Sunday, July 8, 2012

Day 1 - Oquirrh Overlook

 I had seen the sign in Tooele pointing towards the Oquirrh Overlook and had wondered what it was. While at the Tooele Train Museum, we asked about it and learned that the steep mountain road led to an overlook of the big open pit copper mine on the other side of the mountain. It was supposed to be passable for passenger cars, so we decided to give it a try.

On the way up, we saw smoke, and before long we came to a vantage point of the Herriman (aka Rose Crest) Fire. It looked like it hadn't started long before.

 We continued up the road, which had a lot of washboards in places. We were able to make it in the van, even with the low tow hitch. Someone who hasn't driven much in the mountains and isn't used to switchbacks might get a little uneasy on the road, but I thought it was okay.

 At the top we had this amazing view. Just a few weeks earlier, we had the opportunity to visit the mine from the other side (which I've just realized I have yet to blog about! I will have to catch up Updated: here's a link to the post). The visitor center on the other side has some great info about the mining process.

 I kept my eye on the fire, not wanting our windy way down the mountain to be cut off.

 It was getting bigger, but the winds were blowing away from us. Unfortunately, they were blowing in the direction of homes, and several were burned.

Here's a closeup of some of the mining operations. The trucks look tiny, which is amazing since they are so large. This mine is really worth a visit, as it is so large it is hard to comprehend. The copper is not particularly rich, only 12 pounds per ton, but it still has been a profitable mine.

The kids weren't particularly thrilled with this destination (Desert Girl was asleep and Desert Boy refused to get out of the van), but I thought it was worth the time. Only a few other people were up at the Overlook. A paved, sinuous road leads across the mountain a little farther down, and that looks like it would be a fun excursion some day.


Chanelle said...

Oooo ... looks like something right up my alley. Thanks!

The Incredible Woody said...

We totally would have been on that road too! Wildfires are so scary. My heart breaks for those that lost their homes.

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