HIK­ING

Yuma Sun - Visiting In Yuma - - NEWS -

One of the best ways to truly en­joy Yuma County is go­ing out­side and tak­ing a walk or a hike.

The re­gion of­fers a va­ri­ety of walk­ing and hik­ing paths to help Yu­mans and vis­i­tors alike ex­plore the out­doors,both in Yuma County and just across the state line in neigh­bor­ing Cal­i­for­nia.

Hik­ing in the wilder­ness can be a won­drous ad­ven­ture.The desert sun­rises and sun­sets are spec­tac­u­lar, and the views from a hik­ing trail can be breath­tak­ing. Noth­ing com­pares to the desert when it blooms in the spring,bring­ing a riot of color to the land­scap­ing.

How­ever,for ev­ery mo­ment of beauty, there is a po­ten­tial dan­ger, such as rat­tlesnakes, scor­pi­ons, very spiky cac­tus, and spi­ders both ven­omous and non­ven­omous.

Be­fore you go on any of these ad­ven­tures,there are a few safety point­ers from the U.S. Bureau of Land Man­age­ment to keep in mind.

• Let a friend know where you plan to go and when you ex­pect to re­turn.Some of these re­gions are re­mote, and don’t of­fer fa­cil­i­ties or cell phone cov­er­age.

• Plan your trip,and be sure to bring plenty of wa­ter.

• Be pre­pared for ex­treme tem­per­a­tures.

• Be sure to pace your­self.Keep your lim­i­ta­tions in mind, and don’t overdo it.

• On your way out, be sure to leave no trace,and help keep these ar­eas pris­tine.

HIK­ING TRAILS LIT­TLE PI­CA­CHO WILDER­NESS AREA

Lo­cated about 25 miles from Yuma on the Cal­i­for­nia side of the Colorado River, this hike starts with a broad, white sandy wash that nar­rows into rugged bedrock canyons af­ter about 20 min­utes of hik­ing. From this point on, the hike be­comes more chal­leng­ing, as it pro­gresses through canyons.

Get­ting There: High-clear­ance ve­hi­cles are rec­om­mended.Take High­way 95 about 20 miles to Im­pe­rial Dam Road, and turn left at the Big Guns by Yuma Prov­ing Ground. Drive about six miles to Se­na­tor Wash road, and turn right.Take Se­na­tor Wash Road about three miles, and en­ter the South Mesa Im­pe­rial

Dam Long Term Vis­i­tor

Area. Fol­low the graded road though the camp­site to Fer­gu­son Lake Road,and turn right. Drive for ap­prox­i­mately 10 miles on Fer­gu­son Lake Road and park near the sand wash.Keep­ing to the far­thest right side of the wash, be­gin your hike.

MUG­GINS MOUN­TAINS WILDER­NESS

There are no de­vel­oped trails, but de­pend­ing on your fit­ness level, you can ei­ther take an easy walk through Mug­gins Wash, or a stren­u­ous climb up nearby peaks.This wilder­ness area is lo­cated about 25 miles east of Yuma.

Get­ting There: From Yuma, travel east along In­ter­state 8 to the Dome Val­ley exit. Travel east through Lig­urta to Dome Val­ley Road and turn north.Fol­low Dome Val­ley Road to Av­enue 20E.Take Av­enue 20E north to County 7th Street and turn east.Travel east on County 7th Street pas the old Dome Val­ley Trans­fer Sta­tion (small struc­ture en­closed by chain link fence). Con­tinue on pri­ma­tive road for about two miles to ac­cess Mug­gins Wash. Park near the in­for­ma­tion kiosk.High-clear­ance ve­hi­cles are rec­om­mended. For more in­for­ma­tion,call 928-317-3200 or visit

https://www.recre­ation.gov/camp­ing/ gate­ways/13435

FOR­TUNA MINE IN­TER­PRE­TIVE TRAIL

Nes­tled in the foothills of the Gila Moun­tains east of Yuma, Mine Shaft No. 2 is the head of the For­tuna Mine In­ter­pre­tive Trail. Pedestals along the trail of­fer writ­ten his­tory of the area.For­tuna once had its own post of­fice, school­house, gen­eral store and black­smith shop.To­day,the trail cov­ers about two miles,with an easy to mod­er­ate level of dif­fi­culty.

