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4Xploring Let's Explore the Back Country



2023 El Camino del Diablo Adventure

Monday Jan 23 – Friday Jan 27

The 4Xploring™ El Camino del Diablo Adventure is a 5 day event, Monday through Friday. We will meet in Ajo, AZ on Sunday night the 22nd and depart at 8:00 AM on Monday the 23rd. Join our host and resident Trail Boss Bob Levenhagen on a 5 night and 5 day guided Overland Adventure thru the best that southwestern Arizona has to offer. Our guide is also your personal camp chef and will be cooking cowboy delights for you while you are in primitive camp settings – just like the days of old wagon trains, we circle the jeeps around the campfire while camp cookie prepares gourmet meals for you. The terrain we will cross is a combination of gravel road, two track, washes and rocks – 35″ tire should be concidered the minimum.

The El Camino del Diablo (Spanish translation is The Devil’s Highway) has been used for centuries by American Indians, Spanish conquistadores, missionaries, and gold seekers. Carrying out orders from Coronado, Captain Melchior Díaz led a military detachment through the area in 1540. In 1698, Jesuit Padre Eusebio Kino traversed the region, exploring on foot and horseback making maps of his travel, noting major water sources and converting Natives to Catholicism. Other Spanish clergy and military expeditions traversed El Camino to reach California missions. Padre Garcés followed it in 1771, and again during 1779-81. Juan Bautista de Anza used it between 1774 and 1776, as did Pedro Fages in 1781-82. Following a gold discovery in 1849, Sonoran gold seekers from Mexico used the corridor on their way to the California Gold Rush. A few years later, the United States negotiated the Gadsden Purchase with Mexico, and most of El Camino became part of American territory. After the Southern Pacific Railroad reached Yuma in 1877, the route fell into disuse. Today, with proper caution and four-wheel drive vehicles, adventuresome travelers can retrace parts of El Camino del Diablo. “The Devil’s Highway” is a very exciting and historic journey through the Sonoran Desert, the historic route is approximately 130 miles long, running from Ajo to Yuma, along the southern border of the United States. There is no potable water, services or fuel; you will be traveling through remote and arid terrain, the road is extremely rough in places, and should only be driven in high-clearance 4×4 vehicles. The journey takes travelers through a landscape of organ pipe cacti, drifting sand dunes and ancient lava flows.

The second leg of our journey, we will leave out of Yuma, AZ and head north on the AZPT (Arizona Peace Trail) and connect with the Colorado River. The AZPT was first initiated by the BLM (Bureau of Land Management) and the AZGFD (Arizona Game and Fish Department) in July of 2013. With the vast amounts of desert, thousands of miles of old mining roads, dirt roads and other tracks; the two agencies thought it would be able to form a connection from Yuma to Bullhead City. After many years of development and partnerships with local OHV clubs, today there is a full loop of approximately 675 miles of trail to explore.  We will follow the Colorado for a bit and turn East towards Phoenix to explore the offerings of the northern Sonoran Desert.  


NOTE: This trip requires extra fuel capacity on board your vehicle, 10 gallons at the minimum.

Trail boss Bob Levenhagen leads the way.
The day started with a phenomenal breakfast made by chef Levenhagen.
A fine example of an organ pipe cactus.
An amazing desert sunset.
Some of the participants coming down the trail.
Chris and Bob prepare an amazing breakfast of biscuits and gravy.
Desert bighorn sheep not far from the watering hole.
The abandoned Wilbanks Cabin, built in 1931.
The vehicles pulled over before hiking into the canyon to visit Tule Well.
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