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 image to enlarge

town of HumbugHumbug which is north of Columbia lies on Humbug creek. It is one of the best preserved Ghosttowns around. At the present time access is denied to vehicles. There is a locked gate across the road. I walked from there about a 1/2 mile to the town site. There was no caretaker around that I was aware of. The next time I visited I could see smoke rising from one the buildings and elected not to go down.

Gold was discovered in the 1870's in the creek. A town sprung up along the creek bed and a Post Office was established at Columbia in 1894 to serve both towns. It was discontinued in 1915. The area was worked off and on until 1932 when Humbug Gold Mines took over and made a serious attempt at mining with over 100 people populating the towns. The operation was shut down during WW2 and not much has happened at Humbug since then.

Take I-17 north to Carefree Highway. Go west on State Route 74. Take a right after mile marker 19 onto Castle Hot Springs Rd into Lake Pleasant Regional Park. The road will end at a T intersection 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 left. Right will take you to Columbia N 34* 02' 01.4" W 112* 19' 11.3"  
12.8 Miles Locked gate.



humbug equipment As mentioned before you can drive only so far. You will need to walk down to Humbug. There maybe another alternative. On the gate there is a telephone # for access 480-899-7317. I have not called this number, already having visited the site.

The road that you walk down to Humbug continues on past Humbug. There are some shacks and what appears to be an old chicken coop. I walked it for about 1/2 mile. It follows and goes through the creek I gave up after realizing I would be unable to drive it even if I could find out where it came out. The road was that bad.

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