Thursday, November 12, 2015

Pittsburgh Mines Trail, 11/09/2015

The site is a great resource on local hiking trails in the area. We checked out the listing under Activities/Hiking and decided to check out the Pittsburg Mines Trail. The trailhead is not marked, so you need to follow the directions provided. Here they are:

  • Take McCulloch Blvd. to Cherry Tree Blvd
  • Left on Cherry Tree to Tierra Vista
  • Right on Tierra Vista to Del Sol
  • Left on Del Sol to a culvert past Corte Cabrillo.

We just parked on the side of the road. There is a lot of construction going in the neighborhood. The trail begins in the wash behind the houses Corte Cabrillo. Below is a photo of the trail that leads from the road into the wash. 

We followed the wash upstream, bearing to the right. There are lots of interesting rock formations along the way. 

Below a photo of the skeleton of the ocotillo plant. The second is of a healthy ocotillo. They produce spectacle of bright pink flowers when in bloom. The third is a fishhook barrel cactus that live to be 50 to 100 years old. These are also sometimes called a "compass cactus" as they lean towards the southwest. This can come in handy if you lose your way in the desert!

Also found in these washes are many dry rock waterfalls, sometimes requiring you to hike around them to continue on the trail.

Sadie, our fearless lizard hunter (she has never caught one!), always loves searching for  them.

We continued in the wash until we saw an electrical tower where we continued up a small hill. Continue straight east from the tower on a dirt road that curves north along the foothills. Turn right on a dirt road entering the mountains. 

On this part of the trail are beautiful panoramic views of Lake Havasu City. The dark mountains in the foreground are ancient extinct volcanoes.  

We came across two of the two of the hard rock Pittsburg Mines that were several yards off of the trail. These were gold mines where ore was taken from the mines and then gold extracted from it. The hard rock mines were very low risk for cave ins, but, as you can imagine, it was hard work digging out the ore. The mines are filled in now and/or fenced off to avoid injury to those on ATVs or hikers. 

We retraced our steps back to the wash as it was late afternoon by the time we reached the mines. 

We enjoyed this hike in the desert as most of our other adventures have been close to Lake Havasu. This trail, however, is not well marked. We were all pleasantly tired when we returned to the RV park. John and I went to the hot tub for a nice soak...ahhhh.

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