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Javelina Mine Trail
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mini location map2011-01-16
12 by photographer avatarCharger55
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Javelina Mine TrailPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 16 2011
Hiking8.20 Miles 450 AEG
Hiking8.20 Miles   5 Hrs      1.64 mph
450 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
This was the hike I intended to do last week but couldn't because I left all my route info at home. This time I made sure I was prepared with route descriptions and a carefully plotted topo map.

The Javelina Mine Trail is pretty straight-forward. The scenry doesn't really get good until you get near Checkmate Arch. There are well-defined trails leading up to the cave below the arch. Then it's a scramble up to the arch itself. Seeing it up close, it's bigger than I expected. Another quick scramble up to the summit will reward you with great 360-degree views. Particularly, I enjoyed the views of Little Four Peaks from an angle not often seen.

Near the junction of Javelina and Golden Eye Mine Trails there is a mine shaft on the right side of the trail. On this trip it was filled in with water. Not sure how deep it goes.

From there I took the Golden Eye Mine Trail until I spotted the Golden Eye Arches to the left. They don't look like much and getting to them is a tough bushwhack up a wash choked in vegetation and covered in scree. It was considerable work just to see very little. Next time I'll avoid this trail and get my eyeful of the arches from a distance.

Backtracking to the Golden Eye Mine Trail I continued on to Willow Springs Basin. There was still water in the basin tank from last week's rain. I wouldn't mind being in this area around dusk just to see what critters come out to drink from the tank.

After exploring the basin I headed cross country over the hillside on the left and dropped down into the Quartz Crystal Arroyo. This was by far the best part of the day. This is a beautiful hike down a wash with interesting rock colorations and plenty of pools of water to keep you on your toes. There is a faint trail to follow and but most of the time it's just hiking in the wash.

The Quartz Crystal Arroyo empties out right near what I think was the Golden Eye mining claim. There were two stakes in the ground that said "W. Golden Eye" and N. Golden Eye." However, I saw very little evidence of digging. From here the trails joins up with the Golden Eye Mine trail again and you head out the way you came.

Without a GPS it's tough to pinpoint how far I went, but I'm estimating this lasso loop hike with short side excurions was about 8.2 miles.
"I've driven across deserts, driven by the irony, that only being shackled to the road could ever I be free"
- Frank Turner "The Road"
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