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Mopah Spring, CA

no permit
49 3 0
Guide 3 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List CA > Inland
5 of 5 by 1
HAZ reminds you to respect the ruins. Please read the Archaeological Resources Protection Act of 1979 & Ruins Etiquette
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Difficulty 2.5 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance Round Trip 8.5 miles
Trailhead Elevation 1,605 feet
Elevation Gain 636 feet
Accumulated Gain 653 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 4 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 11.77
Interest Off Trail Hiking, Ruins, Historic & Seasonal Creek
Backpack Possible - Not Popular
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Photos Viewed All Mine Following
30  2018-01-16
Mopah Palms
12  2016-12-13 azbackpackr
7  2016-12-07
Turtle Mountain Wilderness Trails
Author azbackpackr
author avatar Guides 26
Routes 365
Photos 4,732
Trips 720 map ( 5,214 miles )
Age 66 Female Gender
Location Flag-summer-Needles-winter
Associated Areas
list map done
Desert District - Needles BLM
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Feb, Nov, Jan, Dec → 9 AM
Seasons   Late Autumn to Early Spring
Sun  5:23am - 5:44pm
Official Route
3 Alternative
Flora Nearby
Named place Nearby
Mo Pah Wah Tuya!
by azbackpackr

This is a hike to an active spring with native California Fan Palms (Washingtonian Palm, Washingtonia filifera). The spring itself is very small, so if you plan to backpack camp nearby, bring your own water. Although this would generally be considered an easy day hike, I did it as an overnight backpack one time because I thought it would be fun to spend the night out there, and it was. There's a really good campsite above and just to the south of the grove. Nice views in every direction.

The route-finding for the hike is very easy at first: just follow the wash upstream. There are easy ways to follow it, and harder ways, but just follow it. Eventually, after almost 4 miles, it starts to narrow, and you climb up onto a bench, and then you will soon see the tops of the palms in the near distance. At this point you will have almost passed Mopah Peak. Once you see the palms, you may also find there is a trail on the top of the bench, made by burros and bighorn sheep on their way to water.

This is BLM land, and no permit is necessary to hike or camp.

Near the palms you may find signs of ancient Native Americans having camped nearby. They used pottery, they did flintknapping (made arrowheads), and they carved petroglyphs. If you find any pottery shards or any rock chips left over from flintknapping, please just take photos of these items and return them to where you found them. Never ever stack them in a pile on a flat rock, and if you find them stacked this way, scatter them! If you find any petroglyphs, take photos, do not touch. The oils from your hands can damage them.

On my several visits to the palms I hoped to see bighorn sheep, but saw none, and in fact, saw only very old droppings--nothing recent. Also, there are no recent signs of burros in the area.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

Leave No Trace and +Add a Triplog after your hike to support this local community.

2018-03-03 azbackpackr
    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.

    Most recent Triplog Reviews
    Mopah Spring
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    Mopah Palms
    This is a grove of native California palms in the Turtle Mountains. It's not often visited. I had been here before, and had wanted to hike out here and spend the night, so that's what we did.

    We had hoped to see some bighorn sheep, but I saw scant trace of them (a few old droppings) which surprised me, since there is a viable and active spring at the palm grove. We did find petroglyphs, which I hadn't seen before, a grinding hole (aka bedrock mortar), a bit of "lithic scatter" (the chips left over after a person makes arrowheads), and some small brown pottery shards. I photographed the chips and shards, and then hid them back under the dirt where I'd found them. It is both illegal and unethical to remove them. I shouldn't have to say that, but new people go into the outdoors every day, and we need to let them know some basics.

    The petroglyphs seem to indicate the palm grove and water source, but of course, no one can know the exact meaning of the panel. It must have been a hardscrabble life out there.

    There were hummingbirds around in those flowers by the palms, and we saw a couple of phainopepla while hiking in the wash.

    The stars at night were wonderful, of course, and I'd brought with me a star chart and small guidebook. At night, the lights of Lake Havasu City are visible far away, seen down toward the end of the canyon.

    What are these flowers (in photo)?
    Mopah Spring
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    This was a nice solo day hike to the grove of native Washingtonian Palms in the Turtle Mountains. Although I recorded this as a "dripping" spring, there is a nice little pool of water about the size of a bathtub that it drips into. A few yards up, at the other end of the small palm grove, there is another part of the spring, which runs down a rock.

    I'm just cleaning up after myself. I did this hike in December 2016, as you can see, but I posted only the GPS route, never a triplog or photos of that particular day. I hiked it again recently as an overnighter, and posted a hike description as well as a triplog.
    Mopah Spring
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    I didn't make it all the way to the palm grove at Mopah Spring. My foot started aching (again) in the area where I had the stress fracture last summer. I should have driven a little further on the road, to make the hike shorter. But driving further meant some real 4WD across the wash. I think I'll do it as a quick overnight backpack, which would be easier on my foot. Actually, a slow backpack, to take it easier on the foot! :? After I do that I can post a description.

    Permit $$

    Map Drive
    High Clearance possible when dry

    To hike
    From Phoenix, follow I-10 west to Vicksburg Rd. in La Paz County. Take exit 45 from I-10 west.
    1 h 23 min (98.8 mi)
    Then take AZ-72 W and AZ-95 N to CA-62 W in San Bernardino County.
    1 h 17 min (71.4 mi) to Vidal Junction, California 92280.
    Then follow CA-95 north 11 miles to a dirt road, BLM #634, which heads west (left), between mileposts 21 and 22.
    Follow this (partly four-wheel drive) road 3.9 miles to the kiosk for the trail. (High clearance 2WD might make it.)
    page created by azbackpackr on Mar 03 2018 7:13 am
    2+ mi range whistle
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