Originally posted 11/6/2012
Palm Canyon is part of the same Kofa National Wildlife Refuge that Queen Canyon is. It’s a whole lot easier to get to, I can tell you that.
Actually, I visited Palm Canyon but did not take the walking trail to the center of the canyon where the palm trees are. The trail is purported to be rough and take an hour to get in and out of. That trail puts you within sight of the palms. It’s another 40 minutes to actually reach them over “a very rugged climb”. It was about an hour and a half from sunset when I arrived, and I would have preferred to have my trusty walking stick on such a trail, not to mention needing it to beat away the autograph seekers who frequently beleaguer me. Another time.
The palm trees are considered to be the only ones native to Arizona, as they do not do well in summer’s oven-like heat. They have survived here only because they are tucked away in the narrowest part of the canyon where direct sunshine is limited and a little moisture is available.
But enough of the trees. It’s a gorgeous area, one of those places where you simply stand and gawp, slowly turning to take in more. Then you gaze some more.
The other 180 degrees of view is the great Sonoran Desert, which is vast. At the left edge of the photo is a tent next to a small car. A nice young couple was tent camping, and it was good to see campers other than old farts like myself in RV’s. Those tended to be down alongside the access road. Camping is allowed for 14 days here, free, which is perfect for people who will only be out for a short time. This couple had a skinny little white hound that protested my presence with a squalling bark by running near. When I figured out it was just doing its job and wasn’t really all that interested, I ignored it to look at the canyon and it wandered up to be petted, lazily wagging its tail. Then it fell asleep on the gravel near the Ford. Because the parking area here was a very large turnaround, it’d be great to stay here in the Enterprise, but the lot is sloped a bit too much to do that. These guys had the right idea.