Monolith from Willow Springs; Goldfields, February 9, 2017
Bill and Ted’s
GPS Map

Becky Johnson led this hike to a rock formation she had discovered. It is west of Helmet Rock, easily seen from the horse trail that parallels a wash flowing into Wishbone Junction. The other major discovery was a third arch on the south side of the crevice below Helmet Rock. I had seen only two of them before, but a third arch is clearly visible from the horse trail.

We met plenty of horseback riders but only one hiker. Surprising, on such a lovely day.

Thanks to Becky for organizing and leading this fine hike! The Goldfields have been special to me since I first hiked there on November 16, 1996.


A network of horse trail now lace this area, offering a change of scene and extra ups and downs. They provide a number of ways to do this hike without ever tiptoeing off trail. Ours, short of Wishbone Junction, had plenty of scenery.
distance: 5.47 miles
elevation change: +-762'
low: 1828' (FR 12)
high: 2240' (Prevention Gap)

group
Bill, Becky, Andy, and Ted at Prevention Gap. [photo by Bill]
2881
Peak 2881 basks in the early morning sun.
needle
Gonzales Needle is named after a great grand-nephew of the Peralta family.
Three gold mines are nearby: Gold Bond, Gold Strike, and Lazy Doc.
view
Climb me for a great view.
trail
Trekking the horse trail to Prevention Gap. [photo by Bill]
saguaro
Saguaro lights our path.
Andy Becky
Which way do we go from here?
helmet
Helmet Rock can be climbed, Andy, but it gets steep.
face
“All right,” says Stone Face. “Where do you think you’re going?”
ridge
Ridge 2246 is colorful on the west side, but dull on the east side.
hawk
We are being watched like a hawk. [photo by Bill]
monolith
Becky’s monolith. [photo by Bill]
Becky
Becky first saw the monolith from this trail, going the other way.
knob
Razorback Knob, from where we left the wash and started bushwhacking.
ridge
Disaster Ridge and one of the new horse trails.
trail
We followed a horse trail that goes south from the road.
cholla
Chain fruit cholla by the golden volcanic tuff. [photo by Bill]
lichens
Bright lichens adorn the volcanic boulders.
quartz
Quartz has a lower melting point than the other minerals.
arches
I had only seen two arches before.
arches
But clearly, there are three. [photo by Bill]
ridge
Disaster Ridge, from the horse trail. [photo by Bill]
tilt
Many of the formations in the Goldfields are tilted eastward.
flower
Linum lewisii Western Blue Flax. (?)
lichen
Each color of lichen is a different species.
home stretch
Apache Gap Mountain and Gonzales Needle come into view on the home stretch.

  More Hike Pictures updated February 10, 2017