Get­ting There: A per­mit is re­quired to ac­cess the Barry M.Gold­wa­ter Range, where the trail is lo­cated.To get a per­mit, call the Gold­wa­ter Per­mit of­fice at 928269-7150.Once you have a per­mit,take the For­tuna Foothills exit from In­ter­state 8.Turn right and then im­me­di­ately left to head east on the frontage road.The frontage road will turn right into South Av­enue 15 E. Fol­low this due south to the end of the road.As the paved road con­tin­ues right,stay left un­til you reach the main en­trance to the Barry M. Gold­wa­ter Range, which is marked by a range sign. Fol­low the graded road - the For­tuna Mine In­ter­pre­tive Trail be­gins at

mile marker post B7, about 7.5 miles from the main en­trance.A vis­i­tors kiosk at the trail­head pro­vides his­tor­i­cal in­for­ma­tion and more.

PAINTED DESERT TRAIL

The Painted Desert Trail is lo­cated at the Im­pe­rial Na­tional Wildlife Refuge, near Martinez Lake.It is a self-guided loop trail that is 1.3 miles long, wind­ing over rocky mesas and down into sand washes. The Choco­late Moun­tains pro­vide a beau­ti­ful back­drop for the Colorado River,and it’s pos­si­ble to see a va­ri­ety of wildlife along the way,in­clud­ing bighorn sheep,bur­ros,jackrab­bits and more.

Get­ting There: From Yuma, take High­way 95,and turn left on Martinez Lake Road.Con­tinue on Martinez Lake Road for about 10 miles,then turn right on Red Cloud Mine Road. Fol­low the signs to the vis­i­tor’s cen­ter, where a map and di­rec­tions to the Painted Desert Trail can be found. It takes about 45 min­utes to reach the cen­ter, and the trail is lo­cated about three miles from there.

PALM CANYON TRAIL

Palm Canyon is home to an in­ter­est­ing stand of palm trees, tucked high in a side canyon.The Cal­i­for­nia fan palms are the only na­tive species of palm tree in Ari­zona.The canyon it­self was cut through a for­ma­tion of vol­canic rock,and one can some­times see bighorn sheep dur­ing early morn­ing vis­its.The trail is easy to fol­low,but does have steep sec­tions.At the trail’s end,one can look up at the nar­row side canyon, where the palms can be spot­ted.

Get­ting There: Take High­way 95 to mile­post 85.Ap­prox­i­mately 63 miles north of Yuma, watch for the brown Palm Canyon sign,and turn onto the dirt road. Fol­low the dirt road east for seven miles to a park­ing area.The nar­row canyon above the park­ing lot is Palm Canyon. A half-mile foot trail starts at the up­per end of the park­ing area, lead­ing into the canyon.

TELE­GRAPH PASS

Tele­graph Pass of­fers a chal­leng­ing path up and down a 5.3-mile-long loop. The trail to the base of the moun­tain is mod­er­ately dif­fi­cult, while the paved path up the moun­tain is dif­fi­cult, with a to­tal

el­e­va­tion gain of more than 1,200 feet.At the top, how­ever, the views are mag­nif­i­cent.

Get­ting There: Exit In­ter­state 8 at For­tuna Boule­vard,and fol­low the North Frontage Road un­til you reach the park­ing lot.

JESTER’S TRAIL

Also known as Jester’s Peak or Flag Moun­tain, this hike gains about 1,000 feet in el­e­va­tion along the way.The steep trail is nar­row,but the sum­mit has a 360 de­gree view.The hike is easy to mod­er­ate, get­ting pro­gres­sively more chal­leng­ing as one reaches the top ridge,where the ter­rain is steep with loose rock and sand.

