On Memorial Day we decided to have a new family adventure. We headed to Kennecott Copper Mine. We hadn’t visited the mine since a massive slide in 2013 stopped tours. Well, we recently heard that tours of the mine were reopened, so we made a reservation. The Rio Tinto Kennecott Visitor Experience is a fun adventure, especially for kids who love huge trucks!
We checked in at the small gift shop at the base of the mine. After showing our tickets ($6/person ages 5+ as of this writing), we boarded the small shuttle bus. On the way up, the bus driver did a little narration, showing us the “crusher,” and talking about the mines efforts to reduce water usage and reclaim the land that has been mined. The Kennecott Copper Mine is one of the largest open pit mines in the world and has been open since 1903.
Once you reach the top of the rim of this open-pit, you can look down into the bottom. Here is where the action is. You can see how deep it is, and of course, be amazed at the large construction vehicles that are driving around. That is what my boys wanted to see.
There are massive vehicles slogging heavily along up and down the spiral path. They carry over a million pounds of rock and have an engine for each tire. They stand 32 feet tall and the tires are 12 feet high!
There are several displays on the rim of the mine including a tire, a bucket for the massive truck, and a scoop from one of the massive dumpers. These things have been organized in a creative way to resemble a sort of outdoor museum with tables providing shade, and billboards telling about the mine through the years. You can stay on the rim of the mine for as long as you want, (or until the last shuttle bus arrives!)
We enjoyed our visit to the Kennecott Copper Mine. Here is some information to help you with your visit:
- Purchase tickets online beforehand. Some tours sell out, so in order to get the time you’d like, they recommend purchasing tickets before visiting. Here is the link to buy tickets.
- Tours run from April-October. Every day between 9:30 am-2:30 pm.
- This adventure is great for wheelchairs and strollers. There are special tour buses for wheelchairs at 9:30 am and 12: 30 pm. Make sure to choose the ADA tour. For strollers, there is a spot to put strollers in the front of the standard tour bus.
If you’d like to pair some other adventures with the Kennecott Copper Mine, check out any of these stops that are nearby: