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Swansea, AZ Oct 2012 Pictures & Trip Report

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We just got back from Swansea. Thank you Bradywgn71, hurricane, golddigger & coyotesfan for joining us for the weekend! It was a fun, fast trip - in on Saturday, out on Sunday in time for supper. The weather, the full moon and the company were just awesome. Here's a picture to start the photo thread, and I'll post more and a trip report soon. Post pics in this thread if you have them! Camp Bouse:



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Swansea is SO cool. The air is so clean there. Kind of like Phoenix was about forty years ago! Bouse is kind of an odd place. Do they have a gas station there now? They used to, then it went away. There is some little town south of there called Hope. When you leave town, there was a sign that said "You are now Beyond Hope."


The fun way into Swansea is at a little wide spot called, I think, Midway. There is a kiosk there. The old railroad from Bouse to Swansea made an abrupt turn there. You can follow the old rail route in to town the "back" way (which was the "main" way). The Swansea pumping plant is too cool, and somewhere nearby there is a massive old mine - copper, I think - with some really neat shafts filled with Malachite (sp?) ore.


Hopefully the BLM is still arresting decay. When I was there they were working on the old RR depot and I heard the miners quarters has new roofing. The old ones were eaten to pieces by a massive termite supercolony.

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The group met in Wickenburg, AZ on Saturday morning and headed west on US 60 to Salome. In Salome we wove through town to Tank Pass Road, which was a little tricky to find, and where we stopped to air down. This was the 1st time I learned how to create a route on my Garmin Montana, and it worked really well. Even though I pretty much drove past every marked turn during the trip, I knew it immediately whenever it happened. :rolleyes:


We took Tank Pass Road northwest from Salome through the Harcuvar Mountains into Butler Valley. Tank Pass Road is an easy trail that, although a little rocky near the summit, it is suitable for stock 4x4 vehicles. Near Salome on Tank Pass Rd:




Just after the summit on Tank Pass Rd, going down the other side:




On down the other side the trail smoothed out and was easy, even when we came to a washed out section. We found the go around which ended at a large berm we went over.








After crossing the berm we were on Butler Valley Road smack in the middle of the farm fields. Google earth shows a nice shortcut road called 4E going through the fields, so I led everybody up that - until it became apparent we were headed right for a farmhouse! To avoid traipsing 5 Jeeps through the yard, we turned around and went farther west to N. McVay Road.


That is, after we found the illusive N. McVay Rd.! That was by far the hardest road to locate on this trip. We took a quick break, decided we'd wait to have lunch at Camp Bouse, and got going again. N. McVay Road is a road only in a vague sense in that it goes from point A to point B. It looks like it gets a lot of water and is not maintained, because it was it was pretty slow going the whole way to Transmission Line Road!






Once on the Transmission Line Road we were very close to Camp Bouse where we stopped for lunch.








We left Camp Bouse and drove northwest on the Transmission Line Road to Midway. Looking at a map, you might think that Midway is an old town or something, but it's just a 3 way intersection with a kiosk. At Midway, we took a sharp right up Lincoln Ranch Road, a turn I didn't miss :). After about 10 miles we slowed down and started watching for Railroad Canyon trail, finally found the marker, and turned toward Swansea.






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Railroad Canyon Trail pops out at Swansea. We got there plenty early to check out the town ruins before setting up camp. Driving and walking around I noticed the BLM has completed more work to preserve the town and for public safety. Restoration of the worker's cottage's has progressed, part of the road through the town has been repaired where it used to wash out, and the mine shafts have steel barriers over them now.










Just ahead of this sign is where the road used to get washed out. Now it's shored up with wood beams:






G being G












We set up camp at a site next to the wash where Railroad Canyon Trail starts. After we pitched tents and everybody ate, we sat around the campfire visiting until bedtime. Pictures from camp:






The weather was AWESOME!




What a view!




And there was a full moon:




In the morning we took our time having coffee, walking around, visiting & packing. We went back up Railroad Canyon to Lincoln Ranch Road where we headed northeast. Railroad Canyon Tr.




First burro sighting:




Lincoln Ranch Road was a good boogie road, but I felt bad for the guys behind us getting dusted out so bad!




Our next turn came up real fast and I flew past another one. So we turned around then went southeast on a pipeline road crossing the Buckskin Mountains then joining Bernard Mine Road as you near Alamo Lake. Many roads branch off this pipeline road and Lincoln Ranch Road; it would be a good place for 'splorin. The pipeline road was like a roller coaster; I got a lot of practice putting the Jeep into and out of 4 Low! Snack break at pipeline road turn-off:






Some of the hills were pretty steep, a couple even had bi-passes which didn't look any better.




Then we reached the summit:




More burros!




We went past a big gas processing plant out in the middle of nowhere, and ultimately reached Alamo Road at 1 PM or so. We ate lunch while we aired up. From there we went back to US 60 and east to Wickenburg where we fueled up and said our goodbyes.




It was a fun trip - a great way to spend a weekend for sure. There was lots of great sightseeing, conversation and laughs. Thanks everybody who came out to play - and thanks for putting up with me making you turn around. :rolleyes:


Here's a link to all the pics I took >> Click Here


See you on the trail!


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Wow those miner's quarters are really better off now then when I saw them. Almost makes me want to rent one and move in !!!! I think some of the mine shafts go down like a thousand feet so it's good they covered them the way they did. Like at the Morning Star Mine out by Wickenburg. A simple fence never works because some dim son always wants to climb over it.... I thought that big building with the two round openings (the smelter?) had blown down. ?? Maybe they reconstructed it... Looks like you hit most of the high points except for the pumping station which is on the B W River. That pipeline road is fun. It goes on forever!!!

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D, That link is asking me to log in to Spot. Do I need to create a log in to view?

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D, That link is asking me to log in to Spot. Do I need to create a log in to view?


I changed the link - try it now.

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