SDMG Field Trip 2014: Burro Creek, Arizona

In Review
Forrest Nelson, Field Trip Leader


Five intrepid roundhounds plus one hound made it out to Burro Creek for the SDMG field trip in March 2014.


A block of brecciated jasper in chalcedony.  Photo: Forrest Nelson.


Polished agates from Burro Creek.  Photo: Forrest Nelson.


On the 2014 inaugural SDMG field trip, we were a small group of four rockhounds from the Wednesday cabochon and Saturday lapidary classes, plus one hound and me.  Meeting folks in classes seemed to work best to convince people that the 5.5 hour-drive to Burro Creek would be worth the effort.  We were not disappointed: the weather was perfect, and we collected some great specimens of agate, jasper and quartz crystals. 

The Burro Creek Recreation Site is situated along Burro Creek within a very scenic Sonoran desert Canyon at an elevation of 1,960 feet.  This peaceful area has long been a favorite stop of travelers on nearby US Route 93.  Visitors here are invariably fascinated with the contrast between the deep blue pools and tree-lined banks of Burro Creek, and the saguaro-studded hills and cliffs of its desert setting.

We camped at the Burro Creek Campground off of US Route 93, south of Wikieup, Arizona.  This BLM campground has a view of the river gorge.  We rubbed elbows with members from a few Arizona rock clubs who also camped at Burro Creek BLM camp.  The other groups were nice folks who shared their knowledge about collecting in Arizona, which was much appreciated.

Our members want to go again and visit some of these new locations on another field trip.  Next time we may venture into the Upper Burro Creek Wilderness Area, which lies along the upper reaches of Burro Creek, a perennial stream and one of the few streams in Arizona to flow relatively undisturbed into the lower desert.

Nine miles of Burro Creek lie within the wilderness.  In this area, Burro Creek passes through incised bedrock where it runs deep, creating clear blue pools connected by small waterfalls.  In other areas, the creek has backed up into long, marshy pools ringed with young trees and other water-loving vegetation.  Away from the stream corridor, the wilderness preserves an expanse of basalt mesas and the desert grassland found on their rolling upland surfaces.



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