21-Jul-2001 -- It was time for a few days in the outdoors with some hiking, camping and 4Wheeling. If possible we also wanted to include some confluence hunting, but that gets quite difficult in the US these days. This time of the year the deserts here in the Southwest are too hot to be enjoyed, so we were looking for some forests and higher elevations. With these parameters set we came up with a trip to central Arizona that would take us within reach of 4 unvisited (at the time) confluences: 35°N 113°W, 36°N 113°W, 35°N 112°W, 34°N 110°W.
Following our attempt at 35°N 112°W we camped in the Kaibab National Forest around Willams, AZ. After breakfast we decided to attempt this confluence before we would head farther east to the Mogollon Rim. So we drove out of the forest to Williams and picked up historic Route 66. We took this famous route west to Seligman and then on for another 35 miles to the intersection with Indian highway 18 on the Hualapai Indian Reservation. This highway is the closest paved road to the confluence. As we turned into Hwy 18 we were confronted with the sign in picture #1. Picture #2 shows the road leading north towards the confluence.
We turned around and headed for Peach Springs about 7 miles west of the intersection thinking this might be the best place to find out about permits. We arrived in the small town and followed the signs to some administrative buildings. This being a Saturday everything was closed and we didn’t see anybody we could ask for information.
As we sat in our car looking at our maps and planning which way to continue I noticed another big building with lots of cars parked in front. There was also a person standing by his truck waiting for somebody. We drove over and I got out of the car, map in hand. The Indian man smiled and asked: “Are you lost?” and I answered: “No, we actually know exactly where we want to go!” I then showed him on the map where the confluence is located. He knew the area well and told me that we would need a permit. When I asked where to obtain a permit on a Saturday he hesitated for a moment and then asked me to wait. He went into the building and came back with an elder lady who could give out permits. When this lady learned where we wanted to go she told us that the tribe no longer issues permits for that area of the reservation. I asked why and she explained that previous visitors had destroyed Indian sites and taken artifacts. I told her that we only wanted to take a few pictures to put in the internet (I had lost my letter to land owners on the attempt to 35°N 112°W). She said that might be true and that she was sorry that a few people ruin it for everybody else. I asked whether a visit with an escort from the tribe was possible and she said only the tribal council could decide that. During the course of our conversation she also expressed concern about publicizing a location on the reservation on the web. She was concerned that it might bring more visitors, including people who would not respect the rules on the reservation.
Anybody intending to visit this confluence should contact the Hualapai Tribe (Peach Springs, Arizona 86434) before making the drive.