Theres a competitive trail riding organization-ACTHA- that is hosting a trail ride in tha Ghost Towns in Arizona
ACTHA hosts trail rides all over the U.S.
Each ride is from 7-10 miles long. You are judged on horsemanship rather than time.
There are natural obstacles at every mile, water crossings, walk over poles backups, ravines and things you might encounter on the trail- slicker pickup gates and lots more.
Theres three groups:
Junior-15-older (better prizes)
Or you could be a buddy rider (dont do the obstacles)
All proceeds go back to the horse community- equine rescues etc.
The first photo is some of what remains at the Copper Globe Mine in the San Rafael Swell area of central Utah. This is 6-7 miles in from the black top. It is about 7000 foot elevation. We ride in this area late winter, early spring.
The mine really had two lifes. First life was around the begining of the century ( 1905-1915) somewhere in there, I don't remember exactly. They attempted to set up a smelter onsite, but the bricks they hauled in would not tolerate the heat required to smelter copper. They basically burned up the bricks. Still a pile of old bricks. You can still see the cords of old cedar wood they cut to fire the smelter with in the upper part of the photo.
After melting their smelter, they mined the ore, and hauled it in buck board wagons. It was smeltered in a town some 20-25 miles away. As WWI ended, the price of copper colapsed and the mine closed. It re-opened around the start of WWII. The military again needed copper to make munitions, copper prices escalated and made it practical to haul the ore from this remote location. As I said it's a 6-7 mile horse ride in todays world. But I-70 across Utah didn't exist until the 1970's. So back when the mine was active it was a LONG horse ride into this area. It is one of the more remote areas of Utah.
The cross buck fence in the photo has been added in recent years by the BLM to minimize horse or ATV traffice around the actual mine site.
This is one of the Mine Shafts that goes horizontally into the moutain. There is also a verticle shaft that drops down. I can't imagine every morning getting up and spending the day inside these holes in the earth.
This is located in High desert. So the snow melts off pretty fast. Here we are riding in late February, the week earlier there was 18" of new snow, The day of the ride, it's just snow here and there..
The rock cabin is located in Desolation Canyon near the Green River. Early settlers tried to make a homestead in the are.
The log cabin is located in Horse Canyon. I'm not sure if it was a permanent home or just a line cabin for the cowboys to use while working the cattle.
This is big Open country. Before hiways, It would take days to cross with a horse.
I explored this area a lot, years ago when I was hunting for my Once in a Lifetime BigHorn sheep hunt. I still like to return to watch the bighorn sheep in the fall as they begin the rut and smash there horns together as they prove who is the dominate ram.
You can travel a long way here and never see another human.