Copper City Trail

Copper City Trail

Distance: 2.42 miles from FS1808 to end of trail.

Running Time:  Approx. 1.5 hours roundtrip for trail above Copper City

Difficulty:  More Difficult

Pass Needed: NO

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Copper City was founded around 1905 when it was recognized that there was a need for a city to support the mining claims that were popping up around the area.  In 1906 a sawmill was constructed to manufacture lumber for the development of Copper City. Copper City would come to serve 42 active mining claims between 1907 and 1942 and there were hopes that a railway line would be built to serve it.  By 1910 a road from the almost completed Bumping dam was built and power and phone lines were also run to Copper City and the mines and camps above it.  Clara Camp was established alongside a beautiful meadow which is at the end of the present day trail. The camp had a cabin and a cookhouse as well as running water and a septic system.  All that is left of Clara Camp today is a very large pile of rotting,  unused firewood a few wood foundations and a large basement pit.  By 1942 millions had been spent building Copper City and working the mines however a lack of development of a railroad and low ore values would finally end Copper City's nearly 45 year existence.  In 1948 all of the machinery was moved out to other mining areas.  Today all that remains of Copper City is the collapsed bunkhouse and the foundation of the mill.

The remains of Copper City lie amongst the trees just a few hundred yards off of FS1808, Deep Creek Rd. It is a very short hike up to the site if you do not wish to drive in.  Most SUVs should be able to drive to the town site.

Beyond Copper City the nearly 2.5 mile road up to Clara Camp is a very narrow shelf road with very little opportunity to turn around or even pass other rigs you may encounter going opposite direction.  It's fairly safe to say that once you start up from Copper City you are more or less committed to going the distance to Clara Camp to turn around.  There are several small bridges and some fairly tight turns that will make it a bit more difficult for longer wheelbase rigs.  We would not recommend this trail for full size rigs.  At one spot about half way up there is an area which appears to be a talus slope which sprawls downhill several hundred feet with no trees available to stop a rig if it were to slide off the trail.  At this spot the trail tilts you uncomfortably off-camber downhill and is not for the faint of heart.  Further up the trail is an area where a lot of trees have been blown down and had once blocked the trail, we can only speculate that it must have been one hell of a big wind storm that brought all those trees down.

Except for being very narrow we do not consider this to be a terribly technical trail to drive.  Due to it being very narrow with long drop offs we also do not recommend starting out on this trail if there is snow present.

The trail ends at Clara Camp after about 2.4 miles and at an elevation of 5100' next to a beautiful meadow.  A hiking trail continues up to Miners Ridge beyond this point. 

 

         
         
         
         
         
         
         
    

 

Getting There:

Approximately 7.4 miles west of Cliffdell on Hwy410 turn south on Bumping lake Road (FS1800).  Continue on Bumping Lake Road for just over 11 miles to the entrance for Bumping lake campground and end of pavement.  There is a turnout here and it is recommended to air down as the FS road from here on up is very rough. Continue on the FS1800 road, 2.24 miles after end of pavement FS1800 continues straight ahead, bear left on FS1808, Deep Creek Rd.  After another 5.4 miles on FS1808 watch for the Copper City sign on the right, it isn't hard to see.  The town site of Copper City is just a few hundred yards up the road with the trail continuing on up to Clara Camp after that.

Camping:

 
Bumping Lake CG
 
45
50'
 

Bumping Crossing

 
 

Primative CG located at 9.9 miles from hwy 410 on Bumping Lake Rd. (FS1800)

Cougar Flat CG    
 
 
12
20'
 
Soda Spring CG
26
30'
 
Cedar Springs CG
14
22'
 
American Forks CG
16
30'
 
Deep Creek CG

Primative CG located at end of FS1808 Deep Creek Rd.