23-Mar-2017 -- This Degree Confluence Point has been a ‘white whale’ for me; it’s one that I’ve been obsessed about for some time. (I had already visited the U.S. points all around it; this one was conspicuous in its absence.) A few years ago, I made a rudimentary attempt to approach this point from the South, but it quickly became clear that the US Army’s Yuma Proving Ground stood in the way. It was clear that the only realistic way to approach this point was via King and Wellton-Kofa Roads - that run (from US Highway 95) North and Northeast of the point.
Last October, I took these roads, and tried approaching the point from the East, but was blocked by a “No Trespassing” sign at the boundary of the Yuma Proving Ground. After this failure, I used satellite imagery (Google Earth) to plan an attempt from the North. My new plan was to drive along the roads to 33.06480°N 113.97230°W, which is almost 5 miles ('as the crow flies’) NNE of the point. From there, I would hike directly South, along flat areas, to reach a small saddle at 33.00974°N 113.98294°W. (At this point, Google Earth clearly shows an old trail heading southward into another wash.) From there, I would continue South along this trail to a 'junction of drainages’ at 32.99834°N 113.97979°W. Then, I’d head westward towards the point.
Today, I got a chance to put this plan into action. Fortunately a storm had passed through the area the previous day, and the temperature was very mild for southern Arizona - only 70 degrees F.
My hike was very long - about 13.4 miles in total - but went according to plan. Shortly before reaching the small saddle, I found some rusting equipment (and a small mine shaft) from an old mine. (Access to this mine was presumably the reason for the old trail.) And as previous visitors have noted, it is not possible to reach the precise Degree Confluence Point, as it lies on a steep rock face. I was, however, able to get 292 feet (+/- GPS error of 11 feet) from the point - close enough for a successful visit. (As I was hiking alone, I didn’t want to risk climbing up the steep slope - littered with loose rocks - to get closer, especially since I knew that I wouldn’t be able to get ‘all zeros’ anyway.)
Here is a video that I recorded 300’ east of the Degree Confluence Point. (I would have loved to have flown my ‘drone’ here, but this area is controlled airspace for the Yuma Proving Grounds.)