McCoy Mountain, Orocopia Mountains


By: Maris Valkass


We met at Wiley Wells off ramp on the north side of Highway I-10, where there is a rest area. This is approximately 20 mi. east of Blythe.

Ten persons showed up: Anna Valkass, Ron Jones, Leora Stoler, Harry Shavelle, John Blanche, Tom and Karen Ferguson, Bob Hartunian, Francoise Walthert, and I.

It is noted that the peak led and climbed was the high point of the range ie: 2835' unamed peak. McCoy Peak is closer to the highway, and is substantially lower.

From the rest area, we followed the dirt road arround the dune and took the power line road east for about a 1.5 mi. See BLM map of the area which shows dirt roads heading in the right direction. We then turned north for about 4-5 mi, where we were stopped by a large wash, where low clearance cars could not cross. This put us about two miles from the base of the mountain, which was quite acceptable, and gave us a pleasant walk on the desert floor.

After some cross-country, we intercepted an old trail, possibly made by animals or Indians. Then soon after, Ron Jones discovered petroglyphs on some nearby rocks. After admiring them, we found numerous others all over the area. Ron and some others also discovered same broken pot shards. This was a very good bonus for us.

The routes on the mountain are not difficult, and any number of them will go. There are some cliffs that you may circumvent, or pick your way through. The gain is 2000'+ over the usual broken rock surface. The register was placed by Wes Shelberg, and the last party to sign in was some DPSers, 9.5 years ago.

We were back at the cars at 2 pm, the hike having taken 6 hours.

Next morning we drove to Orocopia roadhead, which we were doing from the southeast. This is the route used by Dale Van Dalsem the weekend before. We were joined by Rose Certini, Steve Thaw, Beth Watson, Jim Raiford, and Delores Holladay. This was new and a pleasant route for me. I don't know why I hear some negative comments about this peak, I think that the hike is great, and the view is good too.

This trip was the first for Henry Shavelle. He is a strong hiker, and a good companion. My thanks to Ron Jones for assisting/leading, we always have a good time.

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