Castle Dome Mountains

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Castle Dome Mountains
SPI - Castle Dome.jpg
Castle Dome ghost town museum with Castle Dome on skyline
Highest point
Peak Castle Dome Peak
Elevation 3,776 ft (1,151 m)
Coordinates 33°05′04″N 114°08′36″W / 33.08444°N 114.14333°W / 33.08444; -114.14333Coordinates: 33°05′04″N 114°08′36″W / 33.08444°N 114.14333°W / 33.08444; -114.14333
Castle Dome Mountains is located in Arizona
Castle Dome Mountains
Castle Dome Mountains
Castle Dome Mountains
Country United States
State Arizona

The Castle Dome Mountains are a mountain range in Yuma County, Arizona, within the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge. Castle Dome Peak, the high point of the range, is a prominent butte and distinctive landmark. The peak is 3,776 feet (1,151 m) high, and is located at 33°05′04″N 114°08′36″W / 33.08444°N 114.14333°W / 33.08444; -114.14333.[1] Castle Dome was named by American soldiers at old Fort Yuma in the 1880s. Early Spanish explorers called the same peak Cabeza de Gigante, "Giant's Head." [2]



Wulfenite specimen from the old Hull Mine, Castle Dome mining district

The Castle Dome mining district is one of Yuma County's oldest and most productive mining locations. Its proximity to the Colorado River and relatively low rates of freight at the time permitted the mining of even low grades of ore which wouldn't have been profitable at other locations.[3][4] In addition to silver and lead, the area is rich in numerous other minerals, including zinc, copper, gold, and many others. Total production from the Castle Dome mines included 10,697 short tons (9,704 t) of lead, 498,000 troy ounces (546,000 oz; 15,500,000 g) of silver, 38 short tons (34 t) of zinc, 36 short tons (33 t) of copper, 2,000 troy ounces (2,200 oz; 62,000 g) of gold, and 7,000 troy ounces (7,700 oz; 220,000 g) of placer gold production, mostly prior to 1900.[3]


The area was home to the town and mining camp of Castle Dome based around the Castle Dome Mine which first produced silver and later lead. The post office opened in 1875 and closed in 1876.[5][6] Castle Dome ghost town is now a museum site, the Castle Dome Mines Museum, with twenty or so restored period buildings.[7][8]

Castle Dome Landing was the port and supply point nearby on the Colorado River. The townsite is now submerged beneath the Imperial Dam reservoir.[5][9][10]

Mineral collecting[edit]

The Castle Dome mining district is a popular district for mineral collectors. The region is known for striking combinations of cerussite, fluorite, vanadinite, wulfenite, barite, and mimetite, as well as galenite and anglesite. The Hull Mine and Puzzler Mine in particular have produced atypical green vanadinite and mimetite as well as yellow-hued wulfenite.[2][11][12][13]


Castle Dome Landing, 1877
  1. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Castle Dome Peak
  2. ^ a b Domitrovic, Anna M.; Wilson, Wendell E.; Hay, Mark (September–October 1998). "Famous Mineral Localities: The Castle Dome District, Yuma County, Arizona". The Mineralogical Record. 29 (5): 437–458. Retrieved 2009-09-09. 
  3. ^ a b "Castle Dome District, Castle Dome Mts, Yuma Co., Arizona, USA". Retrieved September 4, 2009. 
  4. ^ Hamilton, Patrick (1883). "Mining Resources". The resources of Arizona: Its mineral, farming, and grazing lands, towns, and mining camps, its rivers, mountains, plains, and mesas, with a brief summary ... information concerning the territory (2nd ed.). Arizona: A.L. Bancroft & Co., printers. p. 72. Retrieved 2009-09-08. 
  5. ^ a b Sherman, James E.; Barbara H. Sherman (1969). "Castle Dome Landing". Ghost Towns of Arizona (First ed.). University of Oklahoma Press. p. 19. ISBN 0-8061-0843-6. Retrieved 2009-09-04. 
  6. ^ Castle Dome ghost town
  7. ^ Lowe, Sam (April 1, 2007). "Southwest Arizona". Arizona Curiosities: Quirky Characters, Roadside Oddities & Other Offbeat Stuff (2nd ed.). Globe Pequot. p. 226. ISBN 0-7627-4114-7. 
  8. ^ Lowe, Sam (June 1, 2007). "Forgotten mining era revived". Retrieved 2009-09-04. 
  9. ^ Massey, Peter; Wilson, Jeanne (April 24, 2006). "Along the Trail". Backcountry Adventures Arizona: The Ultimate Guide to the Arizona Backcountry for Anyone With a Sport Utility Vehicle. Adler Publishing Co. pp. 27–28. ISBN 1-930193-28-9. Retrieved 2009-09-08. 
  10. ^ Castle Dome Landing
  11. ^ Dana, James Dwight (1888). "Catalogue of American Localities of Minerals". Manual of Mineralogy and Petrography; Containing the Elements of the Science of Minerals and Rocks. John Wiley & Sons. p. 394. Retrieved 2009-09-09. 
  12. ^ "Puzzler Mine (Puzzler claim), Adams Mine group (Adams claims), Kofa Game Range, Castle Dome District, Castle Dome Mts, Yuma Co., Arizona, USA". Retrieved September 4, 2009. 
  13. ^ "Hull Mine group (Rialto Mine group; Hull group of claims; Rialto claims), Buckeye vein group, Castle Dome Mine group, Kofa Game Range, Castle Dome District, Castle Dome Mts, Yuma Co., Arizona, USA". Retrieved September 4, 2009. 

External links[edit]