the Degree Confluence Project

United States : Arizona

3.3 miles (5.3 km) SW of Fort Thomas, Graham, AZ, USA
Approx. altitude: 883 m (2896 ft)
([?] maps: Google MapQuest OpenStreeMap topo aerial ConfluenceNavigator)
Antipode: 33°S 70°E

Accuracy: 3 m (9 ft)
Quality: good

Click on any of the images for the full-sized picture.

#2: View East #3: View South #4: View West #5: The confluence point lies in a small, silty depression #6: All GPS zeros!

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  33°N 110°W (visit #5)  

#1: View North

(visited by Ross Finlayson)

16-Oct-2018 -- While driving from Tucson to Phoenix, I decided to make a big detour to visit this point - one of the few remaining points in the southwestern U.S. that I had yet to visit. I started by driving I-10 eastbound (i.e., in the opposite direction from Phoenix), then headed north through the town of Safford, where I was surprised to see cotton fields. (Cotton is not a crop that one usually associates with Arizona.) Then, at the settlement of Fort Thomas, I headed westward on Black Rock Road.

Satellite imagery showed a dirt road - Sanders Lane - passing just 0.3 miles southeast of the point, so I first tried driving along this road. However, it was blocked by a private ranch that seems to ‘own’ Sanders Lane. So I backtracked and continued westward along Black Rock Road, then took a series of narrow, sandy 4WD roads, and ending up parking at 33.00475°N 110.00242°W, 0.35 miles north of the point. From there it was an easy hike across sandy desert terrain to reach the point, although I did have to cross two barbed wire fences (the second of which seems to follow the 33 Degrees North line of latitude in some other datum, as it ran in a east-west direction, just 100 feet north of the point).

Arizona has several spectacular Degree Confluence Points, but unfortunately this is not one of them. The point lies in a small flat silt-filled depression, with nothing but grass growing.(The lack of cactus suggests that at times this depression fills with water, or at least gets too muddy for cactus.) Unusual for Arizona, it was an overcast and blustery day (with temperatures in the 50s F) when I visited. This perhaps contributed to my lack of appreciation for this point.

Unfortunately this point lies within controlled airspace for the Fort Thomas regional airfield, so I wasn’t able to get a drone’s-eye view of the point.

 All pictures
#1: View North
#2: View East
#3: View South
#4: View West
#5: The confluence point lies in a small, silty depression
#6: All GPS zeros!
ALL: All pictures on one page

At Fort Thomas, turn right onto Black Rock Rd. Immediately cross the Southern Pacific railroad tracks, and the Fort Thomas Canal. Go 1.6 miles on this road, cross Browns Circle and immediately come to Sanders Road/Hog Holler Road. At this point you have a choice:

Approach 1: Continue 0.87 miles on Black Road Rd., crossing over Fine Wash. Take a left onto an unnamed road, and cross over Fine Wash again. Go 0.93 miles to the end of this road. The confluence is located 2000 feet south-southeast of this point. (True bearings. Adjust for a magnetic compass).

Approach 2: Turn left onto Sanders Road/Hog Holler Road and go 0.87 miles to the end. Walk 900 feet due south to Black Rock Wash. Walk 2400 feet up the wash (southwest), and then walk 3700 feet due west to the confluence.

Depending on the terrain, it could be very difficult to maintain an accurate position with this one because of the lack of mapped landmarks.