Seattle, WA: Sunset Mine

This two-mile walk up an old mining road visits the remains of the Sunset Copper Company. Exercise extreme caution when exploring in or around mine openings.
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This two-mile walk up an old mining road visits the remains of the Sunset Copper Company. Exercise extreme caution when exploring in or around mine openings.

Tromping around Sunset Mine is more a stroll through history than it is a hike, but what it lacks in distance it more than makes up for in the fun of investigating the old mines. Two large stopes—underground openings left after minerals have been extracted—are the principal attraction here. Mostly collapsed, they only advance about 200 feet. They are located up the hillside from the old mill area, and can be accessed by the many bootpaths that riddle the area. Besides the cavernous stopes, there are a couple of adit openings that are filled with water and mostly collapsed that merit a peek.

The trail, old roadbed, starts just east of the Trout Creek crossing. Follow the road up the valley, paralleling Trout Creek, for 1.5 miles to the terraced stone remains of the old mill site. Continue onward, past a collapsed and flooded adit, and leave the road onto a boot trail heading uphill to the left. Fork right at a junction, passing another adit, to arrive at Stope #1. Explore at your own risk. Continue past another adit, keeping a careful eye out for the ventilation shaft—a 150' drop to the bottom!— near the next stope. The route then loops back to the previous junction.

All mining tunnels and openings should be approached with extreme caution. Most of the wooden beams and platforms are extremely unstable.

Mapped by Nathan & Jeremy Barnes Hiking With My Brother

Trail Facts

  • Distance: 3.2

Waypoints

SSM001

Location: 47.862967, -121.484713

Pass thru gate and proceed up old mining road.

SSM002

Location: 47.857257, -121.46511

Terraced stonework of old mill site.

SSM003

Location: 47.856871, -121.464008

Collapsed adit #1.

SSM004

Location: 47.856262, -121.463013

Leave road, turning left uphill on boot path.

SSM005

Location: 47.856245, -121.461656

Trail fork; veer right.

SSM006

Location: 47.85682, -121.4615

Adit #2.

SSM007

Location: 47.857354, -121.460845

The ceiling collapsed to expose stope #1, which is a large open pit. A three tiered wooden platform is still present. ENTER AT YOUR OWN RISK. The area is unstable, and many life threatening hazards exist.

SSM008

Location: 47.858245, -121.462736

This ventilation hole drops 150ft to the bottom of stope #11

SSM009

Location: 47.858379, -121.463102

Stope #11 is another open pit. Look up to see the ventilation hole in the ceiling. ENTER AT YOUR OWN RISK. The area is unstable, and many life threatening hazards exist.

SSM010

Location: 47.85803, -121.46267

Adit #3 is collapsed. A pile of large boulders blocks the entrance.

Trout Creek

Location: 47.86106, -121.486173

Road and Alders

Location: 47.859159, -121.469972

Old Mill

Location: 47.857201, -121.465123

Adit #1

Location: 47.856834, -121.4614

Filled Passage

Location: 47.856834, -121.461389

Stope #1

Location: 47.857338, -121.460751

Waterlogged

Location: 47.857396, -121.460912

Stope #11

Location: 47.85836, -121.463004

Ventilation

Location: 47.858296, -121.462832

Minerals

Location: 47.85836, -121.463143