Castle Dome Mine Museum was one of the first established in Arizona, dating back to the 1860’s! Castle Dome Mine sits right at the base of the Castle Dome Mountains and gives one plenty of incredibly scenic shots. The Castle Dome Mountains have a rich history of mining. On the west side of the Castle Dome Mountains is all of the silver mines including Castle Dome Mine and on the east side is all of the gold mines, including the famous Kofa Mine.
Directions: From Phoenix, take the I-10 West for about 115 miles. After about an hour and half you’ll arrive in Quartzsite, where you will exit on Main Street (exit 17), also known as Highway 95. After driving quickly through “downtown” Quartzsite, you will turn south to stay on the 95. Highway 95 travels due south and eventually turning southwest after a while. This portion of the trip is about 50 miles and is very scenic. Both the Kofa Mountains and the Castle Dome Mountains provide picturesque scenery. Also on this leg of the trip, you’ll pass into the Yuma Proving Ground, an active training site for the military; be sure to observe all posted signs and warnings. The turnoff for Castle Dome Mine is marked, but not very well. The road sharply turns to the left near mile marker 55. The road stays paved for a few miles and there are signs for the mine making sure you are on the right path. The sign will say, ‘Castle Dome Mines Museum, 10 Miles Ahead.’ The 10 mile road turns to dirt after about 3 miles. The dirt road is a typical backcountry road with an easy washboard surface. At some points, the road narrows. Passenger cars can make this trip but require more caution than a high-clearance vehicle. The trip is very well worth it.
As far as the museum itself, it is incredible. The ghost town may appear in "too good" shape to be authentic, however that is just how well it is preserved. This has to be one of the best preserved ghost towns in the state. In creating the museum, the buildings were moved from the surrounding area to a more concentrated spot, where they currently sit. The original town set just south of here and was spread out over a few miles. The museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Castle Dome Mine Museum, which takes you around all of the old ghost town, is $6 and the Castle Dome Mine Museum Walking Tour, which allows you to take a 3/8 mile walk around the original mine and town site is also $6. It is best to do both of them in order to get a full appreciation of the town. For both of them, it is $10.
Overall, this is a great day trip from Phoenix and offers a great excuse to get out and explore remote parts of Arizona, while learning about the history that helped shape our nation and state. Drive time one way is about 3 to 3 ½ hours. Allow for most of the day in order to have time to drive and check out the museum. Consider stopping in Quartzsite or even Bouse if you want to add more to your trip. Castle Dome Mine sits 45 miles south of Quartzsite and 30 miles north of Yuma. For more information on the museum, visit www.castledomemuseum.org. For a more detailed history, view our history page on Castle Dome Mines.
Overview of the route from Phoenix to Castle Dome City
170 miles from Phoenix | Open 10 A.M. - 5 P.M. most days | $10 / per person
Looking for a fun, historic, and very interesting trip? Then this is a trip for you! Castle Dome Mine is tucked in the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge just north of Yuma, Arizona. We happened to stumble upon this treasure one day when we tried to make a trip to Swansea, only to find it closed for the day due to a Baja Race. Our “plan b” turned out to be a trip that we would talk about for a while.