Potholes and Picacho

    The districts of Potholes and Picacho can be gotten to out of the town of Winterhaven on the side of the Colorado River from Yuma. The district of Potholes is located west of the Laguna Dam. Some have said that the Potholes region is the location of the first gold mining that was ever done in California. This is a placer gold region and the gold can be found in depressions or pot holes (hence the name). This area was mainly mined by the Mexicans and Indians and there was a lot of activity here during the last part of the 1800’s when there were around one thousand men that were digging at the deposits. The Picacho road runs north out of Winterhaven around eighteen miles to the old camp of Picacho. The camp is placed down in the Picacho Wash and the Picacho Mine, which produced a good amount of gold, was located in the mountains close to Picacho Peak. The first time the placers were mined in this area was during the 1780’s. Almost all of the washes in this place have had gold. It is still possible to see the tailings from the early Mexican and Indian attempts to dry wash these deposits. During the 1890’s there was also an attempt to hydraulic mine the gravels but this proved to be unsuccessful. The gold that can be found in the placer deposits is fine and occurs in little concentrations spaced out through the dry washes. The lode deposits are big in size but low grade. The last ore shoot that was worked on in the Picacho mine was said to have been 150 feet in width and 250 feet in length.

    Cargo Muchacho and Tumco mines
    To get to this area, from Glamis you will need to take the road that leads south to Ogilby. The mountains that can be seen on the left looking south are the Cargo Muchacho Mountains and the mines are located up on the mountains. The Tumco mines are located around tow miles on the north side of the Cargo Mountain mines. There are a couple dirt roads that can be taken to get to these areas. This is known to be one of the oldest mining districts that exist in California and it has been worked on as early as the 1780’s by the Spanish. Large scale mining has been done in this area all the way to th1914 after which the mines were closed down. Almost all of the gold that has been mined in this area has been hard rock however it is possible to locate placer gold in the washes and the veins in the area have been high grade and wide. The gold occurs with silver and at times with in quartz with calcite.