|Hiking||15.00 Miles||4 Days |
|2,000 ft AEG|
|Our group of six (plus one dog) would spend parts of four days along the El Camino Del Diablo. We started in Ajo on Friday night and moved camp each day. We did a variety of hikes & stopped at the landmarks along the way. Here is a list of our activities.|
After exchanging pleasantries and setting up camp, we had about an hour of daylight so we headed for this small rock formation about a mile away. We went cross country and had to avoid a lot of sharp cacti along the way. We topped out and enjoyed the views and then headed back to camp and settled in for the evening.
John the Baptist
We packed up on our first full day and headed west with a quick stop at John the Baptist Mountains. This was another off trail hike with a solid climb to the summit. Nice views and a good warm up for the rest of the trip.
Cinder & Border
We continued driving for a solid hour and then stopped near the border to check out some cool Cinders. Along the hike we detoured to the border and took some pics and had some fun. After that we hiked into the Cinder where a huge cairn marks the middle. We found it best to enter the caldera from the south where a small break was present. The rest of the cinder was very steep and crumbly.
We arrived at our camp on the end of day 2 and found the general area loaded with jeeps well spaced out. They pretty much took up the entire camping area. We wanted to camp close by, after speaking to border patrol, so we drove a half mile to the north and camp in a wide flat area. We would enjoy the Well area on the start of day 3.
We started off day 3 with a quick stop at the Well and then drove a few miles wet to the Tank. This was a very rugged area and this is the only water for miles and miles. We parked and made the easy mile hike to the tank. There was a small pool that I would only drink if I'm dying. It looked nasty. We explored the general area and then returned to the vehicles.
Grave of 8
This was a quick stop roughly a half mile off the road. The info book said a group of 6 or 8 people died here of exposure in the early part of the 1900's.
After talking to Border Patrol, we picked out a campsite near the Tinajas Altas Mountains. This was a great site blocked in by a large rock outcrop that provided a good windbreak. We were able to do two hikes right out camp and really enjoyed our time here. We headed the tanks after setting up camp and then hiked into a basin on the start of day four. This was a great area and all of us would love to return and use this a multiday base camp.
The last stop on our ride out was the Fortuna Mine. We spent about an hour exploring the area. It's amazing they were able to support the operation here. An info sign said they pumped water in from eight miles away. After we had our fill, we cruised out the last few miles and were back on pavement and headed home.
This was an interesting area. The geology is fascinating! It's rugged and beautiful. There were a lot of rugged peaks that are worth a return trip. I'm glad we drove the entire length but I wouldn't want to do it again. I would only want to come in on the west end. The drive got to me at times. I'm sure it's more fun if you're driving. And Chumley did offer at one point but I declined. Other than that, I'm really glad I got to check out this part of the country. Thanks Chumley for driving and thanks Belinda for all the research and organizing.