This is a rugged 4WD trip into the Aquarius Mountains to hunt for garnets in rhyolite. The trip will be led by Ken Elliot. Anyone with a 4x4 who is willing to carry extra passengers is to contact Ken by e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) or by phone (480-440-8305).
Ken Elliot and I (Stan Celestian) scouted the road up to the Aquarius Mountains on 5FEB. It is very rough in places and one spot needed some help and probably a bit more help on the field trip.
From the upper parking areas it is a short (~150 yards) hike to the collecting area. From the lower parking area it is about a half mile hike to the upper collecting area, although there are potentially good boulders on the hike up. The elevation of the area is about 4000 feet.
Shell Gas Station (just SE of the gas station) as you drive into Wickenburg from the SE on US 60. The address is 30216 US Highway 60. Show up ready to go.
Meet at 8:45 and leave at 9:00 AM. (!)
WHAT YOU NEED TO BRING:
Good footwear : boots so someone doesn't roll an ankle.
Small backpack to carry your equipment up the hill.
Hand Sledge Hammer (Or bigger) or Impact Hammer ( The rock matrix is hard).
Plenty of food/snacks and drinks
First Aid Kit (check to make sure it is complete and fresh). Also tweezers or small pliers for cactus needle removal. Everyone needs to have a complete one in their vehicle and a modified one to take into the field (in a backpack or fanny pack).
For the drivers with 4x4's;
Try to be self-sufficient and bring supplies you typically do when off-road.
You Will Need good tires. The road is rocky and rough.
Check your spare tire.
You can fill up our gas tanks at the meeting point (Shell Gas Station).
Here is a view of the upper collecting area on the Aquarius Mountains, Elephant Butte. The dirt road ends at Lion Springs (as in mountain lion).
This is a line drawing of the garnet crystals. They are basically trapezohedrons (left). Some have dodecahedral truncations (right).
One of the best ever found in the area. A garnet with a small topaz.
Another nice crystal:
A nice little pocket of crystals:
Fellow rockhounds (from another club):