|Guide||♦||1 Triplog||Mine 0||0 Topics|
A delightful basin exploration
Follow an easily navigated off-trail route through scenic canyons up to a delightful basin with rugged peaks all around. There is absolutely no shade on this trip, so it is best done in winter when the sun is low and you are protected from the sun by the surrounding peaks. The route passes at least two old mines, with their abandoned tracks and equipment.
Park in a large flat area overlooking Lopez Wash, where a clear animal trail comes up out of the wash. Follow the animal trail down into the wash, across multiple streams, aiming for the low spot in the ridge ahead where the wash emerges. You may encounter 4x4 tracks in the wash, but they will eventually end where the wash becomes impassible to vehicles. The wash walking is sandy but not difficult.
There are many wind-eroded small arches along this trip. Nothing huge, but if you carry a long lens, you might get some interesting photos. At times burros roam these washes; you might see or hear them, as well as bighorn sheep. Old mine workings can be seen at an inaccessible position on the left, and then later, there is an accessible mine entrance with old tracks on the right.
Turn left out of the wash at about 4.8 miles, and follow a burro track up over a small pass into a tributary drainage. When you hit the next wash, follow it left downstream a short distance, and then turn right up the main wash toward another pass.
After reaching the second pass, you are in a basin with rugged peaks all around. Here you can wander, take pictures, and contemplate the silence. Animal tracks might lead you further, or perhaps they could show you a way around the various drop-offs and cliffs at the edge of the basin. There are ample opportunities for exploration before returning the way you came.
Check out the Official Route and Triplog.