Copper Bottom Pass

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4.8/5 (6 reviews)
Quartzsite, Arizona (La Paz County)
Last Updated: 12/29/2022

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Trails that distantly wind out in front for miles, disappearing briefly into gullies or hiding on the backsides of hills only to emerge even farther away, snaking seductively up the side of a distant ridgeline until it blends into the far horizon always seem to beckon me more urgently than those hidden away in deep forests or on land so flat that no detail beyond a stone's throw is evident. That type of trail is a seductress, offering you a distant glimpse of her charms, a hint of adventure and treasure if you will devotedly follow her labyrinthine path. Copper Bottom Pass sings that siren song of adventure. From the start, you see the thin white ribbon of trail winding and coiling up the slopes of the Dome Rock Mountains. Cunningham Mountain sits near the high pass with a crown of antennae, a beacon to guide you, staring down as you climb toward the summit of the trail. A desert floor of hard igneous gravel cast off the mountain slopes in the erosion of a few million years is covered with ocotillo, cholla, ironwood, and brittlebush cover. They enthusiastically ignore your passing. Copper Bottom sits between two passes of near equal elevation, a bowl atop a mountain range. Copper Bottom Mine on the north side of the bowl is gated off, but the shaft entrances and old structures are easily visible. The two passes offer long views, east over La Paz Valley and into Kofa, west to the green belt of the Colorado River and California. The only wart on this beauty is the powerline that climbs into the pass right alongside you. Ignore it and enjoy the plentiful charms and adventure found on this winding seductress of a trail.

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