Charles E. Eichelberger discovered gold in an unnamed string of low rugged mountains in southwestern Arizona in 1986. The resulting mine was named the King of Arizona Mine. Rail shipments of supplies and equipment were brought in by wagon over Engesser Pass, the nearest rail siding being over 50 miles away. Soon the crates of gear and supplies were simply marked K of A, the mine's initials. The acronym stuck and soon, the entire area was simply known as Kofa. The short-lived mining town had 300 residents, a post office, and even a dam to store the runoff from limited seasonal rains. The gold rush in the area died off slowly in the early 1900s. In 1939 the Boy Scouts led an effort to preserve 666,640 acres in the area as habitat for desert bighorn sheep and other wildlife. Their efforts resulted in the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge, which covers four mountain ranges and vast low Sonoran Desert valleys. Today a wide dirt road crosses the broad King Valley ending at the entrance to the mine, which is on a small island of private property and is sporadically operated today. King Road is used as the main western entrance into the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge. While an easy drive, the road offers scenic views of the Kofa Mountains to the northeast and the Castle Dome Mountains to the southwest. Looking northeast, you can easily spot Kofa Butte, a steep-sided flat-top promontory. King Road ends near Kofa Butte.
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