Martinez Canyon — In Silver Country

Wednesday (2/13) was another new “canyon” hike for the club, and like last Friday, a long one.  Tony did the “Lewis and Clark” work on this route, and it is a good one.  The destination for the day is Martinez Canyon, the location of an abandoned silver mining operation.

This 13 mile round trip starts in the familiar environment of Box Canyon, a pretty (and easy) couple of miles shared with Jeeps and quads from time-to-time.  Because of the deep shadows this is a challenging venue for photographs, but always a very visual experience.

Martinez Canyon 008

Leaving Box Canyon the route breaks out into an open area of broken bluffs and canyons.  We continue to use an old mining road (now a popular Jeep trail), so the walking is easy even though Dana’s GPS reports over 1,200 feet of accumulated elevation gain for the day.  Not worrying about your footing is a blessing which allows you to pay more attention to the scenery.

Martinez Canyon 035 Martinez Canyon 042

Can you spot the hole through the mountain above?

Martinez Canyon 063

Scenes like this derelict abandoned corral (below) in a small canyon always trigger my imagination about the people who once made their life in these remote places.

Martinez Canyon 076

As we approach Martinez Canyon the scenery becomes much more eye-catching, and the rock coloration transitions toward “red rock”, much like  the kind which you see in the Sedona area.

Martinez Canyon 087 Martinez Canyon 089

The interior of Martinez Canyon has a very riparian flavor.  Huge old cottonwood trees dominate the narrow canyon floor, hemmed in by steep rock walls.

Martinez Canyon 107 Martinez Canyon 145Here we find Debbie, Judy, and Katie posing at the entrance of one of the old mineshafts in the wall of the canyon.

Martinez Canyon 122

We took our lunch break at this old homesite, deep in the canyon.  What stories I imagine this old house could tell.

Martinez Canyon 127

Only 10 of us took this hike.  Hopefully my description will “recruit” many more of you to make the trip next time around.  I’ll be there, because Tony, Peter, and Katie tell us of more sights “just around the next bend”.

The return route was over the same ground except that rather than come back down the length of Box Canyon, we took an earlier slot canyon route, about 2 miles in length, which is too narrow for ATV’s.  (This is the second half of the “Box Canyon Loop” route which others in the club hiked in place of the Martinez Canyon loop.)

This segment has an isolated character, and a few minor boulder choke points which showcase the athletic agility of some of our hikers.

Martinez Canyon 174 Martinez Canyon 178

A small commercial here.  I will not be hiking next Wednesday (Feb 20) because I will be displaying some of my photos in handmade frames at the Canyon Vistas crafters show, trying my hand at the “starving artist trade”.  Drop by after the hike.

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3 Responses to Martinez Canyon — In Silver Country

  1. CRE says:

    Photos are fabulous as usual.


  2. Debbie says:

    Very nice pictures and great narrative. Thanks! It was a beautiful hike.


  3. carolyn says:

    How large of an opening do you suppose that hole was in the beginning.


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