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The Best Hikes in Turtle Mountains Wilderness

12 Triplog Reviews in the Turtle Mountains Wilderness
Most recent of 6 deeper Triplog Reviews
4.5 mi • 243 ft aeg
Started off at a decent TH with some informational signage at the wilderness boundary. The trail begins as a tral and then drops into a wash. Along the way there is an old airstrip carved graded into a flat area and what might have been a stone cabin, now just a wall. Steph said 5 miles round trip. Mopah Peak looked a little farther than that, but it was a nice morning. Lesson learned. Old rocks know where they are. GPS tracks might lie.

We stopped off to check an old mine claim marker. The little knoll had a nice view so theat became both our lunch break and turn around point since we had to find our next campsite as well as replenish our ice at Vidal Junction. (Possibly ice cream was consumed there as well the ice replenishment.) A coyote, the largest animal we'd seen yet in the Turtle Wilderness, entertained us during our repast as he tried to slink away unnoticed.

I'm sure the Mpah Springs would have been wonderful, but this was a nice little hike.
5.22 mi • 675 ft aeg
Day 3 of our Turtle Mountain Wilderness trip with Steph and Blake. We drove the bumpy road to the trailhead from camp, 4x4 high clearance required.

The hike was fairly easy even though the day was unseasonably warm. We found two seeps near the coordinates for Coffin Springs. There was some plumbing and a metal tank down lower making it obvious the springs used to be more productive.

Blake found us a good lunch spot with a great view and evidence of mountain sheep using it for shelter.

The geology on display here is amazing.
5.14 mi • 552 ft aeg
Day 2 of our adventure with Steph and Blake found us waking up on the NE edge of the Turtle Mountain Wilderness. Haven't heard of it before you say? Neither had I until Steph mentioned it. We had gotten in a bit behind schedule the evening before. The roads range form easy to somewhat of a challenge. We scouted for a good camp spot right at dusk. MJ and I elected to sleep under the stars and really enjoyed the experience. With a good breakfast in us, we all set off for Mohawk Springs.

We explored the mine at the trail head noting that the trailhead makes an excellent campsite with a picnic table and some level ground. The hike is an easy trail over a saddle, along some large rock outcroppings and down into a wash. We scrambled up the wash looking for the spring (dry) and glyphs (not found). Noted some claim marker cairns on a small side trail and explored those on the return.

Not having enough mileage yet, we went off exploring the Lost Arch Inn, surrounding prospects, a unique old car corral created by BLM when they took old wrecks out of the wilderness area upon its designation as such. We rambled over to Lisa Dawn Camp visiting the site of a grave we'd seen annotated on a USGS map. The collection of rusty cans at Lisa Dawn had us guessing at the original contents. Certain some were evaporated milk.

The explorations made for a nice day. We returned to camp for tasty refreshments and stimulating conversation, a pattern that would repeat for the remainder of the adventure.
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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