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The Best Hikes in Desert District - Needles BLM

7 Triplog Reviews in the Desert District - Needles BLM
Most recent of 5 deeper Triplog Reviews
6.83 mi • 876 ft aeg
This is such a fun hike, and I can't believe I've wintered nearby for the past four winters and only just recently heard about it!

I just found out, via a bit of online research, that there are also some red pictographs (painted rock art) in the canyon as well, and I will look for those next time I go. I have a meetup event planned for March 25th.

The brittlebush is blooming. I also saw a lovely flower new to me, which I found out is called Broomrape, (Orobanchaceae).
4.03 mi • 601 ft aeg
This hike is mostly in California, but when I posted the GPS route it forced me to use Nevada, because the starting point is in Nevada, and so is the first part of the access road, which is the historic Mojave Road. That is annoying, but whatever. This was a scouting hike to see if I could find any petroglyphs in the canyon. Since I had a friend with me who wasn't feeling up for the walk, I said I'd go as far as finding the first one or two of them, and then turn back. I did see a couple of them. I don't even know if there are any panels or what, but I will go back later to see. As you can see from my GPS hike route, I did not reach the main area of petroglyphs. But that's okay. It's only a few miles from where I live, and I can go back with someone who wants to hike all the way in, or by myself.

Next time I will either crop the GPS route so it will be entirely in CA, or I will not turn the GPS on until I have walked about 20 feet up the wash, and am in CA.

You MUST have 4 wheel drive to get to the trailhead, or walk from the Needles Highway. Here is the GPS route to the trailhead:
[ gps route ]

This is in a wilderness area, but as you can see from the map, there is an old Jeep road that crosses the Dead Mountains in this canyon, and it is popular with ATVers and dirt bikers. They are breaking the law by riding it, but the road has been there for a lot longer than the wilderness area, so maybe they feel justified. Certainly the BLM isn't doing much to stop it. Although I didn't see anyone, there were plenty of fresh tracks.

It's an interesting canyon.

Brittle bush is blooming a little bit.
9.58 mi • 1,044 ft aeg
Mopah Palms
This is a grove of native California palms in the Turtle Mountains. It's not often visited. I had been here before, and had wanted to hike out here and spend the night, so that's what we did.

We had hoped to see some bighorn sheep, but I saw scant trace of them (a few old droppings) which surprised me, since there is a viable and active spring at the palm grove. We did find petroglyphs, which I hadn't seen before, a grinding hole (aka bedrock mortar), a bit of "lithic scatter" (the chips left over after a person makes arrowheads), and some small brown pottery shards. I photographed the chips and shards, and then hid them back under the dirt where I'd found them. It is both illegal and unethical to remove them. I shouldn't have to say that, but new people go into the outdoors every day, and we need to let them know some basics.

The petroglyphs seem to indicate the palm grove and water source, but of course, no one can know the exact meaning of the panel. It must have been a hardscrabble life out there.

There were hummingbirds around in those flowers by the palms, and we saw a couple of phainopepla while hiking in the wash.

The stars at night were wonderful, of course, and I'd brought with me a star chart and small guidebook. At night, the lights of Lake Havasu City are visible far away, seen down toward the end of the canyon.

What are these flowers (in photo)?
8.5 mi • 653 ft aeg
This was a nice solo day hike to the grove of native Washingtonian Palms in the Turtle Mountains. Although I recorded this as a "dripping" spring, there is a nice little pool of water about the size of a bathtub that it drips into. A few yards up, at the other end of the small palm grove, there is another part of the spring, which runs down a rock.

I'm just cleaning up after myself. I did this hike in December 2016, as you can see, but I posted only the GPS route, never a triplog or photos of that particular day. I hiked it again recently as an overnighter, and posted a hike description as well as a triplog.
4.49 mi • 264 ft aeg
I didn't make it all the way to the palm grove at Mopah Spring. My foot started aching (again) in the area where I had the stress fracture last summer. I should have driven a little further on the road, to make the hike shorter. But driving further meant some real 4WD across the wash. I think I'll do it as a quick overnight backpack, which would be easier on my foot. Actually, a slow backpack, to take it easier on the foot! :? After I do that I can post a description.

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