A Walk To
A Couple of Slot Canyons And An Old Miner's Cabin
In the Artillery Mountains of Western Arizona
and I had planned a kayak camping trip to Alamo Lake in western
Arizona in early January. We also wanted to do some hiking. A
Panoramio photograph that popped up in a Google Earth view of the
area west of the lake seemed to show a slot canyon. That looked like an interesting destination for a hike. But we could not spot the actual canyon in the Google Earth view. However, a few miles southwest of the photo, there seemed to be a couple of possibilities. One was associated with Rawhide Wash and the other, in an unnamed wash located a bit south of Rawhide.
Both Rawhide and the unnamed wash, drain into Maggie Wash. Maggie Wash, a very prominent drainage, itself, empties into Alamo Lake. We decided to park on the east side of the lake at the end of Wickenburg Road, paddle our gear across the lake and set up camp at the mouth of Maggie Wash. The next day we would walk up Maggie Wash to check things out.
The Slot Canyon of Rawhide Wash
The Old Miner's Cabin
While searching the countryside west of Alamo Lake with Google Earth for slot canyons, we had stumbled onto a view of an old cabin sitting out in the desert in a southwesterly direction from Rawhide Slot. Since it was only a few miles beyond, we decided to hoof it over and see what was there.
The Artillery Mountains have historically produced silver, gold and copper. In the 1950's there was a rush to mine manganese. It appears that the cabin was associated with one of the older gold mines.
Slot Canyon #2
After looking over
the old miner's cabin, we made our way cross-country to the old
where we turned eastward toward our camp in Maggie Wash. But we had one more slot canyon to check out. The unnamed wash crossed our road, so it was a simple matter to follow it a ways downstream to where we
thought that it would slot up. The narrowing of the canyon was sudden and dramatic! At some point in the past a concrete barrier had been constructed across the canyon. It was a tricky maneuver to get around that barrier and get to the floor of the canyon.