After looking over the maps of the Barry Goldwater Range, I decided it was high time to check out the Copper Mountains - a ragged range that pops out of the desert all by itself, about 10-15 miles south of I-8 near Tacna. I hadn't seen any information about the Copper Mountains, other than the Betty Lee Mine, and wanted to get a look at them, preferably from the top
We were able to drive good roads nearly all the way to the vicinity of Betty Lee Tank. Three hunters were in the canyon (the first people - other than Border Patrol - that I've ever seen on the Goldwater!). I asked where they'd be hunting, as I didn't want to disturb their chances, but we were heading different directions and wished each other good day.
Up a gully we went, passing alien-like rock formations. This gully got us on an airy ridge, halfway up Copper's east side. Staying on the ridge when we could, and traversing beneath a massive cliff complex 500 ft. below the top, we made relatively quick work of the hike, making the summit of the Coppers in 2 hours. The range is full of deep, complex canyons and shows no signs of civilization, excepting the radio towers a few hundred yards away from the rocky, craggy top.
We enjoyed the still and quiet air for awhile before making our way down to the car. As the Goldwater roads go, this one was busy today. 4 cars passed us in total (!) on the way out, probably either hunting or off to see the Betty Lee Mine. Even if you don't climb all the way to the top of the Coppers, they're worth the closer look.