Palm Canyon, Kofa National Wildlife Refuge

Thursday, December 26

Today we’re going to Palm Canyon!


Bill is at the wheel. I’m in the front and Ann is in the back with the four canines.

I’m concerned whether Spike can handle the hike.  It’s not a long trail, but it’s uphill and rocky.


Palm Canyon Road to Signal Peak (elev. 4,877 feet)

Bill and Ann are careful what challenges they put before their beagle, Samantha.  She inexplicably ruptured three discs a few months ago and had to have back surgery.  Her recovery has been good.  Still, one wonders how well Samantha will do on this hike.

Little Julie the dachshund is an intrepid hiker in spite of legs about two inches in length.  As for Bridget, she always does her best to follow wherever I go.

At the end of Palm Canyon Road, this is the view looking west toward our campsites, Route 95, the Chocolate Mountains and the South Trigo Peaks.

1-DSC01949This is the view when looking south.

1-DSC01955The canines attack the hike with great enthusiasm!

1-DSC01960Ann and Bill lead the way.


Sammy’s paws are white. She’s wearing boots on her back feet.

This is the north side of the canyon.


The enormity of the rocks is not apparent in photos.

Samantha is handling the hike very well.  Spike surprises me with his energy.  He’s loving this!

We reach the point where the palm trees can be seen.

These are California fan palms, the only native palms in Arizona.  I’m lucky to catch this photo in bright sunshine.  A moment later the palms are in dark shadow.

1-DSC01969Ann heads up a trail along the rock face on the south side of the canyon.  No way I’m going to do that.  While Ann’s up there, some young hikers call out from the trail ahead of Bill and me, “Hey!  There’s a bobcat over here!”

1-DSC01973I hold the four leashes while Bill hurries to join them.  He tries to take a photo, but the bobcat eludes his camera.

1-DSC01965All four canines are superb hikers today.

If Spike’s arthritis bothers him, he doesn’t let on.  By the time we return to the Best Little Trailer, my two happy hikers are ravenous.  I quickly prepare them individual plates of ground turkey which they gobble (groan) up in a flash.

No urging necessary for bedtime.  Bridget and Spike fall asleep shortly after supper.

Friday, December 27

Another hike!  We go up the Kofa Queen Road to hike into Ten Ewe Canyon.  More about that in the next post.



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62 Responses to Palm Canyon, Kofa National Wildlife Refuge

  1. Pauline says:

    Hey, hey…right place,right time.. FIRST!!!

    • Pauline says:

      Went back and read the post. What a hike!!!!!!!!! The pictures are fantastic. I love the picture of the palms. No way you would get me up there. Glad the canines did well.

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        Your comment was so fast I hadn’t finished making corrections. I always find errors after I hit the “publish” button.

        It wasn’t a difficult hike. We didn’t go up to the palms. There’s a gorge (I guess that’s the right word) between where we stood and the line of palms.

  2. Mary Strasser says:

    Sounds like a wonderful hike! I ‘ll remember this for some day in the future. Way to go Spike and Bridget! And Sue, too!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Mary,

      It’s a fun hike, not too difficult. The views are stunning. On a warm day it’s cool in the canyon which makes the hike comfortable when wearing a light jacket or vest.

  3. Dexter says:

    Oh Sue how I envy you!

  4. Ilse says:

    Hi Sue,
    Looks like you all had a great time. I love the palm trees. I had to take another look at those boots on Sammy’s feet. I don’t think Max would take even just one step, if he had to wear them. We took off and are now in the LTVA in Quartzsite. It’s funny how your blog posts pop in my head when I see an exit sign, for example Dome Rock. It’s so nice to be able to go to these places myself now. I really appreciate your beautiful blog with all the directions to the places you have gone and lots of pictures to show what we can expect.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Ilse,

      What’s also funny is sitting in the BLT and becoming aware of how many people think of me during a single day. All because I type words on this laptop! Amazing! Thank you for letting me know how much you appreciate my efforts.

      Well, you’ve found a good place to settle for a while. The Quartzsite vendors and shoppers will be gathering this month, the weather is good, and you have stores and services handy. . . and a naked bookseller, too!

