Day 3 March 17:
We had breakfast at The Prospectors Mall in Crown King.
After breakfast we checked out of Bradshaw Mountain Guest Ranch.
Leaving Crown King we headed southeast taking the back way from Crown King.
As we dropped down to a lower elevation we left the thick forest behind and entered more brush land with more open views.
As we traveled along we saw occasional old mining camps off in the brush.
From the road we could see down into a deep canyon. We could see a stream and evidence of past occupation in the bottom of the canyon.
As we got closer, a lot of rock construction became evident.
We crossed the stream and stopped to investigate the structures.
It turned out to be the Oro Belle Mine. We wandered round the area for a while trying to figure out what all the rock structures were for, without much success.
There was also a lot of large pipe running around the place but we couldn’t decide what they doing with it.
There was so much brush covering everything that It was hard to see anything but small pieces of structures peeking out of the brush.
We continued down the canyon, some times driving in the creek.
Eventually we climbed up another mountain.
As we drove along we passed a lot of wild flowers and cactus ‘s blooming.
I don’t know what these are but they are pretty.
We thought these were Hedgehog Cactus but they turned out to be Cup Cactus.
We also passed some interesting rock formations.
Road side repairs:
The tailpipe hanger on my jeep had broken on the trip to Prescott so when we were there I wired it up. On the ride from Crown King the wire broke again so when we stopped for a break I got under the jeep and tried wiring it up again.
The repair didn’t stop the rattling of the tail pipe. When we got to Wickenburg I purchased new tailpipe hangers and did a more permanent repair.
We got back on the trail and began running into a lot of traffic coming the other way.
There were jeeps
and several large groups of ATV’s.
Lake Pleasant view, lunch and storm clouds:
After traveling through several valley’s and over mountains we got a great view of Lake Pleasant to the south.
We stopped for lunch at a turnout along the side of the road.
While we were having lunch we noticed storm clouds building over the mountains.
More rocks, flowers and burros:
After lunch we continued down the mountains, passing more rock formations.
We passed some Lupines and Poppies blooming together.
Near Lake Pleasant we saw a small group of wild Burro’s.
Palm Trees and a Hedgehog cactus in bloom:
We came to a junction and turned north on the dirt road. After a mile or so we saw some large groups of Palm trees.
This turned out to be the site of Castel Hot Springs; now closed to the public.
Further along the trail we passed a clump of Hedgehog cactus in bloom.
No Vulture Mine this time:
It was getting too late to go to the the Vulture Mine on this trip. We were all very tired from the drive so we decided to head for Wickenburg to check into our motel’s.
It was a very long but enjoyable ride from Crown King to Wickenburg.
Day four. 03-17-15. Four wheeling around Wickenburg:
We met the rest of the group at the Super 8 Motel on Hwy 93 and left on our ride at 8:00.
From the motel we drove north on 93. We turned right on Rincon Road.
After a couple of miles we entered the Hassayampa River wash heading for the “Box Canyon”
Here is a map that shows the trail we are on.
We eventually got to where we encountered water in the wash. We forged ahead crisscrossing the river.
We continued up the river through the Box Canyon.
We came to a place where we had to decide whether to proceed or not. There was some concern’s about the possibility of quick sand further ahead.
This is what the canyon looks like from here.
In the end we decided to go for it.
As you can see the bottom was pretty soft.
In some places the water was getting deeper.
Eventually we got through this canyon and left the river.
We drove a little further on the north bank of the river.
Eventually we came to a graded dirt road. Here we had to make another decision; whether to go back via the road or drive back down the river.
Of course, we decided to go back down the river.
Eventually we got to the place where the river disappeared into the sand of the wash.
From here we headed back to Wickenburg where Dick had to get gas to continue the rest of the days ride.
We all reconvened at the McDonald's on Highway 60.
Once everyone had used the restroom and got their ice cream, we headed out for the next trail.
Black Rock mine and the Monte Cristo mine:
From the McDonald’s we drove about a block and turned north on a side street and headed into the hills.
We passed a Brittle Bush and some Hedgehog Cactus blooming.
On the other side of the mountain we could see some rock structures in the valley below us.
This turned out to be the Black Rock mine.
We found a road going into the area and went in to check it out.
Along the side of the trail Patti spotted this non poisonous snake.
We drove around on several trails in the area checking out the ruins.
Patti got a couple nice flower pictures while we were driving around.
Here is a Canadian Thistle.
Some yellow flowers.
After a while we continued down the road to our next stop; the Monte Carlo mine. In this picture you can just see a steel structure above the trees.
As we pulled into the area we could see that the structure was part of the mine.
Near the structure you can see a metal shack.
Inside the shack you can see some hoist equipment.
We checked out the steel structure and the shaft that it was attached to.
Looking into the shaft you can see that tracks are coming out of the hole.
We figured out that the hoist pulled ore cars out of the mine on the rails and dragged them to the top of the structure where they dumped ore into the large shoot where the ore went down the shoot to waiting trucks to be taken some where else to be processed.
This was all very interesting but the high light of the exploration of this sight was when Tom climbed a set of steps to get a better picture of the area and found two Diamond back Rattle snakes under a cactus.
Of course we all had to get pictures of the snakes.
Here is a close up of one of the snakes.
Fortunately the weather was a little cool and the snakes were not very active.
Here is a shot of the tails. At the left of this picture you can see the head of the other snake.
These were pretty large snakes and it is fortunate that they were pretty mellow.
We left the snakes to their mating and headed down the road looking for more adventure.
Along the road we saw another rattler but this one had been run over.
We stopped for lunch at Slim Jim Wash and didn’t see any more snakes.
After lunch we headed back the way we had come and took another trail off to the left.
As we traveled we stopped a few times to take pictures of flowers.
Here are some Hedgehogs.
More Hedgehogs and Brittle bush.
These are desert Penstemon.
I am not sure but I think they are Wishbone-Bush.
After a while we turned around and headed back to Wickenburg where we stopped at the McDonald’s again to air up the tires in preparation for the long drive home.
After airing up we got some gas at the Circle K and got onto Hwy 60 heading west for Quartzsite. As we drove down the highway we could see rain falling from the clouds to the north west.
After we had been at home for a short time around 6:00 it began to rain here.
We had a great time on our four day Jeep Safari and a BIG Thank You to Dennis and Cheryl for organizing and leading the trip!