Mule Mountains

Mule Mountains
Mountain Range
Country United States
State Arizona
Region Madrean Sky Islands
District Cochise County
Highest point Mount Ballard
 - elevation 7,370 ft (2,246 m)
Length 21 mi (34 km), North to South
Width 33 mi (53 km), East to West

Extent includes low land hills and valleys[1]

Mule Mountains
Mule Mountains is located in Arizona
Mule Mountains
Coordinates: 31°29′N 109°52′W / 31.483°N 109.867°W / 31.483; -109.867Coordinates: 31°29′N 109°52′W / 31.483°N 109.867°W / 31.483; -109.867
 – Total 1,295 km2 (500 sq mi)

The Mule Mountains are a north/south running mountain range located in the south-central area of Cochise County, Arizona. The highest peak, Mount Ballard, rises to 7,500 ft (2,300 m). Prior to mining operations commencing there, the mountains were heavily forested with large Rocky Mountain Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii glauca) and other conifers, but these were all cut down for housing needs and to feed the ore smelting furnaces in Douglas, Arizona, approximately 20 miles due east. Now, the primary vegetation of the Mules consists of manzanita (Arctostaphylos spp.) brush, juniper, lowland oaks and pines, and various grasses. To the east of the mountain range lies Sulphur Springs Valley, and the San Pedro River and Valley to the west.

The terrain is very rough, with very steep slopes descending into deep canyons. Common wildlife species include Mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus), White-tailed deer (O. virginianus), Collared Peccary (Pecari tajacu), various types of rodents, lizards and a wide variety of birds. The upper ridges of the mountains consist primarily of a very hard brecciate limestone, and it is very common to find fossils of clams and snails imbedded in them.

Immediately to the east central area of the Mules lies the Lavender Pit, a large and very deep open pit copper mine dug and mined by the Phelps Dodge Corporation between 1951 through 1974. Over a billion tons of copper were extracted from the mine, along with significant quantities gold, silver and lead. Also, as a by-product of the mining operations, high quality turquoise (locally known as Bisbee Blue) was also discovered.

On the east central slope of the Mule Mountains can be found the Copper Queen Mine. In its days of production, (late 19th century – early 20th century) it was the richest copper deposit ever discovered, causing the accompanying town of Bisbee, Arizona to highly prosper, becoming the largest city between St. Louis in the east, and San Francisco in the west for a short while. Much of the Mule Mountains are laced with mining tunnels dug in pursuit of the rich copper ore. Today, Bisbee (also known as the "mile-high city," at elevation 5,300 ft/1,600 m) is largely a tourist town and retirement community along the slopes of Tombstone Canyon in the heart of the Mules. There are currently no organized mining operations in effect in the Mule Mountains. Much of the east/southeastern area of the range is considered private property, owned by Phelps Dodge Corporation.


External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Mule Mountains (California) — This article is about the mountain range in Riverside County, California. For the mountain range in Imperial County, California, see Little Mule Mountains. For the mountain range in Arizona, see Mule Mountains. Coordinates: 33°30′32.097″N… …   Wikipedia

  • Mule (disambiguation) — Contents 1 Animals 2 Fiction 3 Music 4 People …   Wikipedia

  • Mule — Conservation status Domesticated Scientific classification Kingdom …   Wikipedia

  • Mule deer — Filozoa Mule Deer[1] Mule deer male and female in Modoc County, California Conservation st …   Wikipedia

  • mule — noun ADJECTIVE ▪ pack ▪ stubborn … OF MULES ▪ team VERB + MULE ▪ ride, ride on …   Collocations dictionary

  • mule deer — noun long eared deer of western North America with two pronged antlers • Syn: ↑burro deer, ↑Odocoileus hemionus • Hypernyms: ↑deer, ↑cervid • Hyponyms: ↑black tailed deer, ↑blacktail …   Useful english dictionary

  • Ochoco Mountains — Range Steins Pillar Co …   Wikipedia

  • List of animals of the Rocky Mountains — This is a list of animals found within the Rocky Mountains in North America.animalss] = Brown BearThe brown bear is the largest carnivore in all of North America. Males can grow to be over 7 feet tall, and weigh over 1,000 lbs. Females usually… …   Wikipedia

  • California Mule Deer — Taxobox name = California Mule Deer status = LR/lc image width = 240px image caption = A doe and her fawns in Auburn, CA regnum = Animalia phylum = Chordata classis = Mammalia ordo = Artiodactyla familia = Cervidae genus = Odocoileus species = O …   Wikipedia

  • California mule deer — A young buck in Yosemite National Park Scientific classification Kingdom …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.