Saturday, February 4, 2012


I have been checking out this book that Dave picked up.


For the most part it is very good and shows a lot of trails.

It contains a lot of Arizona history and tells about things to see along the way. One trail in particular had me intrigued. The book shows the trail going along the Bill Williams River and coming out at lake Havasu.


I have been to the river where the trail is supposed to be a few times but never found any trail there. I thought that maybe I had just missed something so yesterday Junior and a friend Rael, Patti and I went to see if we could find where the trail goes.

We drove to Bouse, then followed Swansea Road to where Mineral Wash Road goes north. Along the way we took a side trip to check out a tunnel that we could see on a hill to the east.


There was a nice view from the trail.


The tunnel didn’t go very far into the hill


and the floor at the back end of it was full of Cholla thorns. We occasionally find them in tunnels. I don’t know if they are blown into the tunnels by the wind or brought in by rats to make nests. It is not wise to walk on them because they will cover your shoes with stickers and are hard to remove.

From that mine we continued north toward Mineral Wash. It is a pretty ride through the wash with red cliffs on both sides of the road.



At the end of the wash we came to the river



and as before we couldn’t find any trace of a trail following the river. The whole area is posted with No Vehicle signs. We back tracked a bit to get out of the posted area and found a not well used trail going west so we followed it for a while up over some hills but it ended at a deep cut that was impassable. As always there were some great views.


We went back to the wash and followed it south until we came to another trail going west into a narrow canyon. The canyon kept getting narrower and narrower until I decided that we should turn around while we still had the chance.


We went back down this trail until we found a good wide spot to have lunch.


After lunch we headed back to Mineral Wash and turned south until we got to Slot Canyon. Slot Canyon is always fun to go through so we turned east into it.


When we came out the other end we turned right and went up a steep hill that took us back to the main trail (Parker Swansea Road). We drove west toward Parker for a couple of miles and took a right turn on a trail that Junior wanted to check out. It headed into some steep red hills.  When we started climbing a steep section, the trail got pretty rough.


There were a couple places where my jeep lost traction and I had to back down a bit and try a different track. We finally got to the top where there was another tunnel to check out. It didn’t go more than 15 feet into the hillside so we continued around the mountain.


The trail is very narrow and bumpy. Eventually we came around a corner and found that we were at the Vampire Mine. Dave and I had been there a few weeks ago when I drove his jeep with the Wednesday Jeep group (see blog for 12-29-11). That time we came up the east side and would have left by the west trail but they weren’t sure if the newer “Fat jeeps” could make it around some of the narrow curves.


As it turned out this time it wasn’t a problem.

Once again the views were spectacular.


We headed down the east side of the mountain


and got back on Parker/Swansea Rd. and drove toward Parker and then home.

Even though there wasn’t any trail that followed the river we still had a fun ride. I guess that goes to show that just because something is in a book it doesn’t mean its true.

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