would love it if you could answer the questions I've presented. Thanks! :cool:
 

cruiseroutfit

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I'll be pre-running the trail this coming weekend in preparation for the U4 convention... but I just heard from a customer/friend of mine that ran the trail yesterday. The road is easily passable to the Hilton, as the road above is blocked anyway, no need to go higher this time. Thanks!

FJCryptographer, if you get a minute I would still love to hear more about your insights on the canyon.
 
Hello all,
I will be visiting Salt Lake City between July 28th and Aug 3rd. I saw this trail and was hoping to get a chance to ride it. I have never been to Utah and was wondering how difficult is that trail? I also noticed via google maps that there are plenty of other trails in the same area. I will have a stock 4WD 4 Door JK for the week.
 
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