Clipper Mine Field Trip Report October 2017

We explored the tailings pile of the abandoned Clipper Mine out past Carbonado in Pierce County. We were looking for Copper, Azurite and Chrysacolla.

Met at the Rosie’s IGA Market (closed) behind the Chevron Station, Buckley, WA 98321. Our Field trip guide was Tony Johnson.  The group left promptly at 9 am with all our tools and equipment in hand.

We DID NOT enter the mine as it’s too dangerous. Our rock hunting skills were confined to the tailings pile. After all this time it still has a lot of good stuff to be found. Kids also get rid of a lot energy climbing up and down the tailings pile.  Everyone came home with some good specimen’s. One of our new younger members (his first ever field trip) found a great crystal cluster.

This field trip is always so much fun and we always find good stuff.


A little bit of history on the Clipper Mine:
The Clipper Mine is located in the Carbon River Mining District of Pierce County WA at an elevation of 3823 feet. The first discoveries in the district were around 1898. The Clipper was part of the Surprise group of claims dating to around 1901. The Leola Mining Company drove the Clipper tunnel using three shifts of men. They were following a lead copper ore vein that at the opening was a 15 inch width and eventually grew to a 15 foot vein. Assays showed $43 a ton in copper, silver, and gold after 380 feet of tunnel had been run.

The Clipper mine had also been known by the name Mother’s Day mine at some point in it’s history. The workings of the mine consist of 1200 feet of tunnel with several short crosscuts or horizontal branches.
Here is a link to the website with pictures.

Updated: January 5, 2018 — 9:26 pm

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