Trip summary by Mark Foster.
Day 1: On a late January day, Mark, Mike, Gene, and Dave headed west. After a brief stop in the seasonal trailer megalopolis of Quartzite, they went to Palm Canyon. Or tried to. There was a slight delay as they followed the world's slowest driver down the dirt road that leads to the canyon. Finally they arrived, and did the short hike up the canyon. The plan was to get out to the highway and go to King's Road. The plan was derailed when they got stuck again behind the same slow driver they had followed in. Giving up hope of ever reaching the highway, they decided to take the spur road that leads to Kofa Queen Canyon. It was the right choice. The canyon was beautiful and was a great place to spend the night. Mark's photos.
Day 2: We awoke to a chilly morning. Bighorn sheep grazed on one of the hills above us. After breakfast, we loaded up and headed out to the highway. Next stop - Kings Road, the main road through the southern part of the Refuge. From here, we went to Horse Tanks and did some hiking. Then we headed south in search of a scenic spot to camp. We found one near Castle Dome and settled in for the night. Mark's photos.
Day 3: After a night by Castle Dome under the watchful eye of a Border Patrol heliostat, we loaded up and went north to King's Road. From there, we headed for the mines. On the way, we stopped at a big ash pile made by the miners and met a family from Yuma who filled us in on the area. The first mine we visited was the North Star. After that came the nearby Rob Roy.We decided to camp near Kofa Dam. The drive up Kofa Wash was beautiful. Never did find the dam. Either it is far up one of the washes that come together to form the Kofa, or like Brigadoon it only appears once every one hundred years and we were there on the wrong day. We found a camping spot at the base of Kofa Butte that was relatively cholla free and had some spots that would work for the tents. A great sunset followed. Mark's photos.
Days 4-5: We left our camp at Kofa Butte and drove to the east side of the reserve. This side wasn't as mountainous. The roads were rougher. We worked our way north and then spent the night at Hoodoo Cabin.The next morning, we loaded up and headed for home, stopping at Craven Well along the way. We passed a Toyota Forerunner that had broken down in the middle of the road. It's owner was no where to be found. We were nearly to I-10 when we found him - in a 4WD tow truck heading south. Mark's photos.