  5. Cinandjules says:

    For a minute there ……. I thought Bridget took a picture of you…..or your arms are really long and you took a selfie!

    The palms are neat….weird how they aren’t in the open but in the crevice where the water might run down.

    Bobcat??? Okay crew….we’ve gone far enough….last one back……

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You manage to make me chuckle with almost every comment you make. When we turned around to go down the trail, Spike took off running. That’s the picture that came to mind when you wrote “last one back.” 🙂

    • Gayle says:

      …is a bobcat dinner.

      • Cinandjules says:

        Heh heh

        Where we live….it’s pitch dark and you can’t see your hand in front of your face. Walking back from Jules’ parent’s (aka the outlaws) we’d have to use a flashlight. Halfway back we’d start running because you can hear critters in the woods……whoever is ahead usually says ” last one back gets eaten by the bear”

        Needless to say we don’t do that anymore! Oh darn! ;). Running back was the FUN part!

  6. Ladybug says:

    I’m glad you specified who was driving…my first thought was ‘ok, I know Al takes pics when he’s driving, but I don’t think it’s physically possible for Sue to have taken a pic of herself holding the wheel from that angle!’ LOL

    Speaking of Al, make sure you check out his last post regarding the ‘mystery circle’ he visited, if you haven’t already. I assume you wouldn’t necessarily want to make a post about your own visit, but looks like it would be an interesting place to visit ‘just because’.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Ladybug,

      Oh, yes… I’ve seen the “mystery circle” on Al’s blog. His coverage of Kofa has been excellent… The hikes he and Kelly have taken, climbing rocks, the beautiful photos, the discoveries, watering holes … I looked at his blog post before writing mine and thought, “Gee, why bother?” 🙂

  7. Eileen P. says:

    Very cool photo of the palms. In spite of having lived in Arizona 25+ years I was not aware until this moment that there were any palms native to Arizona. I will file that detail away for a potential winning answer in a trivia contest. Good learning opportunity :-).
    Eileen in Phoenix

  8. AZ Jim says:

    I have a beautiful Arizona Fan Palm in my back yard. This grand lady is about 40′ and she’s still a growing girl. I love it but sometimes think about the possibility of it coming down (not good). Quite a hike you guys took, no wonder those little guys were tired. Nice pics too. I know what you mean about pictures doing nothing to reflect true scale. I had that frustration at Lake Powell and also Mt. Rushmore. Enjoying your side trips Missy….

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Jim,

      What a treasure in your own back yard! Well, if the Kofa palms can grow well in that steep rock, your “grand lady” should do well where she is.

      The only time I want people to wander into my photos is when I’m trying to show the scale. I remember a pic I took at Zion that became a dramatic photo because a few tiny tourists were at the bottom corner.

  9. Marilu, Northern Ca. says:

    What a beautiful place to hike and how nice you were able to share it with people and dogs you enjoy. Your pictures are wonderful.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thank you, Marilu. I always hope my photos will help people feel like they are walking along with me and the crew.

  10. bonnie and charlie (tent living/from TX) says:

    Merry Christmas a little late…have followed your blog from the beginning…
    it inspired us to hit the road ourselves, but we do it in a tent…
    currently in AZ, just left Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, where we were camped for 10 days…went to Ajo a few times for mail, groceries, etc…I’m
    curious, we passed a sign that said Darby Well Rd., is that the same road you’ve mentioned in previous blog entries?
    Truly love the pictures of all the places you’ve been to…as well as the antics of your canine crew. Many blessings for all the good things you have done for others, especially taking the time to do this blog for others to read…Have a Happy, Healthy, and Prosperous New Year…

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Bonnie and Charlie! Welcome to my blog! Thank you for reading it from the beginning and for introducing yourselves. Your message interested me very much.

      Yes, that’s the Darby Well Road you read about. It’s BLM land, yet very convenient to the town of Ajo.

      What a brave and adventuresome pair you are! I wish you safe travel and warm nights. I hope to hear from you again. Best wishes for a new year full of wonders . . .

