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This trip began by heading west on the I-10. After about an hour and a half, we reached Quartzsite. Once in Quartzsite, we began to tour around some of the neat places. One of these places is the Hi Jolly Cemetery where there the Hi Jolly Monument, dedicated to a camel driver used during the U.S. Army Camel Corps. expedition. Another neat place to see is the ‘main’ street of Quartzsite. Here, depending on the season, you will find many rock shops and other swap meet type stores. This is a good place to get some unique rocks, jewelry, or even jerky. The last place we stopped in Quartzsite was the Tyson Well Stage Stop Museum. This old stage stop shows the history of Quartzsite as well as nearby mining areas. At this museum, there is also a small city built outside (of rocks) known as Barrett's Village. After we were done here, we headed out to Blythe where we stayed for a while. Blythe is well, Blythe, and is a very interesting town.
The next day, we headed up the Poston-Ehrenberg Highway which is a scenic route to Parker. Along this highway, you see amazing farmland close to the Colorado River on the Colorado Indian Reservation. On this reservation, is also the remains of the Poston War Relocation Center and a monument to the people that lived there. There were three camps there but only one really has a lot of buildings left. This can be reached by taking a left on Poston Rd. The next stop of our trip was to Parker Dam, the deepest dam in the world, holding up Lake Havasu. We then went to the Bill Williams River Wildlife Refuge which offers amazing views of Lake Havasu as well as the pumping station for the CAP which pumps water, through a mountain for use by the Valley. Our final stop of our trip was at the Buckskin Mountain State Park where we relaxed by the river for a while. After this we headed home stopping in Quartzsite for gas.
This trip can easily turn into an overnight trip but is still manageable for a day trip. Exploring the desert in and around Quartzsite, Poston, and Parker offer visitors the chance to step back in time and into a different way of life. Even if its just a quick stop, be sure to poke around.
116 miles to Quartzsite | 162 miles to Poston | Historic Sites
Take a day trip west along I-10 out to Quartzsite. Most of the year, Quartzsite is a sleepy little desert town. During the winter, the town comes alive as rockhounds from all over the globe flock here. Numerous historic sites (like the Hi Jolly Monument) and the Japanese Internment Camp in nearby Poston make for a fun and interesting day trip from the Valley.