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
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 Camps by Philip Varney Arizona Highways

Columbia Arizona by Neal Dushane, self published

Printable Directions    click on images to enlarge    Mine Statistics    Historical Images

Columbia Gillette and Tip Top are linked together as mill and mine. The ore was mined at Tip Top and then shiped by wagon to Gillette for processing until a mill was erected at Tip Top in 1886. Gillette was also a stop over for the stage coach to Prescott.

The Tip Top Mine was discovered in 1875 and a Post Office was established there in 1880 and closed in 1895. Gillette was founded a few years later in 1878 with the Post Office being established in the same year. But with the building of the mill at Tip Top in 1886, the Post Office closed a year later. The hotel and saloon continued on for a few more years. The remains of the Burfind Hotel can still be seen today at what remains of Gillette.

Both towns are located on the Black Canyon City topo map. Take I-17 north to Table Mesa Rd. Get off at Table Mesa Rd. and take a left over the freeway. Take a right on the frontage rd. Set your trip meter to 0.00 when the road changes to dirt. If you are using a GPS receiver set your map datum to WGS84

1.1 miles Stay to the right.
1.8 miles Stay to the right.
3.9 miles Agua Fria River, continue across.
4.0 miles Turn right.
4.1 miles Take the first right.

You are in Gillette N 34* 01' 07.5"  W 112* 09' 49.3"  Take the same road out you came in on and turn right. When you get back to the road you turned off of reset your trip meter to 0.00. 0.9 miles up the road there is a wash on the right where you can put your vehicle to a test of extreme 4wheeling.

0.9 miles Wash on right.
2.6 miles Take a left at the corral. N 34* 02' 05.1" W 112* 11' 36.6"
4.2 miles Rest area. Great views to the east.
5.3 miles Cross Cottonwood Creek. Road coming in from the left is an alternate route into Tip Top.N 34* 01' 39.6" W 112*13'37.4"
7.6 miles Tip Top
7.7 miles Building on the left believed to be the brewery. N 34* 03' 03.2"  W 112* 14' 49.7"

A description of Tip Top from the Phoenix Hearld dated 6/4/1880 is as follows: "As I haven't any news of any importance I though I would drop you a note of the town and things in general. The town contains 2 stores of merchandise, 2 stores selling fruit, 6 fashionable saloons, 1 very nice restaurant, 1 splendid boarding house, can accommodate six hundred people, 1 livery stable in style, 1 butcher shop, 1 blacksmith shop, 1 post office, 2 bath houses, 1 barber shop and 3 laundires".

You can turn around from here when you are done exploring or you can continue up the road to another site I call Beyond Tip Top, but that is for another page.

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