Cardiff Mine



Large multi-pocket ore bin remains at the Cardiff mine - c.1990, it still stands today.
Donald K. Winegar - Tintic Images - All Rights Reserved

Location data

QUICK LOCATION PATH: Utah / Salt Lake County / Big Cottonwood District / South Fork or Cardiff Fork / Upper canyon

Approximate GPS Location:

40.36.508 N - 111.39.219 W  (topo)


Approximate Elevation:

8822'  (topo)


30 x 60 Minute Map:



7.5 Minute Map:



Brief history

The Cardiff Mining Company was incorporated in the state of Utah in December of 1906. Company officers included: Lynn H. Thompson, President; Ezra P. Thompson, Vice-President; Clyde R. Thompson, Treasurer; W.W. Murdock, Secretary; F.W. Price, additional Director.

in 1929 the company owned 16 patented claims and had workings that totaled more than 5000'. The company paid several dividends from 1915 to 1927 totaling over $1,000,000, but before the ups, came the downs. The company issued at least nine stock assessments before that first dividend was paid.

Once the large ore bodies were struck, the company operations expanded. A large number of surface buildings were constructed, as were very large ore bins, one at the mine, the other at the mouth of South Fork at Renyolds Flat. The larger of the two being the one down at the canyon mouth.

Initially ore from the mine was drawn by wagon teams from mine to the flats, and then from the flats to the Salt Lake Valley. All that would change when concerns over water quality and other matters prompted a change to 4-wheel drive trucks.

It was even contemplated that an aerial tramway would be put in place to carry the ore from the mine down as far as the ore bins and eliminate that part of the ore haul. Though contemplated, the tramway was never built. 

The mine was worked off and on until well into the 1950's, when active mining ceased.  



Surface dump and buildings at the Cardiff mine's upper workings - c.1914
SLMR Images - THRP Archives - Winegar Collection - All Rights Reserved


Sacked and stacked ore bags at the Cardiff mine, ready to be shipped - c.1911
SLMR Images - THRP Archives - Winegar Collection - All Rights Reserved


Bunkhouse of the Cardiff Mining and Milling Company - c.1916
SLMR Images - THRP Archives - Winegar Collection - All Rights Reserved

What remains


Portal house at the Cardiff mine as it appeared 40 years ago. - c.1972
THRP - Rchard Fluehe photograph collection - All Rights Reserved

The huge ore bin shown in the top picture of this page remains as the only structure still standing at the Cardiff site today. The trestle to the ore bin, intact until 1983 when heavy runoff that year from record snow undercut the trestle uprights and the whole thing came crashing down to the stream bed where it still rests to this day. Little has changed since the picture above was taken in 1990.
Large timbers litter the site as do bits of metal, pipe and other material related to the one time mining operation. A large stone wall stands atop the dump flanking either side of the old portal, and the fallen walls and roof of the old buildings that used to flank the portal lay flattened in front of that old stone wall.
In May of 2011, Richard Fluehe kindly provided to THRP the photo directly above, showing that portal building. The last remaining structure at the Cardiff site other than the ore bin. Taken in 1972, the image shows the structure, even then in rough shape. Heavily weathered, the building appears to have been there a while, and it is not known when it finally collapsed. The fallen remains of this building are still present at the site.
The Cardiff was the largest mining operation in the entire district, and we will add more to this page in the near future.   
This site is on a well hiked trail up Cardiff Fork, but it is Private Property so please enjoy the view if you choose to visit, but leave things as you find them.