Doug & Melanie at Kofa National Wildlife Refuge

Melanie and I spent almost two weeks in Kofa National Wildlife Refuge in southwest Arizona.  The funny thing is we saw less wildlife in the refuge than we have seen anywhere. 

The main species the preserve is trying to protect are bighorn sheep and pronghorn antelope.  It was hunting season for the sheep so they were all in hiding. 

The pronghorn required an overnight hike over a mountain and through the desert, and we didn’t think it was worth the effort.  We have seen them before.

Kofa is a large refuge with mountains running though the center.  The US Fish and Wildlife Service built water tanks in the mountains for the bighorn sheep.  One of the tanks we saw was constructed in 1941. 

One of the few animals we saw signs of were pack rats.  They build large nests from the thorns and cactus balls from the teddy bear chola cactus.  These are extremely sharp thorns that will pierce the skin from the slightest touch.  I have no idea how they can build with those super sharp cactus balls.

Our camp site, which can be seen as a shiny spot in the upper right, was several miles from the next camper.  It was beautiful looking over the desert and mountains. 

Brittle Bush blooms from a recent rain and the moon rising over the mountains added to the beauty.  

The mountains were extremely rugged. 

We hiked several canyons and were able to watch the mountains change as the sun progressed across the sky.

Hope you enjoy the pictures.

Doug and Melanie

Doug and Melanie are avid explorers and hikers. They travel with their Kimberly Kamper, and their home base is Ohio. (For more posts by these authors, click on their names, above.)