A short introductory hike to the Turtle Mountain Wilderness. It begins near an old mine, offers views of Mexican Hat and far away mountain ranges, and ends with the potential to find a unique petroglyph.
After checking out the Lisa Dawn mine (now covered by a very hefty metal "lid"), we picked up the trail to Mohawk Spring. Being out in the middle of nowhere it was surprising to find the trail in such good condition and it was evident that substantial work had been put into building it. The path gently curved around two unnamed peaks, generally in a southwestern direction, and offered various views of Mexican Hat peak (so-named for its resemblance to a sombrero) and distant mountain ranges.
In the last 1/10th of a mile we came to the convergence of two slopes, where it appeared that the trail drops down and then up to curve around a third hillside. However, to get to the springs, one must leave the more obvious trail and hike up the drainage, headed due south. Oddly, the path to the springs had been "blocked off" by three separate lines of rocks.
During our visit the springs were not flowing, but we assumed the main one would have been located near or at the base of a large (by Mojave desert standards) tree. Above the tree and a little to the right, the spring had been dug out, but it was also dry. We searched around for the Blueprint Petroglyph but didn’t luck out.
On the return trip, with only about a ¼ mile to get back to the start, we took a less-used side trail on our left to check out two piles of white rocks. Upon examination the rocks had been painted and the second one (above the trail on the left) had the writing “Mohawk #1” and “Nend Center”. We pondered the significance of the writing and why the rocks were there but came up with no definitive answers. Perhaps mining claims? It was a very pleasant hike that left us wondering.
Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.
WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.
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