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matt@expaz

Lake Pleasant to Hassayampa Canyon / Wickenburg

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I know this is late, and you've already been to the area, but, yes, you can get from Castle Hot Springs to the Hassayampa. Take Castle Hot Springs Road west from Castle Hot Springs to the junction of Buckhorn Road. Follow that west to it's end at Constellation road. Turn right and follow that to it's end at Goldbar. Turn left and that road goes down to the Hassayampa River. The Monte Cristo Mine and Goldbar are both on the Constellation road. As you'd be coming up from Tucson, I'm assuming you'd be spending the night somewhere which means you'd have time to check out Isaac Bradshaw's grave, well worth the side trip if you have time. To get to Goldbar, follow the Constellation road to it's end and make a right. Many intact buildings await. It's a great trip if you're still interested.

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Oh, and I just remembered. From Castle Hot Springs, you can also turn right at the "T" intersection that would take you back to Lake Pleasant. After about a mile or so, you'll come to a 4 way intersection. Right takes you back to Lake Pleasant, straight takes you up the hill to a good lookout. But left will take you to the Crown King Trail. Follow that road for a few miles, and instead of turning right at the Crown King trail, go straight. This will take you up to the Wagoner road a few miles north east of the town of Wagoner. Turn left and this will take you down into the Hassayampa River, and into Wagoner. Now, you can't follow the Hassayampa from here all the way back to Wickenburg because it passes through wilderness area in between, and I'm not too sure it would be easily passable even if it didn't, but the drive out to 89 from here is a beautiful one as you know

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And just to let you know, Buckhorn Road and Constellation Road are easy, high clearance 2wd roads. Although I've never been the other route, past the Crown King trail, I understand that 4wd is required for that one, but everybody seems to have a different threshold for what requires 4wd, so I'll let you make your own call on that one.

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Guardrail,

 

Thanks for the info. Yes, ever since I did Anderson Mill, Goldbar and Monte Cristo have been on my to do list. If I go, it looks like a short trip up to the Hassayampa River from the Goldbar and I think I'll make the trip. Thanks!

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Guardrail,

 

Thanks for the info. Yes, ever since I did Anderson Mill, Goldbar and Monte Cristo have been on my to do list. If I go, it looks like a short trip up to the Hassayampa River from the Goldbar and I think I'll make the trip. Thanks!

Matt,

 

It depends on what you consider a "short trip up to the Hassayampa.." Last weekend, we started from Wickenburg. We headed up the Hassaympa River to Box Canyon. This is a photo of the dry riverbed of the Hassayampa below Box Canyon. It was taken from the Mistake Mine:

 

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We left the Mistake Mine about mid-morning, and headed southeast until we reached Constellation Road:

 

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Then we headed northeast on Constellation Road. We stopped for lunch at Sayer Spring, just past the intersection of Constellation Road and Buckhorn Road. After lunch, we continued along Constellation Road to Monte Cristo Mine. There are "No Trespassing" signs posted all around the site:

 

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We continued northeast on Constellation Road to the Goldbar Mine site. There was a closed gate on the road leading to the site so we just looked at the site from Constellation road:

 

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Not counting the lunch stop, I would estimate that it would take about two hours to get from the Monte Cristo Mine to the Hassayampa River via Constellation Road and Blue Tank Road.

 

We camped near Bradshaw's grave, and the next day, we continued northeast to the Copperopolis mine and townsite, then headed north along Walker Gulch to Waggoner Road, Minnehaha, Oro Belle Mine and Crown King. I would estimate five hours to get from the Gold Bar Mine to the Hassayampa River at Waggoner Road if you went via Walker Gulch. Constellation Road, Buckhorn Road and Waggoner Road were easy, graded, two-wheel drive roads. A full size pickup would not have any problem on those roads. The roads around Bradshaw's grave, Copperopolis, and Walker Gulch are narrow two-track trails, eroded with deep ruts, washouts, and off-camber sections. They are definitely four wheel drive, high clearance roads. I would not take a full sized pickup on those roads.

 

Bradshaw's grave:

 

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This is the narrow, two-track trail between Copperopolis and Walker Gulch:

 

file-29.jpg

 

Walker Gulch:

 

file-22.jpg

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Cool pictures Russ! I love it out in that area; so much to see. Last time we were on Walker Gulch there was a terribly washed out section, very long, that took us the better part of a morning to go through.

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The roads around Bradshaw's grave, Copperopolis, and Walker Gulch are narrow two-track trails, eroded with deep ruts, washouts, and off-camber sections. They are definitely four wheel drive, high clearance roads. I would not take a full sized pickup on those roads.

 

We recently went to Isaac Bradshaw's Grave...in full size pickups. However, we didn't go in through copperopolis. We turned off of Buckhorn road at the Abe Lincoln mine and headed east , then north from there. Although there were places that the road was narrow and washed out and the trail required 4wd, it wasn't difficult, or even really challenging to be honest. Just rough and steep enough that 4wd was required. When you drive a full size, you can assume you're going to get some Az pin striping, but if you go in the way I did, other than the pin striping, it's really quite an easy drive.

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Russ,

 

Thanks for the info! Looks like a fun trip. Bummer about so much being closed. A couple of questions:

- Was the Hassayampa dry throughout (including in Box Canyon)?

- Was Goldbar completely closed off? You couldn't drive through to the Hassayampa or access any of the ruins?

- There looked like there's some nice ruins about a mile up from Sayer toward Monte Cristo on the left? Did you see them? Were they accessible?

- Was there any ruins at Copperopolis?

 

Thanks!

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Matt,

 

1. There was water flowing above the surface in the Hassayampa in Box Canyon. It was only a few inches deep so it was no problem to travel through Box Canyon.

2. The gate accross the access road to the Goldbar mine was closed. I didn't get close enough to see if it had a lock on it, but I would assume that it did. Dick Grover told us that the trail between Box Canyon and Constellation Road was closed because it crossed private property, and that was the reason we had to backtrack to the Mistake Mine road to get from the Hassayampa to Constellation Road. I don't know if he was referring to the same trail that you wanted to use.

3. There are some ruins about a mile up from Sayer. We didn't explore them so I can't say if they are accessible. But unlike the Monte Cristo and the Goldbar I didn't see any activity at that site so I would think it is open.

 

file-30.jpg

 

4. Most of the Copperopolis townsite has disappeared but there are a few ruins. Here's a picture of Cathy Mead exploring one of them:

 

file-19.jpg

 

Russ

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Number 3 looks like the Uneada Mine site right over the crest after leaving Sayer. There is a number of vertical and horizontal mines there along with old rock building ruins. Just before the Monte Cristo mine there is another mine on the left side of the road. I have went back to it on an ATV a few years ago but there wasn't a lot to see. The picture of the Gold Bar shows a camper in there which wasn't there before so they may have closed access to the area of the vertical shaft.

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