Thursday, January 28, 2010

Willow Springs Canyon

The other day we joined a hiking group from one of the local RV parks on a hike through the Goldfield Mountains. I only looked up the name of the mountains because a young (under 50) visitor who came with her snowbird aunt asked everybody what mountain range it was. Now that I finally know the answer, where is she? Anyway the hike began east of Apache Junction at a parking area on the north side of 88, past the town of Goldfield and just past the viewpoint for Weaver's Needle. We all said, "I didn't realize you can see the Needle from this road." Well, you can.

This is where I became confused. The sign at the trailhead said Bulldog Canyon but the Topo map plainly marks it as Willow Springs. Maybe somebody out there knows why, but we confidently headed through the gate along the 4-wheel drive road.

We found this nice little water hole, but luckily we had brought our own.

It looks like somebody went to a lot of trouble erecting this cross.

Quite a bit of the hike consisted of walking down a wash - not my favorite thing, but there were some interesting spots like this one.

But this is why we go with the hiking group. Instead of just coming back out of the canyon the same way, our fearless leader looped up around and over a pass. He and one of the other guys had hiked it the day before and even marked the trail with a bright blue arrow.

The second half of the hike was amazing - this picture doesn't begin to do it justice.

We saw more quartz than we ever did in Quartzsite.

And Ron found a nice place to rest.

It looks like everybody agrees which way to go.

And this is the sight that greeted us once we were over the pass. Unfortunately, everybody was tired by then and probably didn't really appreciate it.
So here's the problem. I really like this group because without them I wouldn't find these trails, but they stop to rest way too often. Although I'm fine as long as I'm moving, my back kills me when we're just standing around and there's not usually a convenient rock to sit on. Especially on the return trip, when they're stopping every five minutes, that's when I'm like a horse wanting to race to the barn.


  1. Inquiring minds want to the heck is Ron sitting on a cactus??? Does he have "butt" protection on ????

  2. You'll have to get one of those rucksacks with a built in seat.

  3. Well, I guess you didn't find the Lost Duchman's gold mine. That Ron is really crazy sitting on a cactus. And I certainly agree with you on the stopping - we must be related!

  4. WOW LOVE the Cactus on that hike!! Must have been awesome...Im like you I like to keep moving...I recently gave up a walking partner cause she stopped every few minutes to let her dog sniff every bush around --took me a while to realize she was sneaking in a rest for herself, but using her dog as a scapegoat sort of...I used to backpack and was an avid Im very reserved and dont get to hike as I once did, but I like to at least get my heart rate up on a walk!!
    Happy trails!

  5. That's why we never went hiking with the groups at VDO. We just picked up their list with directions to the trailhead. We might need to check out the hike you just went on when we are in Mesa next fall.