Thursday: (02/25) Breakfast was Don McMuffins just like yesterday except Lou picked up a pastry thing from the bakery to top it off,

Today’s adventure was a trip to the Cibola NWR South of Blythe. Most of it  including the Visitor Center is located on the Arizona side of th Colorado river. The three bridges to that part of Arizona are rather precarious little one lane bridges with weight and proceed at your own risk signs but probably could take the largest motorhomes with ease. Wei found the roads interesting. The roads from Blythe were very good until we crossed from Riverside County into Imperial County. Then they were in rather a poor condition. After we crossed the Farmers bridge, which is evdently a private bridge, the paved roads on the Arizona side were excellent. On the refuge though, the roads are almost all gravel roads.

We spent quite a bit of time in the Visitor Center learning about the place then hiked the Desert Trail outside and behind the visitor center. You get a pretty good view of the alfalfa fields that the geese and cranes forage in. Unfortunately, we forgot our binoculars so our viewing was limited to normal vision. Also unfortunate was the fact that we were about two weeks to a month late. Most of the Geese population has departed. Thousands of birds gone. We’ll put this on the calendar for next year for a visit in Mid January.

We drove the Auto Tour road. We stopped at the Corn Field trailhead and walked th 1/2 mile trail. It was a nice oasis of mostly Cottonwood trees. There is a nice viewing platform along the trail but not many birds to be viewed. We didn’t locate the corn anywhere along the trail. it was obviously loosely named.  The actual corn fields are located amid alfalfa fields. Co-op farmers get to harvest the alfalfa duringthe late spring to early fall but don’t disturb it when the birds are present. The corn is knocked down and used by the birds. The area is quite lush.

Auto Tour Road At Cibola NWR Pond At Cibola NWR
We then drove around the refuge including the levee road back.

Alfalfa Field At Cibola NWR Cranes Grazing At Cibola NWR
They grow alfalfa and corn for the birds. The geese have already headed North but some cranes were still here. Sorry for the fuzz, my camera isn’t working well.

Our Lunch Spot By Colorado River In Cibola NWR
We stopped for lunch along the Colorado River listening to the cranes chatter with each other. I fixed buffalo summer sausage and Colby cheese sandwiches with potato ships and carrot sticks for lunch.

We took the Oxbow Bridge back across the river into California and looked around a Oxbow BLM Campground ($15/night) and a Palo Verde County Park campground ($7.50/night) along the river near oxbow Lake. We may use these when we visit next year.

We stopped on the way home in Blythe at the market for a few things.

Dinner was leftover pork roast soup and corn chips for me and three bean salad mixed with cottage cheese for Lou.

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2 Responses to “Cibola National Wildlife Refuge”

  1. Cyndi says:

    You mentioned the Palo Verde campground, which has no hookups – I have an old newspaper article about the McIntyre one another 4 miles south. It’s also a Riverside County park – and has 160 sites with W&E, plus a dump station. The article says it’s very green, with sites far apart. But for some reason, if you go between April and November, you can’t take dogs.

  2. Don says:

    Those two campgrounds are right across the Oxbow bridge from the refuge. Location, location, location. There are a few spots with trees. The river South of the campgrounds seems to be a channel, not a normal river bank. In the winter, we don’t need hookups, just a dump site and water, if the sun shines. Our stay there would likely be short and just to see the birds. We’ll have to check McIntyre CG out. Our little tour today from Quartzsite was over 100 miles so that wouldn’t be convenient to really see the birds.