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Sand Tank Mtns Plus, AZ
mini location map2018-01-06
29 by photographer avatarRedRoxx44
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Sand Tank Mtns Plus, AZ 
Sand Tank Mtns Plus, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 06 2018
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
This time the operator wanted more details, and warned me to stay out of the "red" areas, as there would be live fire over the weekend. So, this was interesting in light of later.
Wrong entrance had me sand wash running, then back to I-8 and in the right way. Drove to the old cabin, saw a large rock display for someone in 1979, then did a cross country and walked across a large pot sherd site, in the hundreds, mostly plain ware, some tools, no ruins although two knolls obviously cleared off. Checked the spring developed into a well, some water way on down there, pretty useless unless birds or insects.

Drove back and took the long, long connector road. Up/down across many washes along the rolling bajada. At the "T" I turned right, and shortly saw the old small smelter remains, and looked over some of the ore and in the near distance some quartz outcrops. Now I headed east, away from the edge of the active bombing. Part of this road enchanting as I drove through a huge stand of tall saguaros, the edge of the road literally inches from some of the giants. I stopped here and just walked among them, it was so pleasant. The niceness ended. The roads in here vary from fair to terrible. I stopped in at an old mining area, the ore very attractive and the diggings impressive with a huge shaft. There was also a wildlife guzzler here. Most of the ones I saw were dry.

As I walked up a short old road to another digging I heard an electronic whining noise, saw a flash of light in my peripheral vision, then in just a split second "boom!" I thought wow! Out in the distant flats I got a shot of the smoke plume. All day Sat and Sun it would be quiet, then the drone of distant aircraft.

I traveled on, the road just a PITA, I wouldn't call it a road, just a route some quad riders put in. Take a vehicle in here with a really good suspension, tires and clearance, probably more important than 4wd. You'll cycle the suspension a lot, with some frame twisting thrown in, very rocky.

I was getting tired of the driving and camped out in the flats at the foot of the most beautiful area of these mountains in my opinion. As I crawled in the back a vehicle slowly came by me but did not stop. Only other person I would see in the two days.

Morning I drove a little farther and parked. I had been in this area before a few years back. I remember the road became terrible and I wasn't driving it. Makes a great hiking route. Even quads would have problems on this thing. Maybe dirt bikes or a rock crawler with 40 inch tires.
The views along here are ridiculous. Throw in some rock bound pools, some indian ruins, some arches and you have a great place. I remember I did some crazy off trail semi ridgeline route I didn't want to do today. I found the alcove again with the poor pictographs and descended the pouroffs along a route I should have been committed, to do.
Pleasant amble back to the car, then drive out. Topo maps not much help in here but I labeled the road sign numbers on the maps I had printed.

Want to come back for more, of course, especially along the other side of the one ridgeline, and the many alcoves, some of which I have covered. Oh, and had to call to tell them I was out. Different from the farther west part of the range.
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