In The Desert
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Maritinez Lake, Arizona
This is an inter-active Wikimapia Satellite Map. You can zoom in / out and drag the map to scroll. Mouse over the map. Try it! Shown here - Martinez Lake.
A lot of the features around Martinez Lake are shown here - Colorado River.
On Martinez Lake Rd (In Yuma County, AZ) you'll turn in at the Sub-station seen here. Just on the far side of the station you'll turn left. To find all the locations shown here you'll have to download the GPS track provided. It will only work with a Garmin GPS or Google Earth. Right here your only about 1 mile from the Colorado River at Fishers Landing. This whole trip starts about 15 miles from Yuma, Arizona.
Download the Garmin GPS Track
The first part of the trip is pretty easy - in fact most of it is. It's also very scenic with the possibility of seeing one or more Bighorn Sheep in the hills.
There are a couple of places that get a little tricky. This is a great trip for a beginner. None of the challenges are life threatening, or even scary. Of course there are untold different ways to get to the same place here and some are challenging. There are also a lot of side roads that you can explore.
This is probably the worst it gets; if your following the included Garmin GPS track you can download here. There are some other routes to get to Hidden Shores that could be considered life threatening. Some are basically ATV trails.
Once you get up on the flat section of the road; out of the hills you'll have a heck of a view. Castle Dome is in the middle of the photo and the white spec just to right of it half way up in the sky is Fat Albert (the Aerostat balloon). Watch for signs for YPG (Proving Ground) and stay off the base!
I took this picture at the Wood stop #2 on the Garmin GPS track. It took all of 5 minutes to find these nice pieces of Petrified Wood.
On the Garmin GPS track you'll see where we started down this wash and put in a waypoint that says NOTE. You can continue down this wash and it stops just short of the Colorado River. It is a pretty drive and a great place to eat lunch. Narrow tight canyon with great views in the desert here.
If your following the track included here then be careful when you get to FENCE posts as these are very sharp and are in part of the wash and on the flat next to it. It's an old (very old) military style of fence post for stringing barb wire.
This the entrance to a side trip to the last location for the Petrified Wood. Although a lot of ATV's have been in here, I don't think the area was searched much for Petrified Wood or other things. (see below).
Jasper (the big piece) and agate can be found in this canyon. There are quite a few nice specimens to be found here. The Jasper has a smooth waxy feeling to it. This is what the Native people used for arrowheads and such. They used to come through this area on the way to the Colorado River. I don't know of too many places in the deesrt where you can find such nice big specimens like this.
This side canyon that is noted on the GPS track as the last stop for Petrified Wood. There is a lot of it buried in this canyon and still a lot on the surface. This is a little known area. I'm sure there are more areas that we haven't located here, but at least it's close as far as day trips go.
Just to show the large number of tracks that ATV's have left here in this area. Actually the whole area from Martinez to Hidden Shores is popular with ATV'ers. Now in some areas they have been all but outlawed; here however no one seems to mind.
On the last section of the trip you'll get to this overlook and be able to see part of Hidden Shores and the Chocolate Mts. in the background. The wash shown in the canyon here is where you'll go next to get to the Hidden Shores gate and the Colorado River.
This is the back gate at Hidden Shores.
This gate is only open between Nov. and April and is only open till 8:00 in the evening. These times and dates are to be verified by you! If the gates are locked you'll have to go all the way back to Martinez Lake. Check with them first!
Once inside the gate you'll see the marina at Hidden Shores and the Colorado River. Also all the homes that are normally ocupied during the Winter months. Please obey the speed limit; or they'll close the gate permanently!
Last section of the trip --- the guard house at the park entrance. Just tell the guard you came in the back way (reason for not having a pass) and it'll be ok. This is a fun and interesting trip; especially if your looking for Petrified Wood.
Even though thousands of people have made this trip along the Colorado River, there are still new places to find and explore. The petrified wood is spread out over a large area and new locations are being found all the time.