In The Desert
Content including photographs are Copyright © 2009 - Present - Don & Linda Gilmore
Contact us via E-mail
Picacho Peak, California
Picacho Gold Mine
This is an inter-active Maps.google Map. You can zoom in / out and change the formats to Street Map/Terrain/Satellite/Earth; drag the map to scroll. Try it!
Follow the road to Picacho Peak State Park from Winterhaven, Ca. your right next to Yuma, Arizona here. Most of the road to the park and for the begining of this trip is as shown here. But if you follow the GPS track included here you'll turn off this nice graded road and get into some serious hills coming out of washes that require a little finese with a good 4x4.
On the way in you'll pass the Picacho Gold Mine. This gold mine has been in existance for quite a while and used to have a railroad running to it from the Colorado River where the stamp mills were located. Also you'll see the remains of the old water pipe line that used to run from the river to the mine. No trespassing at the mine..
As you get to the North West side of Picacho - following the GPS track -- you'll go up a side leg of the journey (South) right up too the base of the mountain.. The road stops at a waterfall. Some really neat geology and plant life along the way.
Back about 100 yards from the waterfall you can climb a slope on the West side of the wash (climb about 100 ft.) and see the Pinnacles.This is the only place where they can be seen. Here's a photo of the Pinnacles. Continue on the track to the west.
As you move along the road you'll get to another gold mine. Some of the old equipment is still here and so are some foundations. We actually found gold in the seperator shown here on the ground. It was trapped in the rusted metal. This was a placer mine. They worked the wash just North of the equipment shown here. This is still an active mining claim.
Continuing on this trip will take you through a series of bad sections of road -- good 4X4's and drivers with a lot of experience are needed here. After climbing out of at least 2 bad sections of wash you'll get to Gartuna Falls -- shown here. It's pretty amazing how the water has cut channels thru this comglomerate rock. Which by the way is very hard. It would be neat to see water pouring over this during a storm.
This is the top of Gartuna Falls and a great place to eat lunch. You can leave here and follow the GPS track out or go West up out of the wash on Hyduke Mine Rd. over to Ogilby Road. The GPS track is a little more scenic. There are lots of side roads in this area to be explored.
Well this is a shame? This old cabin was here and dated back to around the early 1940's. It was the home of a retired sheriff from Imperial County, Ca. His marriage certificate was on the inside wall. And of course a lot of people junked it up with all kinds of stuff. NOW -- it's gone. Someone burned it to the ground and then somebody else came along and cleaned it all up so the only thing left is shown in the insert in the photo on the lower left - (a barbeque).
This is what most of the trip from the cabin back to Picacho Road looks like, with nice high sections for great views. Some of it is a little tricky but most of it is easy. A camera is a must in the desert on this trip! This is one of the day trips that takes all day and makes for a really fun trip. Have fun --------
This is a vast area with a whole lot of roads to explore. Everything from caves to cliffs, to slot canyons and more. Once you take this trip you'll want to go back and see what else is there that you didn't see the last time. Carrizo Wash just below the Gartuna Falls is just one that you might like to explore. Have fun.