We met the jeep group at the Circle K gas station on Coolidge Blvd. From there we headed east on Coolidge Blvd. to Florence/Kelvin Hwy. We followed F/K east all the way to Hwy.177.
Spring wild flowers are blooming along the road side.
Florence /Kelvin Hwy is only paved for half its length. The rest is fairly smooth graded dirt with some washboard areas.
As you approach the eastern end of the highway you can see the Ray open-pit copper mine in the distance.
We crossed the Gila River bridge and came to Hwy.177.
Once on 177 we headed north. The highway follows the east side of the Ray Mine.
We passed the mine and continued toward the mountains.
We turned off at N Battle Ax Road and stopped at the staging area just off the highway to air down.
On the Trail.
Once we were aired down we headed west on Battle Ax Road.
As we drove down the road we could see Monkey Head rock (on the left) and the cliffs of Walnut Canyon (below in the center of this picture).
We turned right and dropped down into the canyon.
We passed between the beautiful soring cliffs.
Once through the canyon we began to climb the mountain.
Just over the top of the pass we took the left fork in the trail…
The trail drops into a deep valley.
The trail is very steep and rocky.
This is looking back up the trail.
At the bottom, the trail goes through a beautiful valley.
Then climbs back out of the valley.
We found a spot for lunch. There was no shade so we sat in the partial shade of our jeeps.
After lunch we continued along the trail enjoying the views…
and more wild flowers. This is an Ocotillo Cactus bloom.
We completed the loop and came back to where the trail had split. We stopped here for a break.
From here we headed back through Walnut Canyon and in a short time we were back to the highway.
The Ray Mine.
We traveled back along side the Ray Mine.
We decided to stop at the mine viewing overlook.
This is looking from the overlook into the pit.
After a while we got back in the jeeps and headed for home.
Supper at Tag’s
It was decided that we would all meet at Tag’s Café for supper.
We took up two tables.
Okay, that was the Walnut Canyon ride; it was fun and very scenic.