If you've ever stayed on in Quartzsite during the high season – say anytime from mid-December to mid-February, you know the place is hopping. Sometimes a wee bit too hopping. Unless you're a vendor, the crowds can be just plain oppressive. Need a little break? Not far south on Highway 95--the road to Yuma, is the Kofa Wildlife Refuge. A favorable boondocking spot is at Crystal Hill.
Crystal Hill was once pretty popular among the rock hound set, as you could (and with persistence still can) find small crystal formations. Evidently popularity was too much, today the leaveright rule applies there. Spot something nice in the way of rocks or crystals? Look at it, appreciate it, but 'leave 'er right there,' because it's illegal to take them away.
|photo: Magnus Kjaergaard|
The former have a tendency to roam around wherever it is that a sheep's fancy takes them; the latter are found in Palm Canyon--a short hike from the Palm Canyon trail head (clearly marked by signage on Highway 95). We've also been fascinated by rock formations like the one pictured here. This fellow surely reminds us of a bobcat getting ready to set about a little luncheon. Now some will tell you he's quite natural, but a local friend of ours tells us he results from the artistic efforts of Spanish explorers who carved him (and other formations) to point the way to gold mines and other hot spots.
You'll find the road to Crystal Hill between mileposts 95 and 96. Palm Canyon road is 18 miles south of Quartzsite, follow the dirt road to the trail head and thence hike from there--about a half mile. Best light is found around high noon.