  11. LeeJ says:

    Palm Canyon, now it makes sense..I had this visual of a hand, palm up, shaped depression in a mountain… Pretty hike for sure!

    We just discovered a small palm tree growing out by our grape vines today..wonder how that got there? some bird I guess!

    As always, I love your blog!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Lee,

      We were talking about how the palm trees became rooted on the side of the rock. Some creature or natural force found the perfect combination of earth, sun, water, and protection to give those palms their start.

      Keep loving my blog and I’ll keep loving your comments! 🙂

  12. Anne H says:

    Well, Spike couldn’t let himself be shown up by a post-op dog in recovery and a weiner dog with 2 inch legs!! Seriously though, that’s some impressive hiking from a bunch of cute little dogs! 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Anne,

      Aren’t they the greatest pack of canine hikers? It did my heart good to watch Spike enjoying the hike with his pals. Bridget had fun, too.

      Ann and Bill were happy to see their Sammy girl climbing up that trail with no problems. Her back legs wobble due to the correction of her spine, but that doesn’t seem to bother her at all. Both their dogs are precious and very lovey-dovey.

  13. Diane, Blue Ridge Mts. VA says:

    Wow, loved the Palms shot, did not know about them until this Blog. Landscape is strange, beautiful though. The Mountains seem to loom straight up. Do you know how they were formed?
    Glad the dogs did well and all enjoyed the hike. Makes me smile.
    We have a lot of Bobcats here in the mountains, they are small and rarely ever seen as they are nocturnal. You all were lucky to see one.
    Looking forward to the next hike. Thanks Sue.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Diane,

      I was very happy to see that the photo of the palms came out well. I find it very difficult to take good photos here. This time of year the sun is low yet bright, casting shadows, and these rocks make for very dark shadows which move quickly. I’m having to reject a large percentage of the shots I take.

      Thanks for stopping by. Always good to see you here, Diane.

  14. michael wilkerson says:

    The straight walls of the canyon cast shadows fast. Great shots Sue, I also am in Quartzsite and your pictures are making me want to take that hike again.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Michael,

      In the canyons, if you see a great photo, you’d better snap it quickly because there’s no going back to catch it quite the same again. It will look entirely different.

      As is true with most of the places I’ve shown on this blog, the pictures give only a small impression of the wonder and experience of being there.

      • Gayle says:

        Did you use your hiking poles on this hike? Any criteria for why or why not?

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Now that I have Keen trail shoes that grip so well, I haven’t used hiking poles. It’s difficult to hold poles, two leashes, and a camera.

  15. Its been quite a few years since we enjoyed that hike into Palm Canyon, excellent pictures.

  16. rvsueandcrew says:


    Mick in Tennessee predicted today, December 28, 9 p.m.
    Laurie in Oregon predicted today, December 28, 8 p.m.
    Both Ladybug and Jeannie chose tomorrow, December 29.

  17. Rita from Phoenix says:

    I love your photos of the fan palms. I too am learning more about AZ although I’ve been a Zonie all my life I see I don’t know AZ well. I get to see some of AZ thru your blog 🙂 I love hiking so this blog was especially enjoyable. Most of my hiking buddies have developed health problems, heart surgeries, arthritis, etc. We’ve traveled and hiked a lot but the country is so big it’s impossible to see it all and thanks to bloggers like you I get to travel and see more. My latest hike was around Haleakala National Park and other areas in Maui…the views were breath taking.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Rita,

      A Maui hike… It must have been fantastic! Your comment reminds us all to do what we love while we’re still able.

      We’re learning Arizona together!

  18. What a great hike! I am sure DoogieBowser and Radar would have loved to been there! The photo of the palms is amazing… a new desktop wall paper! LOL! Have a happy new year!

  19. Tis quite a bunch we are out here in the long shadows of the Kofa Mountains this week. See you in about an hour for the 4 Palms hike. Let me see now, that will make a hiking gang of 5 people & 5 dogs. Can you bring an Apple Pie…….Just gotta love these great days:))

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Okay, Al. . . The crew and I will be there. No apple pie. I’m trying to lose the pumpkin pie I ate a few days ago!

