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Lopez Wash
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mini location map2022-12-16
9 by photographer avatarGrangerGuy
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Lopez WashSouthwest, AZ
Southwest, AZ
Hiking13.00 Miles 1,600 AEG
Hiking13.00 Miles   8 Hrs      2.17 mph
1,600 ft AEG   2 Hrs    Break15 LBS Pack
1st trip
Linked   none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I had laid out a loop route based on some GPX tracks I had obtained without comments. I eventually concluded that owner of that track must have been carrying canyoneering gear. My route ended at the top of a tall pourover that I couldn’t find a way around. But I found a perfectly lovely hike up the Lopez Wash, and then up to a pretty basin with plenty of options for wandering.

I started around midwinter sunrise, 7:25 am, with a temperature of 39°. It was much colder than Phoenix; a little surprising because it was lower, but also there was no concrete “heat island” there. Before too long, I was walking on 4x4 tracks that annoyingly extended past the unsigned wilderness boundary. Although wind was forecast for this day, there was no wind, and no sounds from animals, aircraft, or insects. It was totally silent except for my footsteps. I lost count of the number of wind-eroded small arches along this trip.

I had planned to leave the wash and head up a tributary wash, but before long there was a small pourover to climb. It would have been possible, but would not have been friendly for a published guide, so I backed out and went around, following an animal track up another small canyon to get to the basin. One can see this deadend in my track.

As I got higher, the vegetation became less sparse, with some cholla, prickly pear, a few saguaros and more palo verde trees. Continuing upward along a wash, I had intended to go out a different drainage, but I encountered only precipitous drops that I could not negotiate.

Eventually I retraced my steps back to the Lopez Wash and down. It would be possible to turn this hike into an inverted lasso loop. I climbed up an old jeep road that eventually would have gone around the mountain back to my car, but it really wasn’t very pretty. One can see the stub of this loop where I checked it out in my posted track. I decided to return to my car via the Lopez Wash.

The default Google Maps route to the trailhead does not work because the road east of Cibola Lake through the Cibola Wildlife Refuge has been closed off. See the driving route in the guide.

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