United States Arizona Yuma
Hiking 154 Views
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My Adventure Story
Mid-April is is the time when hiking in the Yuma area is a bit iffy.
The snakes are out and attention to one's surroundings is important.
The temperatures are rising to the point where strenuous activity means
the need to carry extra water.
Bob F and I headed out from
Mesa del Sol at 6:00 AM. We arrived at the
trail head at the northwest side of Kofa Butte an hour and 50 minutes
later. On the trip through Kofa King Valley road a bobcat ran in front
of us jumped sideways into a wash. He looked pretty healthy, although
he was not in the mood to wait for us to get our cameras out.
this time of the year Kofa Butte is a short 4 mile hike with an
elevation gain of around 1500 feet and since a large part of the route
is in shade in the late afternoon, it is one of my favorite late season
hikes. Another reason I like this 3200 ft butte is that I've seen more
bighorns here than any other place I've hiked in the Yuma area. One
time we saw a herd of 10-20 bighorns on the south end that ran through a
drainage and seemed to disappear in thin air. This day did not
On the way to the top from the northeast I noticed a
bighorn ewe on the rocks at the top watching us. She patiently and
calmly kept us in site until we were about 250 yards away and 150 feet
below her. After we got to the top we quietly headed towards the west
side. Bo spotted her on the west side next to the edge. She kept an
eye on us and walked to the south where there was a thick stand of
ocotillo between us.
I headed south and south west and Bob headed
west, but she went over a ridge and disappeared. There is actually a
very large area at the top of the butte with an amazing array of escape
sources for the nimble bighorn.
We headed to the high point at
the south end, had a nice lunch of chili and enjoyed the view. Climbing
down in the heat was hard work. Going up isn't too bad because the
rocky surface can be used almost like stairs, but descent is tricky and
care must be taken.