Get­ting There: Park at Av­enue 15E/Las Bar­ran­cas,then walk about 2.5 miles up the dirt road to the trail­head.(Or,drive the dirt road and park at the turn­around).

CAS­TLE DOME

Lo­cated in the Kofa Moun­tains,this hike starts out easy,along a gen­tly slop­ing wash, then gains dif­fi­culty as it gains el­e­va­tion.The last stretch is loose rock and steep ter­rain, with lots of scram­bling.

From a dis­tance, the top of the peak is dis­tinc­tive in shape, look­ing al­most like a muf­fin or cup­cake.

Cas­tle Dome Peak has an el­e­va­tion of over 3,700 feet

Get­ting There: Take High­way 95 north to Cas­tle Dome Mine Road, and turn right.Fol­lowed the paved road (which even­tu­ally be­comes dirt) east to­ward the peak, which even­tu­ally cir­cles around Cas­tle Dome Peak, be­fore ar­riv­ing at a large wash slightly north­west of the peak, marked by a sign in­di­cat­ing no mo­tor ve­hi­cles. Park here, and fol­low the trail up, watch­ing for cairn rock trail mark­ers along the way.

PI­LOT KNOB

Lo­cated about eight miles west of Yuma, Pi­lot Knob of­fers sev­eral hikes and trails around the moun­tain.The eas­i­est to find is about 1.4 miles from the base to the flag up top, and is a mod­er­ately dif­fi­cult hike.At the top,one can see a panoramic view of Yuma, Los Al­go­dones and Felic­ity.

Get­ting There: Take In­ter­state 8 west from Yuma, and exit at Sidewinder Road. Turn left at the end of the exit ramp,and take Sidewinder Road to the moun­tain.

CITY OF YUMA WALK­ING TRAILS

If you pre­fer to keep your hikes and walks closer to town, the city of Yuma of­fers sev­eral walk­ing paths and trails. The Colorado River Trail winds from the West Wet­lands Park to the East Wet­lands, start­ing at 22nd Av­enue and Wa­ter Street, end­ing by Pa­cific Av­enue,for a to­tal of five miles.This path winds through parks and along the river’s edge, of­fer­ing some of Yuma’s best scenery.

That route also con­nects to the East Main Canal Path, which runs from Av­enue A and Colorado Street to 40th Street, a 6.5-mile ad­ven­ture.

There is also a horse trail in that area, run­ning along the West Wet­lands Park for 1.5 miles.

The 20th Street Bike Path runs from 20th Street and Av­enue B to the East Main Canal, about 8/10 of a mile.

Carver Track, at 5th Street and 13th Av­enue,is 400 me­ters long,and four laps is equiv­a­lent to one mile.

Kennedy Park (24th Street and Kennedy Lane), Madi­son Trails (201 N. 4th Ave.),Win­sor Basin (Win­sor Av­enue and 32nd Street) and Ki­wa­nis Park (8th Street and Mag­no­lia Av­enue) all of­fer paths that are around a 1/2 mile long.

Netwest Park (1100 S. 14th Ave.) and Win­sor Ro­tary Park (3407 W. 20th St) have paths clock­ing in at around 1/3 of a mile long.

Smucker Park, mean­while, has a one­mile-long loop, lo­cated at Av­enue A and 28th Street.

Saguaro Neigh­bor­hood Park, 4183 Desert Wil­low Way, gives walk­ers a 1,300-foot­long path,and Sun­rise Op­ti­mist Park,20th Street and 45th Av­enue, of­fers a 4/10 of a mile path.

BIK­ING TRAILS

One last thought,read­ers.Yuma County has a lot to of­fer for out­door en­thu­si­asts, a lit­tle some­thing for ev­ery­one. If you are in­ter­ested in bik­ing trails, stop by the Yuma Sun of­fices and pick up a copy of our lat­est Bik­ing Map.It fea­tures a va­ri­ety of choices for peo­ple to get out on their bikes and en­joy our ter­rific sun­shine!

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