At Over 5 Miles Long Goldmine Sounds Tough But it is Worth it!
San Tan Mountain Regional Park offers over eight miles of trails for hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding. Park trails range in length from 1.1 miles to over 5 miles, and range in difficulty from easy to strenuous.
If you desire adventure, then you’ll love the Goldmine Trail as it takes you to the highest point on any trail in the park at roughly 2,300 feet in elevation. The trail begins at the San Tan Trailhead near the visitor center and ends at the Goldmine Trailhead located near Skyline Drive on the north side of the park.
Hiking this way is the easy way; starting at the north end will test you as you climb the 2,300 feet in the first mile. Either way you take this route, expect steep terrain, especially just after the high point when the trail begins to dip towards its terminus.
Enjoy a nice workout with breathtaking views from Goldmine Mountain. Don’t forget to visit the graves of two miners, Mansel Carter and Marion Kennedy, buried near the Goldmine Trailhead as you learn about their unique way of life.
The best way to enjoy this trail, and to get back to where you started is to take the San Tan Mountain Loop. This hike will total around 7 miles, and take you through most of the park. With temperatures hitting the low 80’s this time of year it is perfect for a long hike like this one. Keep in mind if you take this route you will miss the graves. If checking out the graves is something you had in mind just hike to the end of the trail and start heading back down.
Whether you are a beginner, or have been hiking for years you will enjoy the goldmine trail. The views are amazing, and the hike isn’t to bad after the first mile up!
While you are at the park make sure you take time to see the visitor center, where you can see animals and reptiles that are native to the San Tan Valley area, except the tortoise, I don’t think anyone has ever seen that tortoise!