Bighorn Pass Trail

Quartzsite, Arizona

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Bighorn Pass Trail is one of the more challenging trails within the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge. It leaves from the graded dirt Pipeline Road and passes by the small stone Kofa Cabin a mile later. It runs through the Kofa Mountains along a ridge top before descending to follow the wide, gravelly Alamo Wash. You will pass Owl Head Dam on the right, which normally contains some water, just before a short spur leads out of the wash to the Kofa Monument. This rock cairn commemorates the formation of the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge on January 25, 1939. Special Attractions: Scenic trail linking two major areas—the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge and the Little Horn Mountains; Seldom-used, easy trail in the rugged Little Horn Mountains; Hovatter Mine mill site and homestead site. High-clearance 4WDs are required. This trail has either a rough, rutted surface, rocks up to 9 inches, mud and deep sand that may be impassable for inexperienced drivers, or stream crossings up to 18 inches deep. Certain sections may be steep enough to cause traction problems, and you may encounter very narrow shelf roads with steep drop-offs and tight clearance between rocks or trees.

Bighorn Pass Trail Professional Review and Guide

"Bighorn Pass Trail is one of the more challenging trails within the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge. It leaves from the graded dirt Pipeline Road and passes by the small stone Kofa Cabin a mile later. It runs through the Kofa Mountains along a ridge top before descending to follow the wide, gravelly Alamo Wash. You will pass Owl Head Dam on the right, which normally contains some water, just before a short spur leads out of the wash to the Kofa Monument. This rock cairn commemorates the formation of the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge on January 25, 1939.

Special Attractions: Scenic trail linking two major areas—the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge and the Little Horn Mountains; Seldom-used, easy trail in the rugged Little Horn Mountains; Hovatter Mine mill site and homestead site. High-clearance 4WDs are required. This trail has either a rough, rutted surface, rocks up to 9 inches, mud and deep sand that may be impassable for inexperienced drivers, or stream crossings up to 18 inches deep. Certain sections may be steep enough to cause traction problems, and you may encounter very narrow shelf roads with steep drop-offs and tight clearance between rocks or trees."

Activity Type: Off-Highway Drives
Nearby City: Quartzsite
Distance: 17.6
Trail Type: Shuttle
Difficulty: Moderate to Difficult
Duration: 3.5 hours
Season: Year-round, best November to April
Trailhead Elevation: 700 feet
Top Elevation: 3,300 feet
Local Contacts: Kofa National Wildlife Refuge
Local Maps: USGS New Water Well, New Water Mts., Owl Head, Kofa Butte, Salome, Little Horn Mts.; BLM Salome, Little Horn Mountains
Driving Directions: Directions to Bighorn Pass Trail

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May 2018