In The Desert
Black Butte, California
This trip is in Southeastern Ca. near Yuma, Az. You leave from Winterhaven, Ca. and head East toward Quechan Casino then across the All American Canal. You'll see the Names on the GPS track -- this is a mile and a half of names in the desert; as shown on the right. Interesting place. Some date back to the 1940's till present. 1,000's of them in the desert! See the map below!
Download Garmin GPS track
A lot of the road is easy going. In the background - the dark peak is called the Rock. You'll be going around this on the right side (North side). Along this section you'll be running parallel with Picacho Wash. Then you have to enter the wash, Picacho Wash is a favorite playground for the off roaders in Yuma, Az.
As you can see it's big and sandy! It is usually well traveled (at least in the winter). Follow the track up the wash till you get to the turn-out heading South. There are some interesting sights along the way. We sat and watched a Bobcat in the wash for about 20 minutes one day.
At this point your on BLM road no. 215. This section won't look like much of a road though. There is one mine in this area (photo to the left). Stay on 215! This road is narrow so expect some desert pin stripping.
This road and the rest of the trip as you can see here is for 4x4 travel only; not hard but fun. This is great trip for beginners. And interesting enough for people with experience.
This is really interesting. An old homestead, stage stop, or miners cabin - take your pick, we couldn't come up with any information on this old place. You'll be following the road pictured here and now you'll be on road 251. The BLM has been busy out here lately. So be careful and stay on the established trails.
As you get farther along the trail you'll get into some interesting driving -- little bit of a challenge. Climbing over hills you'll be running alongside of the Cargo Muchacho Mts. headed toward the West side of Black Butte. Keep an eye open here as this is a great place to spot deer and other animals.
Part of the Cargo Muchacho Mts. can be seen here on the right in the background. The lower flat topped mountain on the left is Black Butte. This section is a little flatter with less challenging terrain. You will drive right up to the back side of Black Butte so you'll get to see how big it is.
There was no animal tracks on this trail that cut across the road and it's pretty wide. SO, it looks like an old Indian trail through the mountains to us. We've never found any Indian artifacts in this area though. You can just barely see Yuma, Az. in the background. The mountains off in the distance are the Gila Mountain range.
This is the last climb up out of a wash right next to Black Butte. From here on out it's a piece of cake with a pretty nice road -- part of which is the old Barney Oldfield Rd. After you climb out of this wash look for the 622 BLM signs - this is the way out. If you follow the Garmin Map track all the way out you'll end up at Interstate 8 and Sidewinder Rd. just a few miles West of Yuma, Az.
And here is Black Butte. Photo taken looking toward the West. The military uses the top of this to train helicopter pilots to lift heavy objects and set them down on top.There is a hiking trail to the top, but it looks really rough.
This is an active Maps.google Satellite Map. You can zoom / out and change the formats to Map or Terrain; drag the map to scroll. Try it! Shown here is Black Butte.
This is an interesting trip with a little history thrown in to enhance it. This is a really desolate section of the Sonoran Desert, but it also is pretty well traveled at times. Have fun.
Content including photographs are Copyright © 2011 - Present - Don & Linda Gilmore