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6 Days in the Turtle and Orocopia Mountains Messages in this topic - RSS

dsefcik
dsefcik
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1/4/2015
dsefcik
dsefcik
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We were supposed to spend 6 days exploring the Turtle Mountains but the cold, windy weather changed our plans and after 4 days we drove over to the Orocopia Mountains to spend the last couple of days, it was marginally warmer. I really wanted to get to Castle Rock but that didn't happen, we mostly hiked around the Lost Arch Inn and Mexican Hat trail. Don't expect to get very close in your car (legally) to the Turtles, it is mostly Wilderness boundaries now and most of the old jeep roads in are posted as no vehicle access. Browns Camp and the Lost Arch Inn are easily accessible though.



First night camp near Browns Camp and the Mexican Hat Trail


Sunrises were great




Some more starry night shots


My camp setup just after dusk


The Lost Arch Inn








The Car Corral




Coffin Spring area




The Lisa Dawn Cupola Mine is was left as is but with a large metal cover




Mexican Hat and trail area






Here are some photos of the Heritage Trail area and Mopah/Umpah Peaks. We didn't get a chance to hike to them, the weather kept us away with strong winds, rain and some light snow






I even broke out the bug hut and tarp for the weather


I guess they call them the Turtle's for a reason


We packed up and started out for the Orocopia Mountains but first stopped by West Well, lots of wild burros out there


Some petros and gorgeous colors in the hills




We took the Red Canyon Trail into the Orocopia's, it was a fairly easy 2WD high clearance road


Lots of great colors down in the canyon


We camped out near Gucci Spring and hiked around the area


Gary pointing out the wildlife watering hole


A Selfie at our camp near Gucci Spring, it was damn cold every night, teens and low 20's, freezing bottles each night


More sunset stuff


Salt Creek bridge on the Bradshaw Trail, that is Rabbit Peak way off in between the bridge, it has snow on it


Last day out we hiked Painted Canyon in the Mecca Hills, a really neat canyon I thought








You can see Gary down at the bottom of this huge canyon wall


Total Mylar Balloons this trip - 6


You can see more photos here

Turtle Mountains Photos

Orocopia Mountains Photos

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rockhopper
rockhopper
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1/4/2015
rockhopper
rockhopper
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Excellent trip and photos! That whole area in that corner of the SoCal desert has some spectacular and complex geology. Those miners and early explorers out there were tough! I gotta belive it was a wetter time closer to the last ice age out there during the ancient people habitations.
Again superb photos. Sorry you froze your butts. I guess you guy hit the " Alaska / Canada cold front express"
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anutami
anutami
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1/4/2015
anutami
anutami
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What a great trip Daren, thanks for sharing. You have such great photography smile Looks like an amazing and secluded area, putting that one down on the list.
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dsefcik
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1/4/2015
dsefcik
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Thanks for the kind comments on the photos...If you are only passing thru Mecca, stop at Painted Canyon, it is easy to access and a quick hike but really full of great slots and colorful scenery....highly recommended, kid friendly also with some ladders in the slots. You can camp anywhere in the area also if you want to stay the night and spend more time exploring the area.

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ziphius
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1/4/2015
ziphius
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My favorite photos are of your camp, because I can tell how cold it is ... and the bullet-ridden vehicle in the foreground of the mountains is killer. Lucky guys to find a desert tortoise shell. Never seen one in the wild... I've heard they come out from their burrows briefly in March and then spend 95% of their lives underground. Did you guys utilize any of the water at Gucci Spring? I'd been scouring the area (via Google Earth) for springs a few weeks ago and happened upon Gucci, was convinced I could make out the water trough from satellite.

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dsefcik
dsefcik
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1/4/2015
dsefcik
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Jim (ziphius) wrote:
My favorite photos are of your camp, because I can tell how cold it is ... and the bullet-ridden vehicle in the foreground of the mountains is killer. Lucky guys to find a desert tortoise shell. Never seen one in the wild... I've heard they come out from their burrows briefly in March and then spend 95% of their lives underground. Did you guys utilize any of the water at Gucci Spring? I'd been scouring the area (via Google Earth) for springs a few weeks ago and happened upon Gucci, was convinced I could make out the water trough from satellite.
We saw a tortoise back in march out there, that is what prompted us to return...there was a lot of salt/mineral stuff all over gucci, i would only drink it as a last resort, there may be other water around there, how about the aqueduct??

We tried not to get too close to him


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BorregoWrangler
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1/4/2015
BorregoWrangler
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Fantastic photos! I've traveled along the Bradshaw Trail before, but that about the extent of my experience in that area.

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Florian
Florian
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1/5/2015
Florian
Florian
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Daren, that blue spot down below Orion in Lepus in your first milky way image is comet Lovejoy. It's visible in the second image just below and to the right of the airplane track.

Neat trip. I like the Mojave and the Salt Creek area.

-Florian
edited by Florian on 1/5/2015
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dsefcik
dsefcik
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1/5/2015
dsefcik
dsefcik
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Florian wrote:
Daren, that blue spot down below Orion in Lepus in your first milky way image is comet Lovejoy. It's visible in the second image just below and to the right of the airplane track.

Neat trip. I like the Mojave and the Salt Creek area.

-Florian


COOL...!! Thanks for pointing that out, I had no idea...!

I think this is it, the small green dot in the lower left?? All the images I looked up were showing a green comet. If that is not I need some help....worship



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hikerdmb
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1/5/2015
hikerdmb
hikerdmb
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Those are some rugged and amazing mountains. I love that part of the desert.
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ziphius
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1/6/2015
ziphius
ziphius
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Hmmmm...this one makes we want to hike into Mopah Spring. Satellite view shows some nice palms there.


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dsefcik
dsefcik
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1/6/2015
dsefcik
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Definitely worth the drive (I would think, we didn't get a chance), I will be going back out. I wanted to backpack out to Castle Rock, Mopah Spring may have water but I have not researched enough to know. You wanna plan a trip??

quote=Jim (ziphius) ]Hmmmm...this one makes we want to hike into Mopah Spring. Satellite view shows some nice palms there.


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ziphius
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1/6/2015
ziphius
ziphius
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dsefcik wrote:
Definitely worth the drive (I would think, we didn't get a chance), I will be going back out. I wanted to backpack out to Castle Rock, Mopah Spring may have water but I have not researched enough to know. You wanna plan a trip??


"We found a low level of water at the spring." - Feb 2014

"Near the base of the massive, monolith known as Mopah Peak, is a small clump of California Fan Palms and a pool of water. This is the only water for miles. The pool is about four feet across, and not quite a foot deep. The water is clear and sweet." - BLM website.

Oh boy... I wanna go. Water water everywhere. smile

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dsefcik
dsefcik
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1/6/2015
dsefcik
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Jim (ziphius) wrote:
dsefcik wrote:
Definitely worth the drive (I would think, we didn't get a chance), I will be going back out. I wanted to backpack out to Castle Rock, Mopah Spring may have water but I have not researched enough to know. You wanna plan a trip??


"We found a low level of water at the spring." - Feb 2014

"Near the base of the massive, monolith known as Mopah Peak, is a small clump of California Fan Palms and a pool of water. This is the only water for miles. The pool is about four feet across, and not quite a foot deep. The water is clear and sweet." - BLM website.

Oh boy... I wanna go. Water water everywhere. smile

Yeah, I wish we would have made it out there, looks great....next time.

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