Swansea Road

Bouse, Arizona (La Paz County)

Last Updated: 03/01/2022
4 / 5 ( 3 reviews )
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Typically Open: Year Round
Length: 30.04 miles
Highest Elevation: 1782 feet
Duration: About 4 hours
Shape of Trail: Out & Back
Best Direction to Travel: East
Nearest Town: Bouse
Nearest Town w/ Services: Parker
Official Road Name: Swansea Road
Management Agency: Bureau of Land Management
District: Lake Havasu Field Office


Highlight: Swansea Road
If you like old ghost towns and stories of the boom and bust mining cycles in the Southwest, Swansea is for you. Mining began in the area of Swansea around 1862, but the site was so remote that getting ore to a smelter was extremely difficult. In 1904 the Arizona & California Railroad connected the nearby hamlet of Bouse to the rest of the world. Investors began building the Arizona & Swansea Railroad to connect to Bouse and constructing infrastructure in Swansea. By 1909 Swansea had 500 residents. The mines operated under differing owners until 1937. The Great Depression signaled the end of Swansea. Today, primarily foundations remain. Some of the worker's quarters still stand. BLM has done an admirable job marking each of the sites with the purpose of the original building. It is easy to trace the railroad bed as it winds through the ghost town. Few visitors venture past the Swansea ghost town, but Swansea Road continues through a remote and rugged landscape to the banks of the Bill Williams River.


Route Information

Technical Rating


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1. Trailhead (0 mi)
The trailhead is at the end of the pavement. There are two large areas for airing down or assembling your group.

Directions to Trailhead

Starting Point: Bouse, Arizona

Head north on Main Street. Turn left at the 4-way stop sign onto Rayder Avenue. Rayder Avenue becomes Swansea Road. The trailhead is 2.3 miles ahead, where the pavement ends.



Land Use Issues

None - BLM land - Info Here

Trail Reviews (4)

Questions & Answers (2)

Q: Have you ever approached Swansea from Apache Lake area?
–Stephanie Waaramaa (10/26/2020)
–Jim Long (10/26/2020)
–Stephanie Waaramaa (10/26/2020)
Q: Good morning! Is this area still pretty open or has it been closed off more since this was posted?
–Jon Sauber (09/18/2020)
–Jim Long (01/21/2021)
–Jim Long (09/20/2020)

Writer Information

Wade May

Hi! I'm Wade. After 43 years as a pilot, split evenly between flying fighters for the Air Force and Boeing 737s for the airlines, my feet are firmly planted on the ground. Seems I spent a lot of my flying time looking out the cockpit window thinking, "Yep, I could drive that trail." My trips range from a few days to a month. Most are solo in my silver 4Runner named Bullit. We range over all the southwest exploring remote places and trying to get as much dirt under the wheels as possible. Occasionally I get in some hiking, backpacking, and bushcraft as well. My most ambitious Overlanding plans include a trip to Tuktoyaktuk and Dead Horse when travel restrictions permit. Sharing my experiences as a member of the Trails Offroad crew, instructing at Overland Expo, and hosting the Gaia GPS Offroad podcast are true pleasures. Hope to see you on the trail soon.
For individual use only, not to be shared.