It was a new year and we were long overdue for a confluence visit. My wife and I set out to visit 33-111 on a perfect day for confluencing. We made our approach from AZ Highway 79 just south of Florence on the Florence-Kelvin Road. The first several km of the Florence-Kelvin Road are paved but then it turns to dirt. After about 30km and 35 minutes we found Garden Shire Road which is posted.
About 150 meters further east at N33 00.054 W111 03.873 is an unmarked road (Tecolate Ranch Road) with a sign asking you to please keep the gate closed.
We followed this seldom traveled and heavily eroded dirt double track for about 6.7km and 30 minutes to a corral where there was a dead cow with a swarm of flies. A high clearance vehicle is required but not 4WD. We should have followed the trail leading northeast from the corral but thought that we would be able to continue east and then circle counterclockwise back around. We continued for another hour ending up on the powerline road at an impassible wash, with more than a meter vertical drop, about 3km from the confluence. Rats!
We decided to walk to the confluence from our present position. I’ll summarize by saying that it would have been an easy 1.2km hike from the corral to the confluence – call that 20 minutes (it was only 10 minutes from the powerline road intersection after our adventure). On the positive side, our choice gave us a lot more time to enjoy a hike in the desert!
The confluence is located near the top of a small rise and is surrounded by prickly pear cactus. I would estimate it is about a span and a half east of the powerline pylons. There was a small circle of rocks about two meters from where I had zeroed out my GPS. We heard gunshots in the distance and saw a layer of haze towards Phoenix.
Picture #1 looks north towards the Superstition Mountains. Picture #2 looks east. Picture #3 looks south. Picture #4 looks west. Picture #5 is the GPS position. Picture #6 shows my wife making a satellite phone call back to update our daughters with our progress. Picture #7 shows the general area and the circle of rocks made by previous visitors. Picture #8 is an interactive QuickTime Panoramic Movie made with a Kaidan 360 One VR conical lens.
After we made our way back to the Florence-Kelvin Road, we continued east to the mining town of Kelvin. This was about 22km and 30 minutes over fairly good dirt turning to pavement just before intersecting with AZ Highway 177.
Hints for future visitors. Take the trail leading northeast just beyond the corral at N32 59.411 W111 00.446 to the intersection with the powerline road at N32 59.691 W111 00.169 . You will pass the remnants of an old windmill along the way. Now, continue NE by staying on the north side of the drainage heading towards the high point. The confluence will be just on the other side. Travel beyond the corral on the road will only add more scrapes to both sides of your vehicle from overgrown brush and will eventually lead you to impassable conditions through deep washes about twice as far away. It will also add about two extra hours for a visit to this confluence.
Another great confluence adventure!