In The Desert
Apache Chief Mine
The first part of the trip in the desert parallels the interstate for a ways before the turn off to the South. The route we chose was the old trail and goes up a wash. The more popular route is easier. For the easier route take the fork to the left, you'll see the more traveled route. This is just East of Quartzite, Az. You turn off the Interstate at the Gold Nugget Interchange; see the map.
Dowlnload Garmin GPS Track
This is a Maps.google map of the area in this article. You can scroll around the map and change it to Terrain, or Satellite view, plus zoom in or out. Zoom in to see the Gold Nugget interchange.
Quartizite is famous for it's gem and mineral show during the first part of the year. It's something to see.
As you can see the trail up the wash is over grown - to say the least. It's not used much but it is the old original trail to the mine. It is a little tight in places so if you don't want to scratch your vehicle up then take the first fork to the left on the way in. Follow Gold Nugget Road on the google map above.
Here we are at the Apache Chief Mine, Cabin. Jerry is checking out the Cabin. The mine is up on top of the Hill to the right.
There were also some ATV'ers that got there just before we did. Funny thing they watched us like hawks as we checked out the Cabin - looking thru the windows to see what we were doing.
Inside the Cabin --- please read below!
When we entered the cabin here's what we found. I must admit that myself and my wife thought this was pretty neat. We've seen this kind of thing at other old cabin sites. Notice in the lower right photo the ATV person looking thru the window? All right -- so after thinking about this after we got home -- here's what I've concluded. Some of these people (not our group) have destroyed this old cabin with all the useless and stupid JUNK they put there. Look at the lower right photo again -- see the swim fins hanging from the ceiling? None of this stuff is anything more than worthless junk, and does nothing to contribute to the site. WHY do they do this? The last cabin that was treated this way was burned down. What a loss that would be and then no one would every see it as it was back in the mining days. Of course a lot of people are not going to like this (my soapbox offering) but tough; I just told it like it is! They should be fined!
The Coral Beans were in full bloom in the area during our trip on March 12th. So were a lot of other flowers and the area looked exceptionally green. For several miles the road wanders thru some nice areas with nice roads and scenery
You go in and out of the New Water Mts. Wilderness Area on this part of the trip so stay on designated roads. We wanted to take a side road to the Poormans Mine but it was closed because of the Wilderness.
Following the road into a box canyon you come to this section of road where you have to climb out of the canyon. Here's Bill & Linda coming up the loose rocky part of the trail. Everyone made it just fine. Places like this make it fun.
You'll come to this nice flat spot on top. We ate lunch here and had a heck of a view! With binoculars you could see vehicles moving North & South on Rt. 95 way off in the distance. The trail you see here is not the trail we used. It's an old trail that looks pretty bad part way down and is not recommended.
Just after leaving our lunch stop you come to another over look. Looking out across a canyon you can see what is called the Hogback! Jerry took the lead on this one -- we suckered him into it. He and his wife Greta got out and walked across the ridge for a good 1/4 mile before continuing. That's his Jeep on the ridge.
Here's Arvin in front of us following Jerry across the Hogback. It's doesn't look to bad to us, but they told us that several people had gotten killed here and one got a broken leg? Don't believe everything you hear. It was pretty, and pretty narrow, but if the FJ Cruiser could make it (it's a little wider) then go for it.
This is coming down of the Hogback and there are some slippery spots, but nothing a 4x4 with decent driver couldn't negotiate. We had to wait for a good 25 minutes while someone walked up this section coming towards us to check out the road -- they turned back!
And the rest of the trip is pretty easy and a nice ride out to Rt. 95. There is a couple of spots where your leaning a little going around a hill -- no more than a 30% sloping incline though.
Content including photographs are Copyright © 2011 - Present - Don & Linda Gilmore
A really nice trip with only a few moderate challenges and a lot a pretty scenery, well worth the time.
Have fun ----