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Kofa Butte - KOFA
4 Photosets

2017-01-14  
2017-01-14  
2017-01-14  
2016-01-26  
mini location map2017-01-14
15 by photographer avatarchumley
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Kofa Butte - KOFASouthwest, AZ
Southwest, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 14 2017
chumley
Hiking8.24 Miles 2,118 AEG
Hiking8.24 Miles   4 Hrs   56 Mns   1.84 mph
2,118 ft AEG      28 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
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DallinW
Tough_Boots
The Kofas are a long drive from the valley (but not as long as most people seem to think), and a day trip is best served by a few more miles than one of the many excellent peaks. Of course, an overnight makes it even better!

Kofa Butte isn't too long of a hike mileage wise, so I put together a route for some more exploring in the area. We ended up taking more mileage than expected to get up and down the butte, and decided to eliminate TWO separate options resulting in a fairly short day. But I'd like to explore more out in this part of the range. Some of these canyons are really special.

We started at the wilderness boundary at the end of Yaqui Wash and headed east around the north side of butte, having read that the only possible approach is from the east side somewhere. This was a bit of a butt-kicker. I usually prefer to go straight up or down a slope rather than fight against the fall-line. We found a good break and traversed some more before having to scramble a bit to get up on the plateau. From there we took the leisurely route, circumnavigating almost the entire plateau. The views are great and those walls are vertical and very high up!

When we finally pushed for the summit, we realized there were two options, and the topo map is totally inaccurate. But we got to explore the top for a while. The southern end is the high point and there's a very impressive summit cairn there. Barbara Lilley and friends placed the register in 1982, and it has received far fewer than one entry per year. We were the first in two years.

On the way down we tried to find another route, but for fear of cliffing out, we cut down not far from where we had come up. As we hiked the flatlands below, it was apparent that there was a good break and route on the east/southeast just below the cliff (see my photos).

We got down to Moonshine Gulch and headed for Kofa Dam, which is a fascinating structure. I would have loved to see the "lake" filled up behind it! From there we headed downstream back toward the truck. The canyon narrowed and got rough, and we had to bypass a huge 50+ foot dryfall. I don't think water runs here very often, but that one would be amazing to see.
Geology
Geology
Natural Arch

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Kofa Dam Wash Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
Hadn't rained in at least a week, but pools in bedrock

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Yaqui Wash Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
Hadn't rained in over a week, but pools in bedrock
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33s over 45s
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chumley's
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