Swansea Road

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

Highlights

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

Check out our HS290 - True Grit - Parker (17.43 mi away) trail guide for an All-Access Preview!

Trail Reviews

4/5 (6)
Open
Rated 4/5
Visited: 09/18/2023
Difficulty Accuracy: Easier

This trail is great the only thing that is unfortunate is that at the end there is no access across the river to continue on though I might cut a connection across the river and clear the overgrown trail to make the river crossing more accessible… underneath the pipeline towers.if you have a high air intake and a lighter rig you could drive through the river upstream and around the bend there is a small opening but most rigs won’t be capable of doing such river bottom is extremely soft and Sandy.. one of our rigs got stuck in the river and had to be pulled out so don’t attempt without recovery gear{ ie winch} as always be respectful of the river and the fish and wildlife..
Trail Review: Swansea Road - Sean blanco
Trail Review: Swansea Road - Sean blanco
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Open
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.
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800
Open
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
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19000
Open
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.
Trail Review: Swansea Road - Jim Long
Trail Review: Swansea Road - Jim Long
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