19-Mar-2005 -- We decided on an attempt at this confluence because it is the last remaining incomplete confluence within reasonable driving distance of Southern California.
I had read of the difficulties encountered in previous attempts at reaching this confluence. As a result, I was especially thorough in preparing my 4X4 Toyota Tacoma for the trip. I installed a limited slip differential in the rear axle of the truck and loaded my Kawasaki ATV in the bed as extra insurance against getting stranded in the Sonoran Desert.
After a one-day drive from my home in Apple Valley, CA., we spent the night in a campground near the Mexican border. The following morning, we crossed the border heading down Highway 2 towards the town of Chaborca.
As a result of the recent heavy rains, the desert was at its most beautiful. Wild flowers and ocotillos bloomed everywhere and the desert was green with grasses.
After a pleasant drive, we reached an area approximately 30 miles southwest of the confluence. We located a dirt road that appeared to go to the “town” of Arenoso that, according to the topographic maps I had purchased, was near the confluence. I later found out that what appeared to be settlements on the topographic maps were in fact just small cattle ranchos.
After about 15 miles of driving on a relatively good dirt road, the road turned into a rough jeep track. Doubting that this was the correct route, we inquired at a nearby rancho. The workers indicated that the jeep track was indeed the route to Arenoso. Based upon what I later found out, the workers were probably wondering why Gringos would want to go to Arenoso this way. We followed the jeep track for a while passing a couple small ranchos. After driving a few miles, the dirt road got steadily better as we neared Arenoso.
After we passed Arenoso, we turned south onto a well maintained (by Mexican standards) dirt road. As we came due west of the confluence, we came across a convenient dirt road running along side one of the ubiquitous barbed wire fences.
When we neared the confluence, we came upon a gate near a rancho. We stopped and talked to man at the rancho about getting permission to go through the gate. Since he only spoke spanish, we were unable to explain what we were doing and he was unable to read the spanish property owners letter we had brought with us.
When we gestured that we were going to drive though the gate, he didn’t seem too concerned, so we took this as an O.K. Just south of the gate, we found another dirt road continuing east. This road took us just south of the confluence where, amazingly, we found a track heading north. This track took us within 50 feet of the confluence.
We found the confluence located in a flat brushy area next to the road and took the necessary photos.
We drove back to the graded road and headed south. Within several miles, the road turned to pavement. After an easy ride south to an area just near Caborca, we joined a well-used paved highway.
We were certainly surprised at the ease of our return trip. We had made the same mistake as the previous attempts to reach the confluence. Rather the going south to Caborca, then taking the highway north, we had attempted to go by a more direct route to the confluence.
This confluence is easily reachable by two-wheel drive vehicle. Just take the highway north out of Caborca to the area of the confluence. Still, it was an adventure into the Sonoran Desert and a lot of fun.
GPS Error: 13 feet (4 meters)
Elev: 1862 feet (568 meters)