The sun woke me. In compensation for interrupting my dreams, it offered the quintessential western skyline for my consideration. Backlit in hues of burned orange, melted copper, and baby blue, jagged peaks of the Eagletail Mountains sawtoothed the eastern sky. Silhouetted on closer hills, saguaros stood as silent sentinels of the dawn. The lower Sonoran Desert is at its best at sunrise, all peace and stillness and beauty. The Palomas Harquahala Road crosses the expansive Palomas Plain to the Clanton Hills, traces the western edge of the Eagletail Mountains Wilderness, parallels sandy Deadman Wash up into Nottbusch Valley, and skirts the western edge of Cemetary Ridge before passing in the shadow of Deadman Mountain. The names alone bespeak adventure. The trail cuts through a flat desert sea of creosote bush, bursage, and brittlebush. The sameness is broken here and there by saguaro and ocotillo. Like green ribbons, the washes snake through the desert with their overgrown banks of palo verde, mesquite, and ironwood. Corrals and windmills, many still in use, evoke an earlier time when rugged men came here to eke out a living in this arid landscape. In that pursuit, they cut the trails we drive today. Download the track. Pack your gear. Gas up the rig. Take a ride on a long trail.
By clicking "ACCEPT", you agree to be the terms and conditions of each policy linked to above. You also agree to the storing of cookies on your device to facilitate the operation and functionality of our site, enhance and customize your user experience, and to analyze how our site is used.