In The Desert
Content including photographs are Copyright © 2012 - Present - Don & Linda Gilmore
Gila Mountains, Southern Arizona
Warning -- it is your responsibility to know if these areas in the desert shown
The map above is pretty explicit but we'd certainly entertain any questions it might evoke. Please note that we are not including any info about the Mica Mine or Garnet diggings here. The Turquoise Mine is shown on the map as well as the mining camp which are very close together. The old mining road was not passable to us and is probably still not passable today. We did hike into parts of it and it does look interesting. Our main hike took us up a long valley, shown as "Hiking Trail" on the map.
The 1 (one) on the map with the arrow shows where this photo below was taken and what direction the camera was pointed. Also note the Large Saguaro, see the next photo. We hiked in from the opposite end of the "Old Mining Rd."
A very tall -- at least 30 ft. Saguaro Cactus on the north end of the old mining road. We did explore some of this old road by hiking in from both ends and did find old mines and tailing piles which we did not examine. The only mine in this area we prospected in was the old Turquoise Mine. If you dig in the tailings pile you'll find some small but nice specimens. Some people thought that these samples were Chrysocolla (copper ore), but I didn't think so.
This whole area is very seldom visited - except for hunters -- and some interesting artifacts can be found here. We found several old coins in the Mining Camp shown on the map.
A look back toward the east from near the parking area where we started on our hiking trail. There were quite a few caves in the mountains shown here.
The parking area - at one time the road did continue up this wash into this long valley. It is now completely overgrown. Basically this is the end of the road.
This is a good place for the Garmin downloadable GPS track. This is not an actual track, but was drawn with the help of a Garmin Topo Map and is only provided here as an aid to get into the area.
Just as we started our hike we ran into several of these Desert Lavender bushes in the wash. The year we hiked this long valley it rained more than normal and a lot of the desert that is normally brown was green.
Of course you should always keep your eyes open for reptiles and other desert animals. This curious Collared lizard was keeping any eye on us!
Linda hiking up the wash. This was not an easy hike. You can see here that a lot of the wash was boulders that you had to walk on and some sandy low hills had to be climbed.
Finally made it to the upper end of the valley and the mountains. Looking here you can get an idea of how far we'd hiked. We did this hike because of a mine location on a topo map.
Halfway up the valley -- it seemed like it would never end. And here you can also see how brushy it was. Climbing under and around bushes with stickers was common place. See where we parked.
There was a lot of quartz blow-outs up in this end of the valley. I could see why they might prospect in this region.
Here's a look at some of the local rock we found in the upper end of the valley. This area is just adjacent to the Fortuna Mine and I'm sure they were over here looking for the continuing vien of gold that was lost due a fractured fault.
Here is the mine. This is not the Turquoise Mine. Lou climbed up there and said there wasn't much of interest to be found. Looking this direction - if it wasn't for the mountains you'd be looking right into Spook Canyon.
This whole area is interesting and could be explored more than we did. I'm sure there are also some challenging off-road adventures here. The Old Mining Road comes to mind.