The Kitanning Mine is located not far from the tiny hamlet of Index, WA, and can be found just off the long washed out Index-Galena Road.
(Disclaimer: These directions are for novelty purposes only)
The washout makes for two different ways to reach the Kitanning; either from Beckler Road, just past Skykomish or by driving to the washout at the end of Index-Galena Road and hoofing it along a rough hewn path through trees, mud and some post-apocalyptic looking sections of washed out roadway.
In the wintertime hiking is sometimes the only way, and makes for a nice winter walk anyway.
Either way you go you’ll wanna end up at the east side of the wash-out.
Maybe ½-1 mile or so east of the washout shore exists a curve in the road from which a faint trail leads off into the woods. Follow it and you’ll start gently gaining elevation.
At this point mine finding experience is a good thing to have. (A copy of Discovering Washington’s Historic Mines Vol.1 really helps too)
To the best of my recollection I followed the little trail until it disappeared beneath thigh deep Oregon Grape.
I found an ephemeral stream bed to my right and followed it up, staying left when an obstacles came and eventually began reaching small cliffs, working my way around the them.
When I first went some years ago the sight of the old cabin meant you were there. However I’ve heard in recent years the old Kitanning cabin has collapsed, possibly making the mine more difficult to find, and sealing the hodge-podge of relics and ancient pornography within.
The first adit is right around the corner from the remains of the cabin, literally. It’s right there.
The tunnel is a couple hundred feet long and is blasted into what seems like pretty stable rock. Turquoise colored mineral staining can be seen inside, as well as a couple scattered artifacts.
The upper adit is approximately 500ft above you, amongst steep and sometimes cliffy terrain. An old miner’s trail fades in an out, occasionally leading the way.
This tunnel is a couple hundred feet longer than the lower one and boasts more impressive mineral deposits.
An interesting side note is that this adit does not have a corresponding tailings pile. Strange, no?
According to DWHM#1, the entire tailings pile was hauled off to the smelter by the Twentieth Century Alaska Copper company in the early years of the 1900s.
Copper was what was sought after at the Kitanning and is found in the ores; chalcopyrite, bornite, chalcocite and pyrite.
Since there isn’t a tailings pile, specimens are mostly limited to what you can knock from the veins inside the tunnels.
As always, leave it the way you found it (aside from some mineral samples perhaps)
Good luck and happy trails!
Woodhouse, Phil; Jacobson, Daryl; Petersen, Bill; Cady,Greg; Pisoni, Victor, Discovering Washington’s Historic Mines Vol.1: The West Central Cascade Mountains. Oso Publishing Company, 1997