Monday, January 27, 2014

Crystal Hill, Kofa NWR



Went on another group hike to Crystal Hill in the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge. This is the northernmost entrance to the refuge, about 8 miles south of Quartzsite, then another 6 miles west on a dirt road. This road is much rougher than the one to Palm Canyon, but wasn’t bad at all in the Subaru. We sure do like that vehicle.

There isn’t an official trail to the top of Crystal Hill, but we found a path and headed up. Most people come here looking for crystals, since this is the only area on the refuge where you can legally take rocks and minerals, and only without tools or metal detectors. And you are limited to ten rocks or ten pounds per person per year. I found a couple small pieces of quartz but didn’t take them.


It was a steep half mile climb to the top of the hill, and a little tricky walking on all the loose rocks. Everyone made it safely up and back down. It would have been easy to slip and fall, and with no cell signal we were glad no one had to be carried out! We were joined by pups Libby and Junah, who with four legs had no trouble at all.

Ginny, Charlie, Marti, Debbie, Jimbo, Chris, Josh, Kathy, Laurelee, Sara, Gayle.




Not much of a trail, so everyone just picked their way up across the rocks.



The seating wasn’t very comfortable, but we hung around for a snack and to take in the views.



Charlie, Marti, Jimbo and Sara at the top.


We could barely make out all the RVs parked in Quartzsite.


It’s always harder going back down.


Must be an old mine shaft.



It was laundry time again, and on the way home Debbie and I stopped to visit with Barbara (Me and My Dog) in her new site. She wasn’t parked far from the Lazy Daze group, but we kept missing each other. Debbie had a small piece of antler to give to Katie, and she really seemed to like it. We’ve run into Barbara and Katie several times now in our travels and I’m sure we will again. We had fun discussing our shopping experiences in Quartzite. We all helped out the local economy this year!

Forgot the camera again, and my phone doesn’t take the best photos. Barbara’s new hair style looks great, and Katie is as cute as ever.


We’re finally leaving Quartzsite tomorrow, heading towards Yuma, where we’ll most likely stay for at least a few weeks. Have dental work to finish up, and we’d like to get our chairs reupholstered if we can line something up. John and Susan are already there and plan to join us in Algodones on Wednesday, and we hope to meet up with Boonie and Coffee Girl for a hike or a bike ride. Maybe we’ll find some interesting things to do in the area this time. We weren’t too crazy about Yuma the couple times we’ve been before, but we want to like it since it’s about the warmest place to spend the winter in the southwest.


  1. Kelly & I climbed up Crystal Hill a few years ago. Found a few nice rocks along the way. Not sure if you are familiar with Ogilbe Road west of Yuma but when in the area that is where we prefer to boondock. Lots of room & only about 6 or 7 miles out of Yuma. I think RV Sue is still there at the moment. Nina & Paul from Wheeling It just left & I'm not sure where Ivan is. Wandering Willy is over at Pilot Knob close by. Sassy may be there as well. Anyway if you need directions to Ogilbe just let us know...............

  2. Need to add that hike to my list for that area. We better look into some poles before we do that hike.

    1. I really enjoyed the day we hiked Crystal Hill. Now that I have the new to me hiking poles from Unclaimed Baggage, I should be able to descend the "hill" with a bit more ease.

  3. That looks like a great way to see some wonderful views and find a few nice rocks as well. Great picture of Barbara and Katie.

  4. Any hike, trail or no trail, makes for a good day. One with rocks makes it even better. You are right about coming down a trail of broken rocks, not easy. Glad everyone made it!

    I love your phrase that you are trying to like Yuma. I'll have to remember that one!

  5. Great hike and pictures, it looks like a place I need to check out.

  6. I'm not a fan of Yuma either. That's why we only stayed 3 nights. Don't understand how folks can spend an entire winter there!!! Oh well, to each his own.

  7. We're going to have to give you an education about Yuma. We're only going to be here for 10 days, and we'll run out of time before we get everything done. We'll definitely be here for a month or more next year. Plentiful free boondocking (both remote and more "convenient"), cheap prices on necessities, lots of services, more hiking than you could do in a year, museums, interesting food options, miles and miles of mountain biking, festivals.....the list just goes on and on.

  8. Our first winter with a towable, we went to Yuma. After 10 days we decided we had made a terrible mistake. I guess we missed the mountain biking, we looked for it but could not find much of anything. Anyway, although we'd paid for 30 days, we were gone in 26, heading for Tucson. I know some people really like it there, but for the life of me I don't see the attraction, other than the weather. However, to each their own!

  9. I'm glad we were able to get together one more time, I enjoyed our visit. I hope we see you and Jim and Debbie in New Mexico again - I plan to stay in the southern parks as long as I can this time around. Good luck with the dental work. :)