Highlight: Arva Caliente
Arva, Latin for dry land. Caliente, Spanish for hot. Whoever named this trail may have mixed his languages, but the trail is interesting and beautiful in its own way in any tongue. Beginning at the base of the pyramid-shaped Fourth of July Butte, the skinny two-track winds easily through a prototypical lower Sonoran desert landscape. Beginning as a sea of creosote bush, bursage, and brittlebush, the desert evolves into a forest of stately saguaro and ocotillo as the trail climbs steadily towards the looming Cortez Peak. The land may be dry, but it is plenty lush enough to support grazing. Corrals and water tanks lay at the terminus of side roads. Lounging in the shade of mesquite and palo verde along the edge of a wash, cows raise their heads to watch as you trundle by. Arva Caliente ends at an adit, a horizontal mine shaft. It is one of several shafts cut into Cortez Peak and bears no name on maps of the area. Likely the person who named the road in two languages came here to find gold. Today we come for our own treasures; adventure, remoteness, and the view of a hot dry land as seen from the end of this trail,
For individual use only, not to be shared.