"Two roads diverged in a yellow wood... And sorry I could not travel both. I took the one less traveled by. And that has made all the difference." --Robert Frost

Friday, April 2, 2021

Visiting Bread Rocks & Fort Bowie - AZ

Buckeye, AZ
Skyline Regional Park

The best part of being in Arizona in April are all the  colorful cactus and trees blooming.  The bummer part is the heat.  90/100s.  We had a quick repair in Surprise so we camped conveniently right off I-10 at Skyline Regional Park.  No utilities but maybe 10 very nicely spaced and large campsites.  $20 and we stayed in the back of the loop on "D".  Very private.  Verizon is very good. You can hike many trails right out of the campground.  Walmart is right across the highway so we'll stock up on our way out.
Since we were so close to Surprise we had the opportunity to spend a couple visits with Steve's stepmom and we also were able to have lunch with some Placerville peeps, Jim & Jenny, who are in the area for a bit.  This kept us out of the heat and in some A/C.
Site "D"
Long, paved driveway, picnic table and grill.
Ah, that repair.  Last October we needed to get our gray tank replaced (again).  Since it was Covid, getting a tank shipped to us in time was impossible so they tried a patch/weld fix which we agreed to as we needed to get back on the road and couldn't wait another 2+ months.  Beautiful RV Repair agreed to warranty it too if it didn't hold.  As we left Placerville last week, we knew it wasn't holding so they went ahead and ordered a new tank.  It looked like they could get it in while we were passing through Arizona.  If it didn't arrive in time they would try another patch to keep us traveling and when we get back in Arizona in October they'd replace it then.  Lucky for us the tank arrived when we did and they came out on the Saturday before Easter and replaced it.  Real great people!  We just don't get why we seem to have more tank problems than most.  Our bracing and padding is fine.
As we were traveling to our boondocking location down near Wilcox I heard a metal bang/drag sound.  As I looked out my side mirror I just caught a glimpse of the metal underbelly bar on the trailer bounce then fly out the side and land on the side of the highway.  Thankfully no injuries to anyone behind us!  As you can see in the picture it was bent but mostly in perfect shape.  Steve pulled right over and carefully walked back to get it.  After both of us bounced on it a couple times it bent back into shape fairly well.  Not sure what that says about our weight :-)
Luckily we were right in front of an exit that had a large open space on the side of the road where we could ponder what to do.  We also took advantage of the shade created by the trailer next to us.  Steve had to "borrow" 3 self tapping screws from other spots und the trailer and I had found an extra one.  We'll need to buy a few more for replacements and spares.  After about an hour of swearing and crawling around under the trailer in the heat, we were back on the road.  No idea how this could've come off.  We watched them put everything back together using a very powerful drill.  Baffling!

Bowie, AZ
Indian Bread Rocks BLM

The 7 miles off the highway are paved half way then smooth hardpack the rest of the way.  The coordinates of the picnic center are: 32.2303, -109.5337.  The road is wide and easy to maneuver.  You'll go through a few cattle guards then arrive at the picnic center.  I'd pull over in the wide spot here just before the last cattle guard and scope out the first few spots.  There are several areas to camp but mostly for smaller rigs.  The first 4 are big enough for 40 footers.  This is why I'd scope it out before driving.  There are 2 areas big enough further down the road to turn a large rig around to get back but they could be taken if someone was camping in them.  The first spot was open so we were able to back in from the picnic area.  It sits at 4100 feet so the evenings cooled off nicely.  It's warming up for sure so you'd probably want to be here before April.

It's very quiet out here and there is a lot of wildlife and dark skies.  The stars were amazing!

The rocks and boulders were calling me to explore and climb, but with these temps I didn't want to run across and rattlesnakes so I opted out and walked around the more open areas.

The rock at the left looked like it came from Easter Island.

Since we were unable to visit Ft. Bowie last time we were here we took a late afternoon visit to see it since we were within 10 miles.
There is a small free parking area and a picnic structure with info.  You have to hike the 3 mile round trip trail to get to the fort ruins.  They do have a handicap road access to part of it but I'm sure that is still closed due to Covid.  There was only one couple coming out while we started.

There are very few remains but the hike is easy and it was good to be out on a trail.  There are many informational signs along the way.

We hiked past the cemetery to save it for last.
Just the foundation is left of the Agency.

Apache Camp

Here in the creek that was barely flowing from the spring, Hurley enjoys a drink and a dip to cool off.  Just before we got to this spot we spooked up some Javenlina who were also enjoying the creek.

We saw several Whitetail deer.
Here's a video (above) of their fluffy white tails as they run away.
These are all that remain of the fort itself.

Not sure if this is the actual Stage Area or a small Visitor Center?

On the way out we came upon the Javelina again running up the hillside. (video above)
I'm glad we were able to get out here this time.  The hike was perfect and we liked all the information about the old fort.  And of course, the cemetery.
We got back to the truck while we enjoyed the sunset.

Before we left the next day Hurley and I wandered around the nice picnic area here and up and down the road that everyone camps off of.
The picnic area is maintained by the Masonic and Lyons Clubs.  You can see a Masonic inscription above in the rock and there were some other engravings but I doubt they were done by the natives.

The picnic area is behind me.  We took the first pull out to make it easier to get into.

Before we head out for New Mexico, I'll leave you with this adorable video of a young calf jumping all around and having fun! (again, you might only be able to view it on a laptop)

BYE Arizona!


  1. We spent a couple weeks here a couple weeks ago! Loved it.

  2. Another great spot! Perhaps you have more tank problems because you go off road more than most to find these awesome spots. 😉 We had a repaired grey tank replaced too.
    Safe travels!

  3. We LOVE the ft Bowie area.....you can feel the history as you walk the trail.......you should let us know when you are in the Havasu area.....(next fall....getting too hot now ) would love to meet up.

    1. That would be nice! I’ll let you know if we’re in the area.

  4. The fort looks like an awesome place. We had our fresh water tank drop through the thin plywood that was supporting it. We replaced it with 3/4" waterproof plywood and never had a problem again. So cool that you were able to see some javelina!

    1. Stupid tanks. The Javelina are fun to see as they scramble all around once they sense you. Crazy pigs

  5. Great boondocking spots. The heat would be a deal breaker in the summer for sure. Smart to not hike in the hills with the rattlers starting to come out. Ron saw one cross the path at Sweetwater Summit when we were there recently.

    1. Glad we haven't come across any this year. Def not a summer place!


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