The Pit.

Bingham Canyon Mine - Biggest Pit in the World

Field review by the editors.

Bingham Canyon, Utah

The Bingham Canyon Mine holds the coveted title of "Biggest Pit in the World" -- and it is a major tourist draw. Why bother with the way-the-heck-out-of-the-way Grand Canyon when you can gaze at something just as spectacular only a half-hour drive from Salt Lake City?

The Kennecott Copper Corp. has been digging this hole for a century -- and it is proud. Signs on the site boast: "A mountain once stood where this huge bowl is now." One-half mile deep and 2.5 miles wide, if it were a stadium it could seat nine million people.

Kennecott digs approximately 250,000 tons of rock out of the pit every day, so this is one attraction that gets bigger and better every time you visit. The observation deck at the rim is an impressive overlook, with lots of fascinated dads and bored teenagers in attendance. Helpful plaques show where explosive charges have been placed.

View of the pit from the overlook.

Also here is a big tire from one of the mine's 190-ton capacity dump trucks that serves as a photo op, and a tape loop that spouts facts 'n figures about the mighty hole in English, Spanish, German, and Japanese. "The Bingham Canyon Mine produces a quarter-million tons of copper annually," it announces. "The mine has been dubbed, 'The Richest Hole on Earth'."

No doubt it is, and the gift shop full of copper souvenirs (you'll want to buy at least one) will help keep it that way.

Bingham Canyon Mine - Biggest Pit in the World

Bingham Copper Mine

Directions:
Closed for now by a rock slide.
Admission:
Cars $5 - mini tour buses $30 - regular tour buses $50.

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September 30, 2014

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