ARIZONA PEACE TRAIL
LA PAZ: 675-MILE ARIZONA UTV ADVENTURE
— Where-To-Ride Guide —
The Arizona Peace Trail (AZPT) is touted as America’s ultimate off-road adventure. The 675-mile Peace Trail spans three counties in western Arizona – La Paz (Spanish for Peace), Yuma and Mohave – and connects Bullhead City, Kingman, Lake Havasu City, Parker, Quartzsite, Yuma, Salome, and the Alamo State Park in a giant loop. Experience giant cactus forests, mountains, forests, and towering rock formations while discovering local mining and military history, geology and gems, and desert communities.
Like Utah’s Paiute Trails and West Virginia’s Hatfield-McCoy Trails, the AZPT was designed in partnership with local communities to bring OHV recreation to Arizona. Towns and cities on the AZPT encourage access to local restaruants, hotels, gas stations and businesses, and AZPT supporters suggest a minimum of 10 days to explore the 675-mile loop’s many historic attractions, like the Nellie E. Saloon (Desert Bar), Native-American petroglyphs, many mines and ghost towns, General Patton’s Camp Horn, the Colorado River, wildlife refuges, Slot Canyon, stone cabins, the Bat Cave and much more.
Peace Trail co-founder John Geyer and others worked with Arizona State Parks and Trails, the counties of La Paz, Mohave and Yuma, AZ Game & Fish, Arizona State Lands and BLM to make the AZPT a reality. Founders’ first ride took seven days, but the loop can be done in as little as five days, or take the entire winter and explore the many thousands of miles of trails in Arizona that connect to the AZPT.
Because many county roads are used to connect OHV sections, drivers need a street-legal UTV and driver’s license and insurance. Arizona requires the UTV to have a horn, rear-view mirror, license-plate bracket and light, DOT-approved tires, eye protection and liability insurance. Many thousands of RVers spend the winter around Quartzsite, and Peace Trail visitors can camp in the desert or stay in hotels. Some sections of mountain trail might be impassable during winter due to snow, and portions surrounding Parker are closed January 10-11 and February 22-23 weekends for Best in the Desert races.
This President’s Day weekend, UTV Action camped east of Quartzsite near the intersection of Dome Rock Road East and Mitchell Mine Road. We drove the AZPT to Bouse, which is the AZPT headquarters and the site of Camp Bouse, General George Patton’s training base for the Medium Special Light Tank Group of the Tenth Armored Group during WWII. We had lunch at the Ocotillo Lodge, topped off on fuel and drove back to Quartzsite. There is a wash tunnel under I-10 east of Quartzsite that let us access two gas stations and convenience stores without a street-legal UTV.
Quartszite has many trails off of the AZPT, including the 78.6-mile Petroglyphs OHV Trail. We also drove part of this trail up Dripping Springs Canyon, a tight box canyon that’s perfect for UTVs. There are a few tight rock-crawling sections getting to Dripping Springs cut-off.
Dripping Springs has a pool in a cave that the Native-Americans used, and there are several petroglyphs nearby. Several groups came and went as we ate lunch in the desert, and the trail brought us out very close to camp. It was a great side-trip off of the AZPT.
Go to the AZPT website and download the latest GPX file with tracks and waypoints, AZPT printable map, Planning Itinerary, and history of the AZPT, and there are also T-shirts and AZPT merchandise.
P.O. Box 878
Bouse, AZ 85325
AZ State Parks & Trails, https://azstateparks.com/ohvag
AZ State Parks & Trails, OHV Ambassador, https://www.facebook.com/AZOHVA/
HSXSTA Liaison to Arizona Peace Trail, AZPT. http://arizonapeacetrail.org/
Havasu Side by Side Trail Association http://havasusxs.com/