A couple of years ago Don and I spent a week in the remote White Canyon Wilderness. You won't find a more ruggedly beautiful place to camp in the wild Sonoran Desert of Arizona. We had heard that it was a great place to watch Bighorn Sheep & even skittish Javelinas and was the primary reason we decided to visit the area. We didn't see any Javelinas, but we did enjoy watching small herds of Bighorns on top of the massive crags and buttes in the canyon.
Getting back to the canyon can be quite an adventure in itself, with several small river crossings, and tight squeezes around large boulders. The BLM recommends having a 4x4 to explore the area via a dry river bed that winds through Walnut and White Canyons. Driving the Blue Goose, I got stuck only once, in deep sand and Don had to pull me out with his Sidewinder.
Just before reaching Walnut Canyon, we stopped near the base of this ancient volcano to take in the scenery.
Don taking the Dogs for a short walk when we stopped for lunch near the entrance to Walnut Canyon. If you plan on bringing dogs with you, you may want to buy some little boots for them as there are a lot of nasty cacti, such as the infamous Teddy Bear Cactus, in the area. Poor little Cricket, we had to pull out spines from her feet on more than one occasion during our stay in the canyon.
The following pics show some of the rock formations to be found in Walnut Canyon! Such an awesome place!
Upon arriving at White Canyon, we were utterly overwhelmed by the majestic buttes, and colorful cliffs near the trail head. Over 20 million years ago, during the early Miocene Epoch the area was a vast volcanic field populated with Cinder cones and small volcanoes. Sediment from Pyroclastic flows can be seen throughout the canyon. In fact we set up our camp at the base of an ancient volcano, whose top was quite eroded, showing the rhyolite plug - the hardened magma core of an extinct vent.
These are the first views we saw of the massive cliffs and mesas within White Canyon! This post is already too long, and I have so many photos of this beautiful canyon I am going to have to break this up into a series of posts! Lots more to come!