Dr. Suess was here!
This hike is in the Gila Mountains just east of Yuma, a forbidding-looking range. It has many canyons which are fairly easy to hike up, however. Its peaks are very steep and rugged.
After parking the car on "14 1/2 E" follow north to Maria de Fortuna. Then access the wash between these streets as seen in this map
. Do not cross anything marked private. Follow this trail / old road into the canyon.
Once the trail dips down to the wash, follow the wash right to where there is a pronounced split. You can choose either the left or the right fork. The right fork is 1/2 mile longer than the left and the beginning is not BLM land. Following ATV tracks at first, eventually you will get to an area where they can't go any more, and you are boulder-hopping up the bottom of a usually dry creek, which runs only briefly during rainstorms.
By now the geology has changed from the gloomy black to a beautifully sculptured tan granite, with formations reminiscent of Dr. Suess drawings. Little mini-caves abound, looking like Lilliputian dwellings. There are a few turrets and hoodoos as well. Vegetation includes paloverde, ironwood, saguaro, cholla and the occasional small elephant tree. Smell the elephant tree leaves if they are green, very pleasant aroma.
The left fork has a split at the very end, but you can see that both forks box out. Return the same way.
Take binoculars along to enjoy the interesting rocks. There may be petroglyphs here and there, but I didn't see any, but have heard there are some. There isn't a lot of wildlife in the Gila Mountains, but there are quite a few birds and reptiles. - Dec 14 2008 azbackpackr