El Camino del Diablo (the Road of the
Devil) is a rough, unpaved route crossing the Barry M.
Goldwater Range in southwestern Arizona. First used by Native
Americans for their travels, the route was chosen by the
Spanish soldier Melchior Diaz in 1540. Other historic figure
s followed, including Father Kino, Father Graces, and Juan
Bautista de Anza. Beginning in 1849, the trail was used by
immigrants from Mexico as a route to the California gold
fields. Between 400 and 2,000 people died of thirst along
the trail, making the Camino the deadliest immigrant trail
in North America. Today's visitors travel through natural
landscapes with scenery ranging from the desert mountain
ranges of the Gila and Tinajas Altas Mountains to the low
desert and sand dunes of the Yuma and Lechuguilla Deserts.
Permits:To legally enter the Barry M. Goldwater
Range (BMGR) and/or the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife
Refuge (CPNWR), all adults must possess an appropriately
issued Range Permit. To receive a Range Permit, all adults
(ALL persons over 18 years of age) MUST complete a Hold
Harmless Agreement. The permits are available
from the Marine Corps Air Station, Yuma, Range Management
Department (520-341-3402), Luke Air Force Base (520-683-6272),
BLM Yuma Field Office (520-317-3200) or, BLM Phoenix Field Office
(602-580-5500). El Camino del Diablo continues
through the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge. A
permit from the U.S. fish and Wildlife Service (Cabeza
Prieta National Wildlife Refuge, Ajo, Arizona) is required
to travel on the refuge (520-387-5226).
Facilities: There are no services, water, or facilities along this route. Summer temperatures often exceed 120 degrees; during winter, the lows can be below freezing. Bring at least one to two gallons of water per person per day, and pack at least two days extra water and food.
Accessibility: Four - wheel drive is recommended on all routes on the Barry M. Goldwater Range.
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