As the December holidays approach, Cave Creek Museum prepares to present Arizona’s first and only total gold mining experience in conjunction with Rackensack Canyon Tours. The “Gold Fever” event will be held on Saturday, December 9.
The gold experience begins with a fun tour of the Arizona Gold Mining Experience,which showcases Arizona’s one and only working stamp mill, blacksmith, mine blasting cave, tramway, gold panning and other historical exhibits, which are a part of Cave Creek’s intriguing mining history.
According to Evelyn Johnson, executive director for the museum, the new Gold Fever adventure package will take guests back in time to learn about gold mining in Cave Creek’s Mining District in the 1800s then onto a tour of an actual gold mine.
“During our monthly Arizona Gold Mining Experience (AZGME), visitors will learn all about how miners first had to perform hard labor to mine for gold and how Arizona’s only fully operating stamp mill still crushes the ore to be processed for gold. Participants will be amazed to learn how blacksmiths, gold panning and more all played a critical role in the gold mining process,” says Johnson.
After seeing the interactive, action-packed experience, Gold Fever lovers can break for lunch then return to be picked up for the three-hour gold mine tour in a unique nine-passenger 4WD Gladiator, which will travel takes them into the Tonto National Forest and the patented Ft. Worth Gold Mine. The tour ascends to the Mountain Chaparral vegetation zone with absolutely breathtaking views from a 4,500-foot elevation.
“The short ride to the summit can be a bit dusty and bouncy but is exhilarating fun with entertaining narration and educational photo stops along the trail,” adds Johnson. “Before heading down to the gold mine, guests can relax in the off-grid small studio/gift shop and enjoy complimentary refreshments with free time to relax on the patio while taking in the jaw-dropping vistas. This fun adventure”
Guests then proceed to the gold mine where they are rewarded with a historic tableau of 1800s artifacts excavated from the Ft. Worth Gold Mine site. This mine was part of the Historic Rackensack Mines, which were instrumental in the founding of Cave Creek, Ariz. People will be able to interact with the knowledgeable guide and follow the same vein of gold that prospector Old Rackensack (Edward G. Cave) chased in 1880.
The Arizona Gold Mining Experience takes place from 9-11:15 AM at the museum Admission $15 for adults and children under 12 are free. For visitors who wish to enjoy the entire Gold Fever experience, the gold mine tour guide will pick them up at 1 PM for the three-hour adventure. Those who want the thrill of the full Gold Fever packagewill pay for the AZGME and an additional $145 for the three-hour gold mine tour. Visitors can register for one or both experiences that day.
Reservations are required in advance. No cancellations under 60 days. Reserve tickets online at cavecreekmuseum.org as there is a limit for the combined package of experiences. Visitors check in at 9 AM for AZGME and return for pick up to the gold mine tour at 1 PM. Culture passes are not accepted for this event.
“This first-of-its kind adventure tour is the perfect way to spend an exciting day learning about Arizona’s fascinating gold mining history while finding the Gold Fever within yourself,” says Johnson. “And, these experiences make great holiday gifts for friends and family as do museum memberships.”
The 53-year-old museum’s mission is to preserve the artifacts of the prehistory, history, culture and legacy of the Cave Creek Mining District and the Cave Creek/Carefree foothills area through education, research and interpretive exhibits. Cave Creek Museum is located at 6140 E. Skyline Drive in Cave Creek, Ariz. Open October through May. The museum can be reached at 480.488.2764 or cavecreekmuseum.org.