Bumble Bee  LbNA # 46743 (ARCHIVED)

Placed DateApr 16 2009
LocationBlack Canyon City, AZ
Planted ByOld2AK    
Found By Desert Flower
Last Found Apr 25 2009
Hike Distance?


Bumble Bee is a ghost town in the Bradshaw Mountains of Arizona, named for nearby Bumble Bee Creek (so named because early travelers said that the Indians were as “thick as bumblebees.”) Established in 1863 and originally known as Snyder's Station, Bumble Bee served as a stagecoach stop on the Prescott-Phoenix stage line and as an outpost for the U.S. Cavalry; its post office was established in 1879. With the demise of the stagecoach and the mining in the surrounding area, the site eventually faded away.

The town as standing today was built in the late 1930's by Jeff Martin. An attempt to make the town a tourist attraction resulted in the construction of the current buildings; several of them still stand and are occupied. According to Kathy Weiser of Legends of America, the town was purchased in 1960 by east-coast newspaper king Charles Penn, which made him the only man in the USA who was the owner of an entire town. Penn had a plan to restore the town and to create a museum, but that never happened.

Time and weather have taken their toll on what little is left of the old ghost town. The site is on private property and some of the old buildings are occupied; photographs can be taken from the road.

The Bumble Bee letterbox is planted in a temporary location just 7/10 of a mile off Highway 17. Leave the highway at Exit 248. After you cross the first cattle guard on the road to Bumble Bee and Crown King, turn into a wide gravel pullout on the left-hand side of the road and park. Once there, you'll notice a gravel road leading off to the south. Between this road and the paved road you came in on is a low hill that features several stone outcrops. One of these outcrops has a prickly-pear cactus growing just above it. About 10' to the left of that is a formation that consists of two parallel outcrops. You'll find the letterbox at the base of the rightmost of these, under a pile of rocks--one of the rocks is actually an almost-square piece of concrete.

Be careful—there's a lot of broken glass here!