Picacho State Park, California

Thursday, March 5, 2015

The Picacho State Park was at one time a prosperous mining town, but no longer exists.   The drive to this park is 18 miles of tortuous washboard, dusty, rocky road.  This is a road trip only the hardy will make.

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I have attempted to make the drive to the park two times in the past but the road is discouraging to drive, so I turned back.  This time I was determined to drive to the park.

The eighteen miles of bad road passed through some of the most desolate land I have ever seen.  Rocks everywhere.  Mountains of rocks.  Very little grows here and what does is some sort of cactus.  I felt like I was driving on Mars, it was so rugged.

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As we neared the park, we found a plaque describing how this area came into existence.

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Stopped by the ranger’s office for a map of the hiking trails and of course Yuma meets a new friend.

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The Colorado River runs along the north end of the park.image

Yuma loved the river.  He ran around in it and drank from it.  Had to pull him back or I think he would have gone swimming in it.

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There is a cemetery.

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As we walked along the river, nothing was left of the old mining town except the jail.  It was carved into the side of a hill and had bars at the entrance.  Not much of a jail, but I’m sure it was difficult to escape from.  Parts of the old mining operation was still evident down by the river too.

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Although, at the end of the day, both Yuma and I are worn out from the drive there and back, we are glad we did it.  There are magnificent views of the rugged country and the Colorado River.

See you later.

9 comments:

  1. The views of the craggy, rocky land and mountains show how hard it would be to pass through. The Colorado River is beautiful. It's easy to understand why Yuma would want to swim in it. I thought it was beautiful seeing it from Parker. It didn't look like the cemetery was overpopulated. That's a good sign. hehe I'm not sure if that jail could hold any prisons. It was an interesting area.

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    1. Thank you Dolly. I'm glad I got down to the river. I don't think the cemetery is going to grow much anymore.

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  2. Just when I was thinking how dry it looked, you post some beautiful pictures of the Colorado River! As usual, the pictures of you and Yuma are my favorite! You look really good Doug. The rugged lifestyle really suits you! Miss you!

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    1. Thanks Sarah. It is amazing how desolate and dry the countryside is and then there is this river running through it giving way to green trees along its banks.

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  3. I don't think anything is harder on a vehicle than those miserable washboard roads. They just shake vehicles & peoples bones to pieces. That's a desolate looking area alright especially without any greenery.

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    1. Saw numerous passenger car tires along the road. I am sure it is really murder on the trailers and passenger cars that venture into the park. When I went in, I was sure I was going to find out I had taken the back way in and there would be a nice paved road at the other side. But there isn't. I had a choice of going 27 miles to hook up with Ogilby Road, but that wasn't an option for me.

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  4. I think I would like it all, except for that tough drive in and out!

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    1. The drive is very hard on my bones and I'm sure the poor jeep shocks took a beating. I think new ones are coming when I get home.

      It was beautiful and worth the drive.

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  5. Sure glad I read this post of yours. After having lunch at the lower boat dock on Thursday, I was thinking of driving out there to visit the park in my Ford Focus. From what you said about the road, I guess I'll pass it up.

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