|Name: Paloma Road (FR4669, 4662, 4659, 235)||Author's Rating:|
|Author: Matt Marine||Avg. User Rating: Not rated yet|
|Type: 4WD||Difficulty: (Easy 4WD)|
|Time: 2 - 4 hours||Region: Southeast Arizona|
|Length: 9.25 miles (one way)||Elevation gain/loss/change: ~ +873 ft / -1297 ft / - 424 ft (one way)|
|Type: Through Trail||Avg Elevation: 4400 ft|
|Best time to go: fall, spring, winter, after summer rains||Fees: NA|
|Fitness rating: Low||Educational Merit: Low|
|Danger/fear rating: Low||Scenic Beauty: High|
|Hours of Operation: NA||Last updated: September, 2014|
|Short Description: An easy4WD trail between Dusquesne Road and Highway 82 through some beautiful rolling hills|
|Geocaches: A few geocaches in the area: Guajalote Peak; Guajolote Flate; Ruby Challenge|
|References / Contact Information: Golden Rose Mine|
|Points of interest: Javelina Well; Golden Rose Mine Ruins; Lower Paloma Dam;|
|Special Considerations: Lots of old mines in this area, stay away from open mine shafts and be careful of mine tailings.
Trail is located in illegal immigrant and smuggler high traffic area, see page regarding warning (it's not as bad as it sounds).
|How to get there: From Tucson, head east on I-10, take the Soniota exit and drive south on highway 83, then turn right on highway 82 toward Patagonia. We drove this from south to north since we were coming from the east side of the mountains, but if you're coming straight from Patagonia, it may make more sense to drive north to south. Directions to the south trail head: From Patagonia, drive south on Highway 82 for 13.4 miles, then turn left onto Duquesne Road. Drive east for 6.3 miles until you reach Waypoint 001. Click here for directions. For the north trail head: From Patagonia, drive south on Highway 82 for 10 miles until you reach FR235 at Waypoint 011. Click here for directions.|
This trail winds its way through the rolling hills west of the Patagonia Mountains. There is a lot of history in this area and you will drive through ranch land and by mines long ago closed down.
The Golden Rose Camp ruins are about 1/4 mile south of the Golden Rose Mine. There's not a lot there except foundations and some rock walls. We also found a dump and within 5 minutes discovered an old license plate from 1946. Very cool.
Javelina Well is also a neat place to explore. There's some walls of an old bullidng next to the well. The building was built in 1937.
There's not much left to the Lower Paloma Dam either, but it's an interesting place. The canyon was bright green and covered with vines and other flora when we visited.
For me, the best part of this trip was the driving through the hills and the incredible scenery after a good summer of monsoons. The hills were green and lush. Some of them were covered in vines so thick you could barely walk through them. It was almost as if you were in a jungle instead of the desert. I think this would still be a fun little trail other times of the year, but not quite so scenic.
I could not find any history of Golden Rose Camp or Javelina Well. If you know the history of these places, I would appreciate it if you contacted me.
Note: We did this trail south to north, but it may make more sense to do this north to south. Just reverse these directions. There are many roads leading off in either direction. Not all of these are noted on the map or in the directions.
From Duquesne Road at Waypoint 001, turn north onto FR4669. The trail here is relatively flat and follows a sandy wash along Sycamore Canyon for little more than a mile.
After 1.25 miles, turn right at FR4662 (Waypoint 002). This takes you out of the wash and into the rolling hills. Continue on FR4662 for almost a mile, then keep straight (bear slightly right) as you pass FR4663 on your left at Waypoint 003.
Less than a quarter mile later, you will come to the Golden Rose Camp ruins at Waypoint 004. The ruins are on your left. We found some old foundations, a tank, rock walls and a dump. The Golden Rose Mine is about a quarter mile north of the camp, but we did not visit the mine during this trip.
After visiting the camp, continue straight along the road for another 1.23 miles until you reach Waypoint 005. Keep straight past the road on the right. I believe this is a continuation of FR125. It leads to the top of a hill a short distance away and doesn't look too interesting.
Keep going for another 0.22 miles and then make a right onto FR4659 at Waypoint 006. This right turn is not obvious. The main trail looks as though it goes straight, which is onto FR125. FR125 to the east goes through Wild Hog Canyon which looks interesting on the topo map, but we did not run this trail during this trip.
After turning right at Waypoint 006, continue on FR4659 for another 0.6 miles. You will go up a steep hill and then back down near Isabella Mine and pass a corral at the bottom of the hill at Waypoint 007.
The trail mostly follows the Canada de la Paloma Canyon bottom after Waypoint 007. Drive 0.8 miles until you reach Waypoint 008. The Javelina Well ruins are on your left and the well is on your right. There's not much left of the building, mostly foundations and a partial wall. By the scrawling in the concrete it appears the building was constructed in 1937. The well has a working windmill built over it. True to its name, we saw lots of javelina prints in the muddy wash floor as we explored the area.
During our visit we also saw tons of butterflies. Hundreds of them would be at a damp spot on the road and we would slowly drive through the area, causing the butterflies to swirl around us like a yellow, white and purple tornado. It was wonderful.
Follow the canyon for another 1.5 miles until you reach Waypoint 009 at the Lower Paloma Dam. The dam is down in the canyon on your left. It doesn't look like much today, but I image it held back a good deal of water when it was originally constructed.
After the dam, it's a quick 0.8 miles until you reach FR235 (a graded dirt road) at Waypoint 010. Take a left to head back out to Highway 82. Drive 1.7 miles until you reach the northern trail head at Waypoint 011 at the intersection of FR235 and Highway 82. Take a right to head back to Patagonia or left to go to Nogales.