Swansea Road

4/5 (4 reviews)
Bouse, Arizona (La Paz County)
Last Updated: 01/08/2023

Trail Information


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 construct 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.

Trail Difficulty and Assessment

Trail Navigation

Trail Reviews

4/5 (5)
Rated 4/5
Visited: 04/29/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Easier

Great Day trip. Took some new Jeepers out for the day. Did this road, then went to Camp Bouse and from there on to Alamo Lake. The road is in excellent condition. Not sure why you would ever need 4 low. The Town itself was great. Lots of story boards, We ate lunch there and just wondered around looking at all the shafts, foundations and preserved buildings. Quite a story about the mine and town.
Rated 4/5
Visited: 02/28/2022

Swansea town Site is a great day trip if your in the area. There are lots of story boards that give you a little history of the town.
This trail guide's difficulty was changed on 02/27/2022
Official Crew
Visited: 01/17/2021

Spent the night out here in Swansea in the T.J. Carrigan Campsite. There are 5 campsites sprinkled around the town, three with shade structures over the picnic table. The Swansea road was really torn up by the Parker 425 Race that happened on the 15th & 16th. Huge swaths of gravel pushed up to make high speed turns, and about every wash was deep gravel. There were deep worn tracks in the trail until you reached the Bouse cutoff intersection. Even the first few miles of pavement from 95 in Parker had potholes big enough to bend a spindle (some as deep as 18"!). These changes made this trail much more interesting than it was before. I'm sure the dirt Swansea Town road will be graded billiard table flat like it was before after the races. There was also a new gas line crossing the road just before you climbed up the mountainside. There is also a new section of pristine pavement at the border of the Indian reservation on Shea Rd. Just past here was the spectator and pit area for the race. There were abundant plastic porta potties all along Shea. The town has a walking trail with plaques to read about the buildings which I didn't notice in 2016 when I created this trail. I have to go back because I ran out of exploration time.
Rated 4/5
Visited: 01/13/2021

Great easy trail. The first half is paved. Only the last 3 miles get a bit rocky, but it's not bad. I didn't see any part of the trail that is closed. 3 or 4 great campsites. I wouldn't take a trailer in unless it's a decent clearance and can handle some switchbacks. Things to look at: 1. Miners arch, 2. Foundry, 3. The other support buildings. Most of the old building sites are marked by BLM so you figure out what was there. It'll take most of your day if this is a day trip if you want to spend anytime looking around.

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