San Domingo Wash
Monarch Wash


Gillette to Tiptop
Beyond Tiptop

Tule Creek
Humbug Creek

North of Cleator
Norhtwest of Cleator
South of Cleator

Constellation Road

First Stop
Monte Cristo
Black Rock Mine
Gold Bar



ghost towns.com
4x4 Basics
Az. Dept of Mines
Az. Pioneer Cemetery Research Project

Other resources

Ghost Towns of Arizona by James and Barbara Sherman U. of Oklahoma Press

Arizona's best Ghost Towns by Philip Varney Northland Press

Arizona Ghost Towns and Mining Campsby Philip Varney Arizona Highways

Columbia Arizona by Neal Dushane, self published

Printable Directions    click on images to enlarge 


At turn 8.6 miles, there has been some private property no tresspassing signs put up. Also a sign saying there is no BLM acesss. Therefore I suggest you proceed with caution.


Columbia Columbia is located on Humbug creek about 25 miles west of Wickenbug and downstream from Humbug and north of Lake Pleasant. It is located on the Columbia 7-1/2" topographic map. It is about a 15 mile or so round trip depending if you go on to Humbug. Across Humbug creek is Gold Hill.

A Post Office was established there in Sept of 1894 and was discountinued in July of 1915. Reportedly only about $50,000 worth of gold was produced in the Humburg-Columbia area.There is now several"modern building" in the area and from the looks of the equipment lying around, has recently been worked. But when I last visited it there was no one living there. But that may change, so be careful if you visit.

A few changes have occured at Columbia. The first is that the way in has changed and is reflected it the directions listed below. You can no longer enter Top of Columbia as I call it. The owner has had to much vandalism has has closed off access to the buildings.
The second change is, the BLM has gone in and taken down and removed the buildings along with the vehicles and debris along side Humbug Creek. Check out the before and after pictures

Take I-17 north to Carefree Highway. Go west on State Route 74. Take a right after mile marker 19 onto Castle Hot Springs Road into Lake Pleasant regional Park. The road will intersect about 3 miles. Turn left. Set your trip meter to 0.00 when the dirt road starts.

1.2 miles Stay to the right.
2.8 miles Turn right, the other road will take you to Castle Hot Springs, Well worth seeing.
5.4 miles Stay to the left on Cow Creek Rd.
8.6 miles Turn right, cross the creek. Take the road to the left up the hill.
9.5 miles When you reach the top there is a "plywood tepee" off to the right. There is also a road off to the right that will take you down to the creek where there is a homestead. Will need to walk part of the way.
10.9 miles Steel gate continue on straight
11.4 miles Crossroad. Turn right. Left will take you to Humbug and a deadend N 34* 02' 01.4" W 112* 19' 11.3"
11.7 miles Turn left. Right goes to Top of Columbia.
11.9 miles Tailings pile below mine. Look for road straight ahead.
12.3 miles Drop into Humbug Creek. Right goes to Columbia. About 1 tenth of a mile to intersection of road going west up over the mountain. Left goes up creek to an old mill foundation and boiler. You will need to walk after driving for about 1 tenth of a mile.

Columbia Once you arrive there is plenty to see here. You can drive up the creek, although you will need a high clearance vehicle. There is a stone building on the right. Farther on you will come across a boiler, living area and a foundation of a mill above the creek on the right.
Going down the creek, there is a road going up the hill on the righ side of the creek. Stop at the top and there is another stone building if you walk toward the creek. It is well overgrown with brush so it might be difficult to find.
If you follow the road across the creek and up the other side, there is some equipment up there and the road will eventually take you over the mountains and to the road to Tip Top. It is a rough road near the top so be prepared.

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