Hoodoo Wash

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4.6/5 (5 reviews)
Quartzsite, Arizona (Yuma County)
Last Updated: 01/06/2023

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Early pioneers, mostly miners and ranchers, used broad sandy washes as ready-made roadways through the rugged landscapes of southwestern Arizona. A perfect example of that pioneer ingenuity is the use of a convenient section of Hoodoo Wash as a route into the edges of the rugged Kofa Mountains. The Wilbanks family settled on the western end of Hoodoo Wash, building a fine home and raising cattle. Their story is one of gritty determination to overcome the obstacles thrown their way. Their house burned, and they rebuilt the two-room cabin you see today. The Great Depression crashed cattle prices. Drought and flash floods took their toll. Severe injuries meant several days on rough roads to find medical care. Only the determined last in the Kofa Mountains. Later the Hoodoo Cabin was erected on the eastern end of Hoodoo Wash as a line shack for a cattle company. The cabin was modern for its time and came in prebuilt segments to be assembled onsite. You can still see the numbered medallions that identified each section so the assembly instructions could be followed. Working cattle this far out was a lonely affair, but at least it was comfortable. Narrow roadways have been built where required, but the trail between the cabins is mostly in the wide sandy Hoodoo Wash. Wells at both cabins, and one along the way, still pump water via windmills to fill water troughs for local wildlife, which includes among others desert bighorn sheep, deer, fox, and coyotes. Palo verde and mesquite grow in thick tangles on the edges of the wash, while stately saguaros stand as silent sentinels on the rocky slopes above. Saguaros live for hundreds of years. The ones you see today watched the Wilbanks come and go. They have seen prospective miners combing the slopes for mineral veins only to vanish into history. Cowboys have ridden under the silent sentinels only to disappear from the area as well. They will watch you drive the sandy wash as you search for whatever brought you into the remote and rugged Kofa Mountains.

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