KofA Kamping Trip (1 Viewer)

Stepmurr

Lookin' fer the end of that old white line
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I am heading to the KofA national wildlife refuge area Friday night.

Home - Kofa - U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

I will camp somewhere in the vicinity on Friday night, somewhere else on Saturday night, and somewhere else on Sunday night.

There seem to be several easy trails in the area and I want to travel as many of them as I can in a weekend.

Let me know if you want to explore the King of Arizona area this weekend.
 
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I just did that area with friends last weekend....
The Kofa Cabin (stone one off Vicksburg) is the nicest cabin....graded gravel.
The Hoodoo Cabin off of 14 (Kofa Manganess I think) is the second nicest and also not a bad road.
The Wilbanks Cabin is NOT one I would stay in but is cool to visit...also an easy trail down Hoodoo wash.

Big Horn Pass trail/Wilbanks road from Wilbanks cabin to Kofa Cabin is TIGHT, serious brush, but not a really hard trail. Some steep sections of trail, mild rock sections but is was a brush that really got to one of the guys in our group....mucho desert pinstriping.

Hovattor Road exit is a nice way to get into Kofa and takes you by the Hovator site which is cool.

Another great thing in the area is the Castle Dome Mine Museum and then McPherson pass north into Kofa. Nice trail.

Love the area and never seems to be too many people there.
 

Stepmurr

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I just did that area with friends last weekend....
The Kofa Cabin (stone one off Vicksburg) is the nicest cabin....graded gravel.
The Hoodoo Cabin off of 14 (Kofa Manganess I think) is the second nicest and also not a bad road.
The Wilbanks Cabin is NOT one I would stay in but is cool to visit...also an easy trail down Hoodoo wash.

Big Horn Pass trail/Wilbanks road from Wilbanks cabin to Kofa Cabin is TIGHT, serious brush, but not a really hard trail. Some steep sections of trail, mild rock sections but is was a brush that really got to one of the guys in our group....mucho desert pinstriping.

Hovattor Road exit is a nice way to get into Kofa and takes you by the Hovator site which is cool.

Another great thing in the area is the Castle Dome Mine Museum and then McPherson pass north into Kofa. Nice trail.

Love the area and never seems to be too many people there.
Thanks for the info - I'm hoping to see some bighorns and (unlikely) some pronghorns.
 

re_guderian

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Pretty area, hope you had fun! Haven't wheeled there, just hiked a bit with the Scouts. Remote, rugged, and nowhere I want to be in summertime, but the views from the peaks were cool.
 

Stepmurr

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Spent three days and barely scratched the surface of Kofa - it is pretty big!

There are brochures available at each entrance I went in and they have a pretty good map of the roads that are open for travel.

Map is on this (and others) brochure:

http://www.fws.gov/uploadedFiles/KofaHunt2013.pdf

I hit the NW corner of Kofa ~ 9PM Friday night and found a nice tree to camp under.

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Desert view Saturday morning.
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Kofa Cabin - built by CCC in the late 1930s. Available for public use.
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Stepmurr

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Saw this crested Saguaro off the side of the road
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Can you see its face?
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Most of road #12 was going up this wash. Garmin said I was on Wilbanks Road.
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Stepmurr

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Spooked a herd of 8 or 9 deer - only got a shot of two of them racing up the hill.
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Deer.jpg


Pretty easy road - a few short hill climbs and a lot of loose sand in the washes.
Also major pinstriping in some spots as the cactus and trees are taking back the road.
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The only free-standing water I saw in three days.
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Interesting rocks.
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Stepmurr

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The "best" hill climb of the day. Nothing on the Kofa roads I drove would be a problem for any stock 4wd. Most would be fine for any two wheel drive high clearance vehicle unless the washes were flooded.
I drove Kofa road numbers 12, 38, 31, 14, 71, 16, 19, 63, 65 and the King Valley Road.
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Camped Saturday night on Palm Canyon Road
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Stepmurr

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:eek:CAUTION - FIRE FAERIE AT WORK:eek:
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Desert Sunday Morning
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Hiked up Palm Canyon to see the palms.
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The first 1/2 mile was an easy well traveled trail. The ascent up the slot canyon to the palm trees was not marked, and you have to scramble over huge boulders. The last part of the slot nearest the trees was only a foot across and I had to squeeze through sideways.
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Stepmurr

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(From the brochure)

http://www.fws.gov/uploadedFiles/PalmCanyonFactSheet2014_508.pdf

Tucked away in the narrow, rugged canyons of the Kofa Mountains is the California fan palm, the only native species of palm tree in Arizona. The small, scattered clusters of palms in Palm Canyon are a major visitor attraction on Kofa National Wildlife Refuge. Hundreds of visitors each year hike the Palm Canyon Trail, a National Recreation Trail, to see the palms which seem unnatural in the desert landscape.

The California fan palms (Washingtonia filifera) found in Palm Canyon are probably descendants of palms growing in this region during the last periods of North American glaciation. Some botanists theorize that the trees, which are not date-bearing, gradually spread into these canyons and other protected niches as the climate warmed to desert conditions. Other researchers have suggested that the trees may have spread from other palm groves by birds or coyotes carrying seeds in their digestive tracts. Since palm trees do not grow annual rings like other trees, it is very difficult to say how old the trees might be. California fan palms typically live for 80 to 90 years.
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Mountains to the south of King Valley Road
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North of King Valley Road
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Stepmurr

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Gas is cheap - get out and explore!

I drove 714 miles over three days.

IMG_0632-small.jpg
 

Stepmurr

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It's cool and there, and not many people, either. Did you see anyone all weekend?
I didn't see anyone on Friday night after I got off I-10.
Saturday I didn't see anyone until the late afternoon - two UTVs. Saturday night I passed three or four camps along Palm Canyon Road.

Sunday I saw a few people on the Palm Canyon hiking trail, but nobody along King Valley Road.

Monday I saw houses near the King of Arizona mine, but no people.

Didn't talk to anyone for three days!
 

Stepmurr

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I just did that area with friends last weekend....
The Kofa Cabin (stone one off Vicksburg) is the nicest cabin....graded gravel.
The Hoodoo Cabin off of 14 (Kofa Manganess I think) is the second nicest and also not a bad road.
The Wilbanks Cabin is NOT one I would stay in but is cool to visit...also an easy trail down Hoodoo wash.

Big Horn Pass trail/Wilbanks road from Wilbanks cabin to Kofa Cabin is TIGHT, serious brush, but not a really hard trail. Some steep sections of trail, mild rock sections but is was a brush that really got to one of the guys in our group....mucho desert pinstriping.

Hovattor Road exit is a nice way to get into Kofa and takes you by the Hovator site which is cool.

Another great thing in the area is the Castle Dome Mine Museum and then McPherson pass north into Kofa. Nice trail.

Love the area and never seems to be too many people there.
I saw all three cabins and I doubt I would sleep in any of them:eek:

You are quite right about the pinstriping on Wilbanks Road!
 

Stepmurr

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Pretty area, hope you had fun! Haven't wheeled there, just hiked a bit with the Scouts. Remote, rugged, and nowhere I want to be in summertime, but the views from the peaks were cool.
Wasn't much wheelin' on the northern roads I travelled. I would like to hit Engesser Pass next time and drive some of the southern roads.
 

splitshot

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Steve, great pics and trip report.:clap:

I have been wanting to check the area out and agree, would rather toss the bedroll in the dirt than 'cabin' it.
 

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