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Mopah Peak Viewing Knoll, CA

Guide 2 Triplogs  0 Topics
  3 of 5 
no permit
13 2 0
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Difficulty 1 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance One Way 2.25 miles
Trailhead Elevation 1,603 feet
Elevation Gain 246 feet
Accumulated Gain 273 feet
Avg Time One Way 1.5 - 2 hour
Kokopelli Seeds 3.16
Interest Historic
Backpack Possible - Not Popular
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3  2018-02-06 AZWanderingBear
10  2018-02-06 Steph_and_Blake
Author Steph_and_Blake
author avatar Guides 100
Routes 61
Photos 2,522
Trips 176 map ( 751 miles )
Age 72 Male Gender
Location Grand Junction, CO
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Feb, Nov, Jan, Dec → Early
Seasons   Late Autumn to Late Spring
Sun  4:27am - 6:54pm
Official Route
1 Alternative

Memory. It’s a good thing to have. Either that or you make notes and refer to them at the appropriate time. Unfortunately, neither method worked for me on this hike.

I was especially looking forward to this jaunt because the destination offered palm trees, a spring, and petroglyphs. We were getting a late start as we’d lazily broke camp that morning. But, no big deal, the hike was only 5 miles roundtrip with a modest elevation gain.

From the trailhead you follow an old road, headed east-southeast. After coming to a very substantial stone windbreak or the remains (?) of a stone building, the trail follows a wash, still headed southeast. The canyon walls are covered with dark brown rocks and little vegetation. But in the wash there was brittlebush, palo verde, a fragrant bush with small purple flowers, an occasional red fishhook barrel cactus, and a couple chollas thrown in for good measure.

The further into the wash you get, the more you see of Mopah Peak (which is considered the most difficult mountain to climb in the Turtle Mountain Wilderness). But, our goal wasn’t to scale Mopah. It was to see the palms and petroglyphs. Just then the glint of glass or metal up on a small rise caught our eye. We scrambled up to find an old jar containing very brittle paper and indecipherable writing. With a pleasing view of Mopah Peak we chose to plop down and enjoy lunch.

About this time I consulted the GPS. Hhhmmmm... we’d hiked over two miles, but had only covered about half the distance to the spring. How could that be? That means the hike is more like 8+ miles roundtrip. Was I confusing this hike with another one we'd mapped out for this outing? Still puzzled and knowing we still had many miles to drive and camp to set up, we chose to have a leisurely lunch on our viewing knoll and head back. The palms and glyphs would have to wait for another day.

P.S. Yes, my memory failed me and, no, I didn’t bother to consult my notes prior to setting out. The hike out to the spring is 8.2 miles roundtrip.

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2018-02-11 Steph_and_Blake

    One-Way Notice
    This hike is listed as One-Way.

    When hiking several trails on a single "hike", log it with a generic name that describes the hike. Then link the trails traveled, check out the example.
    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.

    Permit $$

    Map Drive
    FR / Jeep Road - Car possible when dry

    To hike
    From Blythe, CA, take Route 95 north for 59 miles. Turn left onto dirt road for Mopah Springs. Follow road to the end.
    page created by Steph_and_Blake on Feb 11 2018 9:54 am
    90+° 8am - 6pm kills
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