Tuesday, April 30, 2013


Yesterday took the Secret pass trail.

Secret Pass is in the mountains just east of Bullhead City, AZ. I have driven by those mountains a couple of times and wondered just what was back there. Well yesterday we found out, and we weren’t disappointed.


To get there we drove west from Golden Valley on Highway 68 about 16 miles and at milepost 10 we turned left onto the dirt road. We were following the directions in our “Arizona Back Roads and Jeep Trails” book.
As soon as we got off the highway we stopped to air down the tires and zero the odometer. The odometer in the jeep is not very accurate so we also used the GPS odometer.

Everything was set and we took off. After about a half mile we made our first wrong turn and went up a very nasty trail to a col-de-sac (of course).
We decided to go back to where we started, reset the odo”s and try again. This time we got it right and started climbing some very steep hills on a power line road that had a lot of loose rock on it. I was hoping that we wouldn’t have to come back down this way.


We followed the power line road for a while, marveling at the scenery. This area has a lot of craggy peaks and interesting rock formations.



We paid close attention to the trail description in the book and watched the odo’s closely. The trail on the north side of these mountains is pretty rough and slow going.


We passed an old mine tunnel but didn’t drive down to it because we didn’t want to mess up the odometer reading


Once we got on the south side, the trail became much smoother so we just tooled along nicely.


We made all the correct turns and didn’t get sidetracked. There are lots of intersections on this route so it would be easy to mess up.
Eventually we got to the end of the trail at the wilderness boundary.
Here there was a kiosk


and an old hitching rail.


We couldn’t go any further because of the wilderness. 

The night before we went on this trip, I was watching some videos of the secret pass trail and saw some jeeps crawling over boulders and up and down dry waterfalls. I didn’t see any of that on the trail but the trail ended at a large wash so I decided to check it out and found where vehicles had driven down the wash over large boulders and up and down dry waterfalls.




It looked like Clifford might be able to go down the wash a ways but I decided that it wouldn’t be prudent to do so since we were alone.
I know white jeep Dennis and black jeep Dennis would love this wash so maybe we will try it some time next season.

From the trails end we headed back to a major intersection where we stopped to have lunch. It was a very hot day and there was no shade anywhere so we decided to sit in the jeep for lunch.


There was a breeze so it wasn’t bad.

After lunch we headed west on what the book called the Slurry Road. Again there were many intersections on this trail so we had to watch the mileage very closely and pay attention to the directions in the book.

Along the way we saw several plants that looked like some kind of Joshua tree or maybe Yucca. As it turned out, they were Yucca trees.


Most of the trail was pretty easy but there were a few spots where we had to go slow over rocks and such.


The views were great. At one point we could see Laughlin and the Colorado River.


There were also more intriguing rock formations.
This one is called Thumb Butte.


I don’t know what this is called but it reminded us of a rock in the Chiricahua’s called the Virgin Mary.

You can see an old mining area at the foot of the mountain.

We only made one wrong turn on this section of the trail but it was a col-de-sac so we didn’t get to far off the route. It was near the old abandoned mine shown above.
After going through the mine area we got onto a wide dirt road and in a short time we were back to highway 68.

It was a fairly easy ride and we had a good time. We were home by 3:00.

Today we are going to Laughlin so Patti can try her luck at the casino and we can have dinner at the Out Back.


Sunday, April 28, 2013


Yesterday we took a ride through the Hualapai Mountains. The trail started about 12 miles south of Kingman. From Kingman the paved road climbs into the mountains


to a summit at the Hualapai Mountain recreation area. Just past the recreation area you come to Flag Mine Road where you turn right. The road becomes dirt just after leaving the highway and continues to climb  rapidly through a neighborhood of what appear to be summer homes. 
Eventually you climb past the houses and whined through the trees along a ridge. The trail then drops into a high valley.
The area is reminiscent of the country around Clear Lake or the Mendocino National Forest in California with lots Ponderosa Pines


interspersed among  brushy hills.

I was surprised to see Manzanita and White Thorn as along with Prickly Pear cactus.

The narrow trail then climbs out of the valley and continues along the edge of the mountains for a while before it drops again.
Here is where we encountered our first rough spot.


The trail continues in this manner for most of the trip up the northeast side of the mountains, climbing out of a low spot and following the edge of the mountains and for a while then dropping again.


There are many nice views from the trail.


We stopped for lunch in a grove of pines. It was nice and shady and smelled of pine.


It must be a bedding area for cattle as unfortunately there were a lot of flies so we didn’t linger long after lunch.
Back on the trail we started down the southwest side of the mountains.

At one spot I noticed this cactus growing out of a rock cliff.


Patti got a picture of semi Wildlife. I think that is where the flies at our lunch spot came from.


The picture below is a bit fuzzy but it shows part of the trail down the southwest side.


The trail became much worse on this side. It wasn’t real difficult but it was quite rough with lots of switchbacks with steps and rock gardens to negotiate on the turns.



We passed the Boriana Mine. This was the largest tungsten mine in Arizona. It closed in 1957 due to a large fire.


Past the mine the road continued to be rough


One thing that I found interesting was that we started in the Mojave desert around Kingman and ended up in the Sonora desert with Saguaros,


Brittle bush and Teddy bear Chollas


Eventually we got to the valley where the road became flat and wide.


The trail ends at Alamo Road.


If you were to turn left here you would end up at the north side of Alamo Lake. We turned right and got on
I-40 and headed north to Kingman 30 miles away.

The trip was interesting but very long and tiring. The trail itself was 35 miles plus about 25 miles getting to the trailhead from our park and the 35 miles getting back home from Alamo Rd. 
We were pretty beat by the time we got home. We are taking today off. Tomorrow we are going to try the Secret Pass trail.

Saturday, April 27, 2013


Yesterday we took a ride to the old town of Chloride.
I thought it was a ghost town but again I was wrong. Chloride has a population of 326 and is a tourist town.


We drove north on 93 to the sign and turned east on a paved road and drove 3 miles to the town.
Patti only got a few pictures.

There was an interesting house with bales of straw for a roof


and some interesting stuff in the yard.
Below is a small outbuilding with this sign on the roof.

She also got some shots of the gnomes in residence.






Across the street from the Gnome home is a general store. In front of the store are models of old buildings.





We drove around the town for a bit and then headed east on a maintained road to see the murals some one had painted on the rocks.



From here the road became more interesting.



It went on for about 5 miles like this until we got to
a mine with the ore shoot and tailing pile next to the road.



About a mile further on, the trail becomes a maintained dirt road.

From the road you can see Chloride at the foot of the mountains.


We drove for another 3 miles and stopped for lunch at the Windy Point Campground.


Through out the drive we saw new and interesting wild flowers



This area is part of the Mojave Desert. Unlike the Sonoran Desert around Quartzsite, there are no Saguaro's but there are other interesting Cacti.



There are many beaver tails everywhere.


In the high country there are even trees, Pines and junipers.
Below is short needled pine tree.


There were many nice views from the trail.



Okay that was our ride for yesterday. We are going on another ride to day so I will be posting it tomorrow.