Laguna Mountains: Exploring

We’ve been hanging out in our sweet canalside camp spot for the last week enjoying the gorgeous Arizona sunshine. (Did you know that 60°F feels really cold after a week of 80°F? I’m writing this in a down vest…). Yes, that is a private dock next to the camper:

The mountains are full of quad trails and Sprocket and I have crossed over the mountains several different ways. The desert here is not lush but there are some cool rock formations to explore. Placer mining has been practiced here for almost 100 years: it’s probably that I have to thank for the tangle of roads crisscrossing the hills.

Sprocket is in love with this place: water, dirt, and the quad.

Plus, we happen to be camped with people who Sprocket has taken quite a shine to. Fortunately, the feeling is mutual and he is welcomed in their camps as he makes the rounds each day.

During our exploring we ambled to the top of “Laguna Summit,” a bump of 711′ in the hills:

We’ve ridden the quad to the tower in the distance and looked down onto Laguna Dam and Mittry Lake:

We even found the inlet to the longer of the Gila Gravity Dam tunnels:

Not too shabby…not at all:

Laguna Mountains: Sugarloaf

Located just north of Yuma, Arizona are the Laguna Mountains. Nestled between the Gila Gravity Canal (more on that coming soon!), the Colorado River, the Yuma Proving Grounds, and US 95 the Lagunas are a roughly circular range of scrubby, barren hills. We’re camped right near “Sugarloaf,” a 668′ chunk of rock presiding over western edge of the Lagunas so yesterday F and I decided to head up and check out the view.

We approached the mountain via a big wash to the northwest of the peak doing a bit of exploring as we circled around to the southeast to climb the peak. Some sources say to take along a rope if you’re going to the summit but we found it to be a very simple scramble to the top.

At the summit, we were treated to big views all around the Yuma area: looking northeast we could see Castle Dome, back to the east were the Muggins Mountains, to the southeast the Gila Mountains and Tinjas Altas, to the southwest Pilot Knob, to the west the Cargo Muchacho Mountains, and to the south the smog of San Luis, Mexico.

Plus, we could see where the All-American Canal headed west towards the Imperial Valley, where the Colorado River cut through the Yuma Valley, and all the lush green agricultural fields.