Jeep ride to the Harquahala Peak Smithsonian Observatory

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

My location:  Eight miles West of Bouse, Arizona just off Plomosa Drive

This morning started with dark clouds, but I could see blue around the edges.  Looks like it is going to clear up after a day and night of rain. 

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After our morning walk and other duties, Yuma and I headed out  around 11 a.m. with a destination in mind.  Remember the other day when Tom and Deb of Celebrating the Dance blog stopped by.  Well, they told me about a fun trip they had the previous week going to the top of Harquahala Mountain Peak Observatory .

I figured that would be a nice day trip for Yuma and I when the weather cleared.  And today, it cleared!  Now, I figured this would be a nice easy trip up the mountain, take a few pictures and we would come back and be home by early afternoon.  Nooo! 

Tom and Deb didn’t mention this is one hard four-wheel drive required, rocky, bumpy, straight up the mountain kind of drive.   I take my hat off to them for making it all the way to the top.  I have to rate this drive as one of the hardest climbs I have made in my Jeep.  Yuma was in my lap most of the way up and most of the way down!

The drive to get to the Harquahala Mountains is about 60 miles.  We drove down to Bouse and took a right on hwy 72 all the way to Hope.

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Turned left on hwy 60 heading East toward the town of Salome about eight miles down the road.

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Just beyond Hope, I thought I saw a train tunnel, but it was not.  Still pretty neat.

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At the little town of Salome, I turned right on Salome Road and went South for 22 miles.  Passed this pretty little chapel on the way, but someone was inside, so we didn’t go in.

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Here’s our first look at the Harquahala Mountains to the South off in the distance.

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Went through my first wash that had water running through it from all the rain yesterday and last night.

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We turned North onto Eagle Eye Road and when we saw the sign for the trailhead, we turned left onto a dirt road.

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Believe me! Four-wheel-drive is required and if you have five, you could use that too!

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Here is the information about the Peak at the trailhead.

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There is our destination.  Beware, lots of photos ahead.

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Looking back the way we came.

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KOFA Mountain range off in the distance to the West.

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Yuma laid down and would not get back in the Jeep.  Finally, after some coaxing he finally got back in.  He had enough of this already.  I must admit, my arms were tired from holding onto the steering wheel so tight.

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There was a little stretch of concrete.  I believe the water runs down here so hard, it washes the rocks and dirt away, so they put concrete in.  We are getting near the top now, thank goodness!

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I am afraid of heights and the drop-offs were too close for comfort.  I just wouldn’t look over the edge to keep my sanity.

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There were a lot of small landslides as I drove up, but this one near the summit was the worst.  Had to get very near the edge to go around that boulder.

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Came around a corner and there it is!  The Peak!

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We walked around taking pictures and then it was over.

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A few more coming back down.

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This Burro thought we were stupid for going all the way up there just for the fun of it.  This leisurely Jeep drive took two hours to go the 5 miles to the Peak and another one and a half hours to get to the bottom.  

Heard a few hee haws as we headed for home.  Nearly six by the time we got here.  Long day and we are exhausted. 

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See you later.