Kofa National Wildlife Refuge Bikepacking Tour - Day 4 - Kofa Cabin and Yellow Poppies on the Kofa Mountains
44.79 Miles; Coyote Peak to West Entrance of Kofa National Wildlife Refuge
The night was still, calm, and silent. We awoke feeling rested and dry. Whatever humidity left in the air was making its way out today with a few lingering high-altitude rain curtains wisping across adjacent peaks. The pipeline road we were on was well-maintained, graded, and smooth. That, combined with a tailwind, pushed us along as a great rate. We soon reentered Kofa National Wildlife Refuge and left BLM land.
Shortly thereafter, Janna and I arrived at the stone-masoned Kofa Cabin. It was a super cool building people can sleep in on a first-come, first-served basis. We looked around the area and ate a mid-morning snack in the shade of the structure. Today truly felt like it was going to be warm and dry. We pushed back out into the desert as the sun continued to light up the rock faces and continued verdant green plant life.
The route swung up and down washes and hills, climbing ever more steadily towards the jagged Kofa Mountains. Up near High Tanks Six and Tunnel Spring Canyon, we rounded a corner and were confronted by a hillside slathered in yellow poppies. They were dense, fully blooming, and filled the creases of the rock. We dropped our bikes on the road and started to walk up and down. The sunshine yellows contrasted sharply, beautifully, with the greens and rocky browns of the old volcanic stone. I knew a profusion of flowers were possible given this winter's copious precipitation. It felt rightly gifted to be standing amongst the start of spring blooms.
Many photos later, we swung back onto our bikes, hit the northern saddle of the range, and started descending down to the MST&T Road. The road became wide, graded, and fast paced as we shot west. And like that, we were back on the north-south Pipeline Road from Day 1, now heading south. The miles spun by and the heat of the day continued. We found a thicket of mesquite along a wash crossing the track. Janna and I stopped to huddle in its shade before one last push. We reentered the sun and headed eastwards up a track towards the mountains the original entrance where our car sat. It was a gorgeous Sonoran route, and one I intend to come back to in order to summit the peaks and enjoy some winter cycling next year.