Mojave Snowbird Trip – Tank Bridge

So, not having found the bridge I needed to make one more attempt, we took a rest day to recover from walking on all those rocks then set off in search of the mystery bridge. We drove the little road stopping at the place calculated to be closest to the canyon with the bridge, at that point I realised the bridge wasn’t marked on the map I had, but I thought I remembered it well enough.

We wandered across some flat land, avoided cholla gardens and crossed a couple of small hills before coming to the main canyon entrance.

Tank Bridge

This canyon looked narrower and more overgrown than the last two, and had a troll guarding it just upstream.

Tank Bridge

Once again we were presented with a series of tanks.

Tank Bridge Tank Bridge Tank Bridge Tank Bridge Tank Bridge

Eventually we reached a side canyon off the main canyon where the bridge was supposed to be, just a little up on the left.

Tank Bridge

Right at the entrance was a tank with a pouroff that required some climbing around, I assume this is Arch Tank.

Tank Bridge

The side canyon also had many tanks,

Tank Bridge

and some impressive vegetation. We walked and scrambled all the way up the side canyon but there was no sign of a bridge, there did appear to be a shelf on the left side of the canyon so perhaps it was hidden behind that, we bravely climbed the steep loose side of the canyon.

Tank Bridge

and found an arch or bridge, but it’s only 6″ tall. If this is Tank Bridge some cartographer needs to die a slow painful death.

Tank Bridge

We wandered about all over the ridge above the side canyon but there didn’t appear to be another way down than the way we came up, Biff doesn’t like backtracking and wanted to climb the canyon walls.

Tank Bridge Tank Bridge

Just a trickle of water feeds the tanks in the main canyon.

Tank Bridge

So back to camp without finding the bridge, studying the original map it seems maybe the bridge was closer to the entrance of the side canyon above the tank with the pouroff but that area had steep tall walls, another expedition will need to be mounted in the future..

This night was our last on King Road, time to start heading north. It was a nice spot but with limited and somewhat uncomfortable hiking options with all the rocks and cholla.

Mojave Snowbird Trip – Tank Arch

I am camped on King Road which continues up the hill from my site and through a gap in the mountains to the east, I had to see where it went.

As I drove through the gap I happened to look over at exactly the right moment to see a tiny arch high on the ridge

Tiny Arch Tiny Arch Closeup Desert Range

I drove about 10 miles east of the tiny arch on King Road but it crosses a large expanse of flat and fairly featureless desert so I turned back. This area is marked on the map as part of the Yuma Testing Grounds used for live fire but I don’t think they use it any more as all the signs were covered up. On the western side of US95 there are signs on every road telling you to get a range pass before entering.

Discovered Arch

When I was exploring the area for camp site possibilities I noticed a small road heading south just before the gap so I decided that would be a good place for a walk with Biff today. We walked down the road then took a detour to avoid a camper and there it was, another arch!

Tiny Arch

This one looked like it might be accessible.

Tiny Arch

Climbing up to the arch I came across this cactus growing out of the vertical face of rock.

Tiny Arch

Almost there.

Tiny Arch

Since it’s not marked on the map I’ll call it Biff Arch

Tiny Arch

Rare selfie, getting a bit shaggy after a couple of weeks on the road.

Tiny Arch

Looking back the way we came.

Tiny Arch

Last view of the arch, the angle of the canyon on the other side made it invisible from that direction.

Tiny Arch

The way down from the arch, it was a bit of scramble in places.

Tiny Arch

Lots of desert flowers in bloom.

Tiny Arch

An Ocotillo sprouting leaves, they pop out of the stems after a rain and fall off as the area dries out.

Tiny Arch

Looking back at the exit canyon, the arch is in the shadow in the middle of the picture.

Mojave Snowbird Trip – Kofa Arch

Nothing much happened in the middle of nowhere today. I thought about going to Quartzsite where the Gem & Mineral Pow Wow started today, but by the time we had walked it seemed too late, maybe tomorrow.

On one of the maps I have of the area there are several natural arches mentioned, one is just up the road from camp so we went to find it. We walked along an old road, number 0029, to the beginning of the hills through lots of ocotillo, cholla and rock. Turning around I suddenly saw the arch – way up there on top.

Look carefully at the skyline on top of the ridge.
Nasty zoomed in picture taken with the phone.

That was about the extent of our exploring!

As we arrived at camp I liked the way the Caravan looked through the Ocotillo.

Mojave Snowbird Trip – King Road Camp

Up early this morning to get to King Road before all the other people, my plan worked pretty well and I found a nice spot with a good view, right after I got set up 4 RVs pulled into the spot next to mine! They are about 200 feet away so not terrible.

Biff approves.
Biff likes the view, later in the day we walked up to the valley in the centre of the mountains
Looking back towards camp, The Caravan is just visible.
We are actually just outside the refuge
Sunset from camp was magnificent.

Mojave Snowbird Trip – Palm Canyon, Kofa

Having spent a couple of days at camp it was time to ‘do something’. Palm Canyon in Kofa Wildlife Refuge had been recommended. (Kofa comes from King of Arizona)

The rain had left some large puddles on the road out of camp.
All the humidity after the rain made it slightly hazy in the desert, Kofa Wildlife Refuge.

Palm Canyon is in a small range of mountains in the centre of Kofa, there is a rough trail into the canyon which cuts deep into the mountains. This is the only place in Arizona where native palm trees still grow, ironically they are California Palms.

The palms are in the crevice on the far side of the canyon, apparently there are a few more dotted around but the majority are here.

The official trail is only half a mile long and stops at the view of the palms but many people have gone further, the trail was sometimes hard to follow and involved scrambling over damp rocks in places, I managed another half mile.

Looking further up into Palm Canyon.
Everything in the canyon had sprung to life with the rains.
The end of the trail for me, it was completely overgrown and rocky.

After visiting Palm Canyon I drove further southeast in Kofa and up King Road. There was some nice scenery and great camping spots so I decided to move my camp here in the morning.