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Saturday, February 7, 2009

DINOSAUR WASH

DINOSAUR WASH Wickenburg Although there are no fossilized bones to be found, many other “dinosaurs” are easy to spot along this exploratory route in the Hassayampa River gorge. The remains of an old manganese mine, a hermit’s roost and a smattering of petroglyphs vie for attention among towering canyon walls, riparian vegetation and sandy, water-filled narrows. Because there’s no formal trail and some boulder scrambling is involved, only experienced hikers should attempt this route, which begins with a steep decent along a Jeep road into the canyon. As the water level in the creek varies from trickling to torrential, it’s smart to avoid the area after heavy rains and come prepared with wading sandals. From the canyon floor, head right and pick your way downstream keeping your eyes open for the many discoveries that lurk in the shadows. LENGTH: 1-7 miles, exploratory hike RATING: moderate ELEVATION: 2,420 – 2,744 feet GETTING THERE: From Phoenix, take Highway 60 west to Wickenburg. Connect to Highway 89/93 and drive north to milepost 195 and turn right onto Scenic Loop Drive. Set your odometer and continue on the dirt road past two cattle guards and an old mine site at mile 6.9. Stay right at the next junction, and then veer right onto an unmarked road at the 7-mile point. The parking area is a short distance ahead, on the rim of the canyon. INFORMATION: Bureau of Land Management, Phoenix Field Office, (623) 580-5500

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