Black Canyon Drainage Area

Publication Info:
Placer Gold Deposits of Arizona
Geological Survey Bulletin 1355 (1975)
Table of Contents

Related: Where to Find Gold in Arizona

Author's note: The most productive placers in Arizona are in the high mountainous region of south-central Yavapai County. Most of the placers are concentrated on the slopes of the Bradshaw Mountains in the vicinity of many small lode deposits. Because of the large number of small mining districts that include parts of gold-bearing streams. I have grouped the placers on the basis of drainage areas rather than formal mining districts


Yavapai County

East flank of the Bradshaw Mountains, Tps. 9 1/2 to 10 N., Rs. 1 and 2 E.

Topographic Maps

Mayer and Bumble Bee 15-minute quadrangles.

Geologic Maps

Anderson and Blacet, 1972a, Geologic map of the Mayer quadrangle, Yavapai County, Arizona, scale 1:62,500.

Arizona Bureau of Mines, 1958, Geologic map of Yavapai County, scale 1:375,


State Highway 69 parallels Black Canyon between Bumble Bee and Arrastre Creek.


Placers occur along the Black Canyon segment of Turkey Creek between Arrastre Creek and Poland Creek and have been worked upstream to the vicinity of Cleator. Placers were also mined in American and Mexican Gulches where Bumble Bee Creek enters Black Canyon.

Placers were worked in Black Canyon below Howard's Copper mine (sec. 31, T. 10 N., R. 2 E., Bumble Bee quadrangle), where before 1922, one man reportedly produced about $20,000 in gold, probably at a spot about 1 mile downstream from the mine. Gold was also recovered from a gravel bar in Black Canyon about 3 miles south of Bumble Bee (probably sec. 32, T. 9 1/2 N., R. 2 E., Bumble Bee quadrangle).

Production History

The placers in the Black Canyon area have been worked intermittently since the latter part of the 1800's. The amount of gold recovered from the Black Canyon placers was not large compared with other placers in Yavapai County but was appreciably more than that recovered along the upper part of Turkey Creek.


The placers in the Black Canyon drainage were derived from gold veins that are apparently of both Precambrian and Late Cretaceous to early Tertiary (Laramide) age. Precambrian gold veins occur in the vicinity of Bumble Bee (on Bland Hill and at the Gillespie mine), and "Laramide" veins occur throughout the district, in particular, at the Thunderbolt mine in Black Canyon.


Browne, 1868: Reports platinum in placers.

Burchard, 1882: Reports placer occurrence.

Lindgren, 1926: Locates placers.

Wilson, 1961: Location; extent of placer-mining activity during the period 1932-33.

Page 1 of 1