Tuesday, February 28, 2017

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. 


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.


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


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


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.


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


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


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


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


Here is the information about the Peak at the trailhead.



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



Looking back the way we came.




KOFA Mountain range off in the distance to the West.





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.




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!


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.



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.


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


We walked around taking pictures and then it was over.






A few more coming back down.



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. 


See you later.


  1. It may have been a roughuge trip, but the pictures say the view was worth it. Fantastic scenes. The pictures of that snake-like road were something! Really awesome pictures of the peak and that cute, little burro. Such a spectacular area!!

  2. Thanks Dolly. Fun but exhausting road trip. So glad it was such a nice day. Made the pictures look great.

  3. I remember that drive much the same as you do and it was one of the toughest drives we did in our Jeep Wrangler as well. But definitely an exciting challenge all the way up and all the way down. Spectacular views from the top. Pheebs and I drove to the trailhead about 3 months ago one morning but didn't go to the top. Good for you and Yuma in making it all the way up.

    1. Thanks, Al. It was a challenge. Sore today from all the jostling around. Yuma didn't want too but I showed him who was boss.

      Safe travels today.

  4. Beautiful! Are those burros wild? They are so cute, I want one!

    1. Hi Kristi. Just one burro and yes he was wild. Not afraid but would bray if I got too close telling me to back off.

  5. Wow that sure was some adventure, I know I could not have done in even in a wheel drive,, me a heights don't get along.

  6. Stunning pictures, you are making us wish we had a 4 wheel drive vehicle!

    1. The sure do make a difference in the Southwest. Sometimes though, I wish I were laying by the poolside soaking in the sun.

  7. I would never have said you were beyond Hope, but I guess you are now!

    1. That was a cute sign. Had to turn around and get a pic of it.

  8. OMG Doug! You take the craziest drives! Is that winding road we see winding through the mountains the road you jeeped to the peak? Wowsers! I have to tell you, I like saying Harquahala. I bet you were thinking "Oh for Harquahala's sake!" as you were making that dreadful drive up there! I didn't expect so much green in your photos from your destination. Pretty beautiful! And I always love the pictures of you and Yuma. Also, those mountain pics get me every time. Truly, the most gorgeous scenery! I'm glad your Burro friend said hi at the end. I don't think he was making fun of you, I think he was telling you "job well done!" Hope you can relax a little today! I love you!

    1. Very sweet post Sarah. Maybe you're right about the burro. I like your interpretation of his hee haw much better. I was going to comment on how green everything is this year but forgot to mention it. Glad you saw it. Almost like grass everywhere. We drove every inch of that winding road you could see going through the mountains, for Harquahala's sake!

  9. I love...love...your pictures of the ride. So much better then the ones I took. (I just told Tom I know what I want for my birthday this year, a camera.) If it makes you feel any better about the ride you actually went 10.5 miles up that mountain. I know why Yuma was in your lap...:) Now you know why we said it was a ride we were glad we took but it was a one time ride. I have a feeling Yuma would agree with us. Glad you made it back safe.

    1. Thanks Deb. You guys were brave to go all the way up there. It's harder being a passenger cause you don't have a steering wheel to hold onto. You're right, it was a one time trip for us too. Yuma did not like it at all. Hard to drive when you've got a forty pound dog in your lap. No wonder it took so long. I thought it was 10.5 miles round trip. Having a good camera with a nice zoom is essential for capturing the beauty around here.

  10. I just wanted to say thank you for the beautiful pictures and for taking us along for the ride as that's the only way I would ever see that road! OMG that's scary, beautiful but scary! I wish we could know what Yuma's really thinking!

  11. All the pics are beautiful. I can only imagine how much better it is to witness it in person. I know you did that it's hard to get pictures to do it justice but your pics are gorgeous! Have fun Dad and be careful! Love you.

  12. All the pics are beautiful. I can only imagine how much better it is to witness it in person. I know you did that it's hard to get pictures to do it justice but your pics are gorgeous! Have fun Dad and be careful! Love you.