Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Camping with the family "Box Wash" at Vulture Peak Wickenburg, Arizona!!!!

Memorial day weekend my family and I had no plans for the weekend.  Saturday morning I started becoming antsy to get out of the house, so I started looking up places to visit that were not going to be overly crowded with people.  We live in Buckeye, Arizona which is about 35 miles west of Phoenix.  Everyone and their grandmother it seemed were going to the nearest lake and there were Wildfires burning in the local mountains, so both of those were out.  I came across Box Wash which is about seven miles south of Wickenburg, Arizona.  There was not a lot of info on it, but what I had read is there were good riding trails, it was close to town if you needed anything, but far enough from everything to find serenity.  We packed up some food along with our Rhino in the back of our toy hauler trailer and headed for Wickenburg!

Most of the drive was on a two lane road, I think we passed about three cars the whole drive.  There were lots of cattle guards, we did see a few dead cattle along the side of the road.  So if you are heading out that way keep an eye out for cattle!  Hitting a cow is a good way to ruin your weekend!  We continued up Vulture Mine road and actually came across Vulture Mine which was perched up on the hill on the left hand side of the road.
 Vulture Mine was a gold mine and settlement which began in1863 and became the most productive gold mine in Arizona history!  From 1863 to 1942, the mine produced 340,000 ounces of gold and 260,000 ounces of silver.  The mine attracted more than 5,000 people to the area, and is credited with founding the town of Wickenburg, Arizona.  In 1942, the Vulture Mine was shut down for processing gold.  This was a violation at the time because all resources were to be focused on the war effort.
Today the Mine and Ghost town are privately owned, and tours are offered!  There is a two hour, dirt path, guided walk tour at the historic Vulture mine and through the remaining buildings of Vulture City, a booming mining town.  While we were there for the weekend the Vulture mine tours were only running on Saturday mornings form 8:30-10:30.  Unfortunately we were unable to visit the Vulture mine, but plan on going back and making this part of our itinerary!  The Vulture Mine also was part of the travel Channel show the Ghost Adventures as one of the Lock Down sites for the show!!

Approximately seven miles north on Vulture Mine Road, on the right hand side you will find Vulture Peak Road!  This is BLM land.  Vulture Peak road is a well maintained dirt road with lots of big pull outs and areas for rigs as well as some nice secluded areas for tent camping. There are no restrooms or facilities in this area!

I think we saw about three other campers our whole weekend!  We drove down to Mile marker 1 and there was a really nice big open area with lots of trails surrounding and easily accessible with our trailer.  This land is littered with mature mesquite trees that offer shade, as well as lots of beautiful Saguaro Cactus!  Memorial day weekend all the cactus and trees were in full bloom!  There were wild flowers everywhere!
The weekend was very peaceful.  We did a lot of trail riding in our Rhino, and a lot of star gazing at night!  We drove into Wickenburg which is only 7 miles up the road a couple times to stock up on ice!  While there we walked around the town and looked at all the sculptures along the streets.  We stopped in The Chaparral Home made Ice cream shop for a sweet treat before heading back to camp.  The Chaparral is the oldest homemade ice cream shop for miles and a MUST stop in Wickenburg, AZ  My son had Prickly Pear Ice cream and LOVED  it!!

We returned home Monday.  The whole drive from Buckeye, AZ to the Box Wash BLM campground towing a trailer only took us an hour!  It was a nice getaway, It was free, It was not packed with people, was close enough to town for supplies, but far enough away to find that Serenity!  A great star gazing area and OHV playground!  My only complaint is during the spring everything is in bloom which means lots of bugs!!  I hope everyone had a beautiful Memorial day!  

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