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I'm pretty sure that most of the Soap Creek area of Black Canyon City is under claim by now, but if anyone happens to be in that area and takes the jeep trail North after ascending the access road up the hill (I haven't been there in about 15 years), the " Spanish mine trail monuments" should be visible after passing Soap Creek. The "Indian Heads" are on the left and the "Poodles" are beyond the commercial? fenced off mining area straight ahead. The area may be accessible by jeep trails from the North as well. In '90's, during my first trip, the "Poodle" area had an open mine audit and a very deep, open vertical mine shaft with a small mine dump containing heavily stained/oxidized vuggy quartz. A nugget shooter using an SD200d was working a small drainage adjacent and down slope from the shaft. He introduced himself by his moniker as, "The Piano Man". He climbed out of the little gully he was in and showed me a few small nuggets he had pulled out in a couple of hours of detecting, and said he had to get home because his wife didn't like him being late for dinner!  He paused for a moment and said, "There's still one or two down there if you want to give it a try. I can hear them but I don't have time dig them up" He then jumped on his ATV and left. In another half hour it was almost dark. I drove off with two dinks in my pocket rolled up in a bandanna, thinking about the courtesy and friendly gesture of, "The Piano Man"  No, it wasn't Billy Joel.

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Im sure there is still plenty of open area there. Just go in and look for claim markers.

Good luck

Tom H.


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Most of Soap Creek is State or private land. The upper portion you describe is all State land - no prospecting without a permit.

A short portion of the creek bed in Section 28 is possibly open to prospecting once you cross over the private land at the mouth of the creek.

Section 29 is where the goodies are. More than half of that Section is private or State lands, the rest of Section 29 has 35 claims blanketing it. Not a good place to be prospecting unless one of those claims is yours.

Further up the wash to the west Section 30 does appear to be open on the creek above the private mine land. As Tom pointed out you will need to look for fresh claim markers after checking the Yavapai County Recorder for new claim locations.

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Not sure what location was perceived to have been shared but the "Poodle Monuments" and the gold mines I was referring to was quite a bit North of Soap creek. I didn't see any claim markers on either of my two visits to the area. I am informed that the gentleman who called himself, "The Piano Man", (because he was a piano tuner by occupation), is, regretfully, no longer with us. I haven't been there in about 15 years or so, and don't plan on going back.

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