Gold, other heavy minerals, and most semiprecious stones are formed by the tremendous heat and pressure found deep under the earth's surface. Sometimes that pressure forces its way to the surface through faults bringing with it rare minerals and stones. Such are the forces that formed the Kofa Mountains and the various surrounding mountain ranges. Gold and other valuable minerals lured fortune-seeking prospectors and miners to these mountains in the mid-1800s. Today most of the mines are inactive. However, mild winters lure many visitors to Quartzsite and its broad valleys and rugged mountains. Some of those visitors drive Blevens Road to Crystal Hill to scratch through the multi-hued soil on its slopes in search of a wide variety of rare stones. Even if you are not a gem collector, Blevens Road offers an easy drive through a sand and gravel desert filled with saguaro, ocotillo, cholla, ironwood, jackrabbits, and hummingbirds. To either side are inspiring views of the Kofa and New Water Mountains. The openness of the desert makes for easy strolls to take in the austere beauty of this arid environment. The adaptability of animal and plant life deserves to be examined and understood at arm's length. Just don't step on a cholla ball.
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