While searching for new places to hike around Yuma I came across Muggins Mountains Wilderness area, 7,700 acres of rugged, rocky terrain managed by the BLM and located about 25 miles east of town. I read about a 5 mile loop hike around Muggins Peak so we decided to go check it out. You can also do a 4 mile round trip hike up to the peak but it was a hot day and we decided to take the easy route around the base..
The dirt road to the parking area is about a mile long and in fairly good shape. It continues on another quarter mile to more parking but it was deeply rutted in places so we parked and walked to the wash from the first area. On Saturday there were only a few cars in both lots.
A couple in a truck pulled in and parked next to us as we were getting ready, and it turned out the man worked for the BLM. They were the only other people we saw on the trail, and we were happy to keep them in our sights since we had a bit of trouble finding our way a few times. He told us to just keep Muggins Peak to our right the whole time and we should be fine.
The first part of the trail drops into Muggins wash and was very scenic.
It even took us through a very short slot canyon with a bit of rock scrambling.
After a couple miles the trail comes out of the wash but we missed the turn. Luckily BLM guy was behind us and we saw where they went up so we turned back. From there it’s a more visible trail up along a ridge and through the hills until coming back into Muggins wash.
When we passed this going up the wash we had no idea it marked the loop trail, but this is where we came out.
BLM guy told us they see big horn sheep frequently, and pointed out the most common area for them to hang out. He also said they aren’t afraid and will come up to you because people feed them. We saw no sheep, and this was our big wildlife sighting for the day. What great camouflage. If he hadn’t moved we would have never seen him.
Our loop turned out to be just under 6 miles and a nice moderate hike. I would highly recommend it if you’re looking for somewhere to hike near Yuma. If you want to do an easier, shorter hike, it would be worth doing just an out and back in the wash as far as you like. As always with these areas, there were cairns and trails going off everywhere, so our Backcountry Navigator app on the phones (and the BLM employee) helped us find our way. It is desolate and little used land. Sure wouldn’t want to get lost out there.