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Childs Mountain, AZ
mini location map2014-02-22
9 by photographer avatarOutlander
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Childs Mountain, AZ 
Childs Mountain, AZ
 
Hiking17.00 Miles 4,000 AEG
Hiking17.00 Miles   12 Hrs      1.70 mph
4,000 ft AEG   2 Hrs    Break35 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
The mission was to hike Childs Mountain and visit a remote corner of the Cabeza Prieta Wilderness.

With easy access from SR 85, Childs Mountain is located four miles from the town of Ajo. It has a paved road that leads a radio facility at the summit, along with a place to walk around and take pictures. The BLM offers a road tour from the Cabeza Prieta main office, which ends with a scenic view from the summit of Childs Mountain. If you take the tour, be sure to bring a pair of high power binoculars or a spotting scope, lest you miss out on the action going on in the valley below.

The mountain is beset with volcanic rocks and boulders, providing a challenging off- trail experience. It was slow going in there and the rocks did not let up until I made it to the flats of Childs Valley.

The wildlife viewing was pretty good: several mule deer, rabbits, quail, and ground squirrels were spotted. No sheep or antelope this time, but they are in there. I also noticed a good number of swallows throughout the day, darting about the volcanic caves and cliffs, singing a pleasant melody.

The active bombing range to the north was buzzing with activity; military aircraft were coming and going, along with the occasional thud of exploding ordinance. The wilderness is in a pristine state except for the northern section where a smuggling trail crosses the mountain, a layup site of epic proportions. Many improvements have been made there over the years, including a labyrinth of dugouts that are used to defeat BP helicopters overhead. Within seconds, a multitude of people can vanish underground without a trace. It is a dicey place to poke around, and reminds me why policemen dislike sticking their heads into closets and attics.

It was a relief to finally reach the level ground of Childs Valley, taking a break from the rocks for a while. However, the easy walking was to be short lived, as the mountain needed to be crossed over yet again. It was here that I saw a guy clad in Vietcong-style black pajamas in the distance. He was holding a cell phone to his ear, sounding off the alarm as he ran down a wash. I called the Ajo BP station, but they declined to give chase on account of the steep terrain and distance from the road…a measly half mile. With no one willing or able to hike down there to catch him; he might as well just stayed put and flip me the bird..

A black cloud was overhead the rest of the hike, growing ever larger as I rehashed the events of the day. The BP boys at Black Gap got an earful on way the way home. Ha!
 Fauna
 Fauna [ checklist ]
[ checklist ]  Honey Bee
 Named place
 Named place [ checklist ]
[ checklist ]  Childs Mountain  Childs Valley
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Substantial
Yellow sea of brittlebush.
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