In The Desert
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Swansea Ghost Town
Bill William's River, Arizona
This is the assay office for the town of Bouse (pronounced Bowes). This is a nice little town on Rt. 72 in La Paz County, Az. It's also one of the many jumping off points to get to the town of Swansea, and other sites along the Bill Williams River. There are 100's of miles of back roads out here North of town and this is only a few. The topo will get you into the general area.
Download Garmin GPS track
Of course there are animals in this area! We ran into a few burros on one of the roads to the river. They are curious. Linda saw a bobcat but Don was too slow to get a photo of him. Raccoons, and host of other animals call this area home, because of the constant supply of water in the river.
Here's one of the several farms in the desert along the Bill Williams river. Most, not all, are posted private property and are fenced off. So heed the signs. There are a few that allow visitors, so behave and it'll stay that way. This valley is very fertile because of the flooding that takes place from time to time.
This is one of the older farm sites, and may have even been a small town at one time. The adobe is almost gone now, but you can still see the size of some of the buildings that were here in the desert.
Just to give you an idea of the neat canyons you'll see back in here! There are some that are hard to negotiate depending on the effects of rainfall in the area. This is mining country
Here's one of the larger mine tailings pile and you can see an old pipe on the left that was the water supply line for the mine. Some of these mines are still registered as active.
Just below the mine in upper photo and right next to the river is this old pumping station. At one time they had electric back here at the mine and pumped water from the Bill Williams river up to the mine. The river cannot be crossed at this point.
Just above the old pumping station you'll find a lot of mines along the main road leading in and out of this area in the desert. Be careful here and if you enter one your on your own, Not advisable.
Coming down to the river from the East side of this area you'll find many wash crossings that have some neat geology and different colors in the rocks. Here's one just before the road crosses the river.
The Bill Williams River is broken into several different streams here at the crossing. This one was passable, the main one was not. Be careful here as the gravel on the bottom is very soft and is not good for traction at all. But this part was fun, and the river here was full of fish too!
Swansea Ghost Town
Coming back from the river it's quite a way up to the old mining town of Swansea, but it's not too far out of the way and it's worth seeing. Here's one of the many old buildings still partially intact.
And here is the old building that housed their mill at Swansea. There are probably over 50 old buildings in the area, as this was at one time a very large mine and town. They had a school house and a hospital here in the desert.
Here's a few samples of ore that we picked up right next to the picnic area where we ate lunch. It was copper ore and probably contained a little gold. There may have been some other metals mined here too, probably as a by-procuct of the copper mine. Day trips into the Ghost town of Swansea could keep you busy for a while if you never went to any of the other places mentioned here.
This Natural Arch is listed on all the topo maps. We had a hard time finding this even though it was right next to the road. It blended in with the background so well it made it hard to see.
AND if your in the area in the middle of March then you can join in the fun with the annual Parker Poker Run. The year we joined in the run it covered over 93 miles in this area. Also in this same area is the Parker 400 off road race and all the big boys race here then. Keep looking at our
What's New page, for listings of races and events in the area.
Nice area, don't miss it.......
This is an inter-active Maps.google Map. You can zoom in / out and change the format to Street, Terrain or Earth; drag the map to scroll.
This is a lot of area to cover in one day. Most people like to camp out in Bouse or Parker and then take to the desert in this area.. No matter how you go about it, there is a lot to see here, so spending a couple days or more is a good idea.