Yuma Series LbNA # 13805
|Placed Date||Mar 10 2005|
|Last Update||Nov 21 2011|
Difficulty: Except for the Cow Skull Letterbox, these are all drive-bys. The letterboxes are located in the Sonora Desert, which gets extremely hot in the summer, so carry water and sunscreen. This area has its share of poisonous snakes, scorpions, lizards, and spiders, and also spiny cactuses (actually it has every places share of these things), so please use gloves when searching under rocks, or reaching into crevices.
***Update: I finally got back to Arizona after a two-year absence and am happy to report that all of these letterboxes are still in place as of 4/20/07.***
#1 Gila River Letterbox
Take the Interstate 8 Freeway to Yuma, Arizona and exit at the junction of Interstate 8 and Highway 95. Travel north on Highway 95 for 14.5 miles to the Gila River. Pull over and park at Mile Marker 39. (Vehicles travel at high speeds on this highway, so please be very careful pulling over off the road. Don’t worry if you initially miss the spot and drive by Highway Marker 39, because it’s easy to turn around and come back.) After pulling over, walk off the road back to the northeast corner of the highway bridge spanning the Gila River. Next to the bridge, at a spot about 3 feet north of where you could crawl underneath, look for the letterbox hidden underneath a small pile of rocks.
#2 Saguaro Cactus Letterbox
After finding the Gila River Letterbox, continue north on Highway 95 for another 7.8 miles to the Martinez Lake Road turnoff, located between Highway Markers 46 and 47. Turns left onto Martinez Lake Road and travel for 9.9 miles, then turn right onto Red Cloud Mine Road at the sign pointing to the Imperial National Wildlife Refuge. Pull over here and look for the lone Saguaro Cactus located near the junction of Martinez Lake Road and Red Cloud Mine Road. The letterbox is hidden about 3 feet from the cactus, underneath a pile of stones on the west side.
#3 Fish Hook Letterbox
(From here, the road consists of a well maintained dirt road, on which regular cars are expected to be able to travel.) After turning off from Martinez Lake Road onto Red Cloud Mine Road, drive for 2 miles and then turn right to continue on Red Cloud Mine Road at the sign pointing the way to the Painted Desert Trail and the “Overlooks.” Travel 1.5 miles to the Mesquite Point Overlook sign (passing the Palo Verde Overlook sign) then turn left for .5 miles to the Mesquite Pont Overlook. Find the two signs that say “Area Beyond This Sign Closed.” From the east sign, take a bearing of 117 degrees towards a tree approximately 50 feet away. The letterbox is hidden between the sign and the tree, about 5 feet from the tree underneath a pile of rocks.
#4 Cow Skull Letterbox
Difficulty: This letterbox is located on a fairly easy 1.3 mile hike, but the hotter the day, the more difficult the hike becomes. There is no water en route, so bring whatever you’ll need.
From the Fish Hook Letterbox, travel back to Red Cloud Mine Road and continue .7 miles west on the road to the parking area of the Painted Desert Trail. Park at the Painted Desert Trail, and pick up a trail map at the trail head. This trail features six white numbered posts which denote points of interest described in the trail map, and several other white posts painted only with arrows to point out the trail path. Find the trail path post located between numbered posts 5 and 6; it is located at a jumble of large red boulders at the farthest point on the trail. Stand next to the trail path post facing the arrow. The letterbox is hidden 12 feet in front of you, at a bearing of 18 degrees, underneath a pile of red stones, marked by a flat grey stone.