  20. Karen SC says:

    Wow!! what beautiful pictures you take. So glad you have company for your hikes. I am sure Bridget and Spike like having company as well.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Karen,

      Bridget and Spike walk faster the closer we get to Sammy and Julie’s house. The four of them do get along very well, and Al and Kelly’s Pheebs, too, of course. There’s not a human or canine on the planet that doesn’t get along well with Pheebs.

  21. Alan Rabe says:

    A bit about KOFA and the palms. First, KOFA stands for the “King Of Arizona” gold mine, which was the first mine in the area. The area was formed by volcanic action thousands of years ago. The peaks at KOFA run a little over 4,000 ft and can get snow in the winter. The pines at KOFA only grow along one edge of the canyon. Seeds are blown in from CA. and settle. The trick for them is sun. Any where but along that edge and select spots and the Az. sun will fry them. It is that shade that Sue spoke of that keeps them alive. The area is extremely covered in quartz formations, it is in these formations that the gold accumulated in and comprises the veins that the mines follow. I mentioned in an earlier blog that when the volcano’s were active they were spewing out little globules of melted quartz which frequently contained gold, they can be found about anywhere but you need to know what to look for. When they hit the ground the ash forms a crust and the glubules form little quartz bowls as they cool. Not sure if the Queen of Arizona mine is still being worked. When I was last at Kofa the King was being worked on occassion while the Rob Roy was the main mine. If it can be managed a trip to the King and it’s graveyard is a nice excursion. At one time there used to be a house built on top of one of the peaks next to the King. It had a outhouse that sat out on a little spit of peak and you would be surrounded by cliff on three sides. Not a great place to do ones business in a storm. The area is famous for it’s big horn sheep but they keep to themselves and are kind of hard to find. You have to hike into the middle of it all to even have a chance. All in all Kofa is a great place to be with very picturesque landscape. Just watch out for the teddy bears, they are vicious.

  22. Cinandjules says:

    Yay! Over a million!

    Congrats and please keep on doing what you do!

  23. DeAnne in TN says:

    Laurie wins! I guess I shouldn’t have been checking the blog so often because I helped it happen way faster than my prediction.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, DeAnne,

      The crew and I were out hiking when the magic number appeared. Now we’re working on the second million!

  24. Mick'nTN says:

    BIG Congratulations to RvSue&Crew on ONE MILLION visitors and Laurie on winning the prediction contest. Zero to 1,000,000 in under 3 years is quite an accomplishment in BloggoLand.
    Let the Amazon dollars roll in!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thank you.

      And CONGRATULATIONS to you, too, Mick for being the first to figure out the correct date!

  25. Gary Wood says:

    As others have stated above, interesting shot of the Palm trees. I need to add that hike to my bucket list. Congratulations on the one million mark Sue. You have an awesome blog that I too have gone back and read from the beginning! Also I am sure it along with other bloggers you have encouraged me to try the solo full time rv lifestyle starting in February 2014. Thanks for the information and the entertainment. I will be purchasing items for my new adventure using your Amazon link.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Gary,

      Gee, February is right around the corner . . . soon it will be your day for lift-off! I hope you find full-timing as fun and exciting as I do. Thank you for reading my blog from its beginning and for shopping Amazon from my links. Be sure to keep in touch!

  26. Chuck Hajek says:

    Congratulations Sue! your blog has brought SO mUch information to SO many people. Thank you. Chuck

  27. Connie & Mugsy (MN/AZ) says:

    Sue… don’t know if you get comments that arrive this late. (I’m all behind in my internet reading!!)

    In that photo looking back towards the campsites… those look like man-made mounds. Is it mining debris? Or is it possible Indian burials.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Connie,

      I usually catch the comments on older posts, not always, but usually.

      Those “mounds” are a lot larger than they look. I don’t know for sure. I think they’re natural formations. I’ll try to remember to ask Bill and Ann.

  28. Caleb says:

    Very cool. Thanks for sharing.

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