Big Eye Wash Trail

Quartzsite, Arizona

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This trail is a spur within the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge. All the trails within the refuge are incredibly scenic and remote. This one is no exception. It travels through classic Sonoran desert scenery and vegetation; in spring the wildflowers and cacti bring splashes of color to the region. The trail leaves from a point southwest of the Castle Dome Mines Museum and turns off the graded Castle Dome Road to become a formed, single-track trail. It runs southeast along the western face of the Castle Dome Mountains, passing the wooden- lined shafts and adits of the Colorado Mine. Across from the mine remains, on the right-hand side of the trail, there is a short row of graves marked with simple wooden crosses. Special Attractions: Historic King of Arizona (Kofa) Mining District; Panoramic views over King Valley, the Tank Mountains, and the Kofa Mountains; Rugged Engesser Pass; Wildlife-viewing and remote desert experience. High-clearance 4WDs are preferred, but any high-clearance vehicle is acceptable. Expect a rough road surface; mud and sand are possible but will be easily passable. You may encounter rocks up to 6 inches in diameter, a loose road surface, and shelf roads, though these will be wide enough for passing or will have adequate pull-offs.

Big Eye Wash Trail Professional Review and Guide

"This trail is a spur within the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge. All the trails within the refuge are incredibly scenic and remote. This one is no exception. It travels through classic Sonoran desert scenery and vegetation; in spring the wildflowers and cacti bring splashes of color to the region. The trail leaves from a point southwest of the Castle Dome Mines Museum and turns off the graded Castle Dome Road to become a formed, single-track trail. It runs southeast along the western face of the Castle Dome Mountains, passing the wooden- lined shafts and adits of the Colorado Mine. Across from the mine remains, on the right-hand side of the trail, there is a short row of graves marked with simple wooden crosses.

Special Attractions: Historic King of Arizona (Kofa) Mining District; Panoramic views over King Valley, the Tank Mountains, and the Kofa Mountains; Rugged Engesser Pass; Wildlife-viewing and remote desert experience. High-clearance 4WDs are preferred, but any high-clearance vehicle is acceptable. Expect a rough road surface; mud and sand are possible but will be easily passable. You may encounter rocks up to 6 inches in diameter, a loose road surface, and shelf roads, though these will be wide enough for passing or will have adequate pull-offs."

Activity Type: Off-Highway Drives
Nearby City: Quartzsite
Distance: 14.5
Trail Type: Shuttle
Difficulty: Moderate
Duration: 2 hours
Season: Year-round, best November to April
Trailhead Elevation: 1,200 feet
Top Elevation: 2,400 feet
Local Contacts: Kofa National Wildlife Refuge
Local Maps: USGS Castle Dome Peak, Red Bluff Mt. NW, Salton Tanks, Slumgullion Pass, Yuma, Trigo Mts.; BLM Yuma, Trigo Mountains
Driving Directions: Directions to Big Eye Wash Trail

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May 2018