Hipcamp host Gigi B.
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Have you ever seen the Milky Way Galaxy, I mean, in high resolution, full color? 

Aquarius Ranch is literally in the midst of the Aquarius Mountains -- in the second darkest place in the Continental USA -- with the darkest region 200 miles East in the Grand Canyon.  Visitors here tell us the stars are better than Death Valley.  We've backbacked all over the West and th

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Have you ever seen the Milky Way Galaxy, I mean, in high resolution, full color? 

Aquarius Ranch is literally in the midst of the Aquarius Mountains -- in the second darkest place in the Continental USA -- with the darkest region 200 miles East in the Grand Canyon.  Visitors here tell us the stars are better than Death Valley.  We've backbacked all over the West and the Earth and agree this is the best stargazing we have ever experienced, due to the low humidity, clear skies, and absolute lack of passing traffic. 

Here you will remember that we are definitely not alone in this vast Universe. 

This primal, Human experience, so rare in the modern world, is ideal for figuring out your life's purpose, or a private vision quest.  

At night, the Milky Way will be your guide, as it has guided humans for a million years.  

Located in the Aquarius Mountain Range, an unknown range of 4000-6000 feet peaks, originally the habitat of dinosaurs and later, the Mojave tribal humans, we are about 2 hours north of Phoenix, 2 and 1/2 hours south of Las Vegas, and 200 miles West of the Grand Canyon.

Isolation Peak, at almost 5,000 feet elevation, has an interrupted view into eternity.  No city lights, air pollution, smog, or campfire haze. No passing cars, no freeway noise, no signs of human life except the satellites.

Extremely dark skies on a new moon -- ideal for viewing the NEOWISE comet, the Leonids and the Perseid Meteor Shower throughout August. 

The full moon is stunning, too, and so bright it is like daylight.

HOT SPRINGS & SWIMMING HOLES

After you return to your car, you can take an optional drive down the mountain to a hot springs. This flat, 1 1/2 mile but strenuous walk, (because it is in sand) can even be done barefoot. 

The springs is just above body temperature, 100 degrees, and you will probably also have this to yourself, with visits from bats and wild burro.

After a warm dip, you can continue further a few hundred yards to the waterfall and a secret, 150 yard wide cold SWIMMING HOLE and cool off before you walk back to your car and once again, the roar of highway traffic and a reminder that you are not that far from civilization, after all.

300 DEGREE VIEW OF UNINTERRUPTED DARK SKY

Isolation Point is a flat space atop a 5,000 foot high mesa, just large enough for your tent and a campfire. Big 300 degree view.  

You will see no other humans, and possibly not even airplanes, as it is not beneath a flight path. 

Total silence is an unforgettable and experience that can transform  you and it brings instantaneous states of presence and heightened awareness.

As you sit still, a symphony of crickets, cicadas, insects. At night, a coyote or wolf howling in the distance. 

TOTAL ISOLATION

You are guaranteed not to see another human being out here. 

It is uninhabited land, not ranched in over 50 years.

BETWEEN VEGAS AND PHOENIX

The road to Aquarius is roughly 100 miles (1 1/2 hours) west of Prescott, Arizona, and 60 miles southeast of Kingman, Arizona, 53 miles North of Wickenburg, and 2 hours from Northern Phoenix. The Grand Canyon village, about 3 hours or 200 miles away. We are 3 miles as the crow flies from the Interstate but the drive is on dirt roads, and takes about 35 minutes.

GETTING HERE

You will be driving on decent, gravel/dirt roads  14 miles off the Interstate on to public land through which we have deeded access rights, then hiking 4 miles into private property -- surrounded by 27,000 acres of one of the most remote wilderness regions in the world. 

It is only 2 miles of rugged off trail hiking uphill if you have an ATV or 4 x 4. We provide maps, advice and directions and are here to answer your questions. 

The campsite is just large enough for a tent on the tip of the mesa, with a drop off below.  It's flat, and rocky. You can build a fire. It might be a little windy up here, but it is sheltered behind you.

TOTAL SILENCE

Total seclusion, total silence. It is so quiet you will hear your own heart beat. 

Meditative states are effortless in this silence. This experience is very hard to find in the modern world and is unbelievably restorative. You will feel greater awareness, sensitivity to the animal and plant ecosystem, and all of your senses will be more attuned.

We have spent years backpacking, mountaineering and climbing, all over the deserts of California, Mexico and the West, but truly find this land special because it is so untouched and pristine. 

STARGAZING AND MOONRISES 2020

July 17 - Perseid Meteor Shower Begins

The Perseids are one of the brighter meteor showers of the year. They occur every year between July 17 and August 24 and tend to peak around August 9-13.

July 28 into July 29 will feature a pair of multicolored meteor showers with the Alpha Capricornids and the southern Delta Aquarids peaking on the same night -- as many as 20 meteors/hour like fireworks!

August 1 - 5 - Full Moon (go hiking in cool of night as moon illuminates the canyons and sand.)

August 9-13 - Perseids Meteor Shower Peak  

August 16 - 21 - New Moon - Dark Sky and Perseid Meteor Showers

September 1- 5 - Full Moon

November 29-30 - Lunar Eclipse (Penumbral)

The Full Moon is amazing -- it illuminates the sand and white quartz stone canyons for cool night hiking. 

NOTHING, AZ

The nearest town is the ghost town of Nothing.  And there is nothing here on this ranch -- no structures, fences, trails or signs. (There are a few wells in one spot where a neighbor's cattle sometimes stray, so you might see a longhorn or two as well as wild burro and Mustang, wild turkey, roadrunner, rabbit and other wildlife.) It is primal wilderness.

VISION QUEST

Isolation Point is ideal for a personal spiritual journey or vision quest or for a solo traveler or couple seeking restorative peace and tranquility in pristine nature.

On this self-guided hiking adventure you will experience the rarity of complete and total personal isolation. 

You can also do the walk as a 8 mile round trip day hike, and sleep at the base camp. Book Base Camp for one night.

OWL, EAGLES, WILDLIFE

From this vista, you will observe endangered species and wildlife on a pristine 640 acre ranch, uninhabited and not grazed for 50 years -- including wild horses, wild burro, pronghorn antelope, quail, great horned owl, bald eagle, hawks, deer, bighorn sheep, 150 species of birds. 

ONE OF THE LAST EMPTY PLACES IN THE WEST

Isolation Point is difficult to reach but as the crow flies is only 3 miles from Interstate Freeway 11/93, a lonely, uninhabited stretch called Joshua Tree Highway, that connects the two fastest growing cities in the USA, Phoenix and Las Vegas.   

We are 40 minutes South of funky historic Kingman on Route 66. This is an epic, American road trip from Los Angeles or Las Vegas. Be prepared for culture shock and isolation, as this area is not "discovered" or developed and caters more to ranchers than tourism.

Nearest town is Nothing, Arizona. (Literally.)  Services, gas, and epic road food are in Wikieup, 8 miles.  You can find potable water one mile down the highway and in a well along your hike.

GUIDANCE

Upon reserving your journey, we will provide exact GPS coordinates to the Base Camp, turnoff and Isolation Point, and guide you to downloadable topo maps. 

If you wish, we can also give you step by step instructions with photos to guide you. (We recommend an app called ONX rather than Google Maps). Detailed packing instructions.

PREPARATION

You need a map and some bushwacking uphill through desert sage brush.  You can do this hike with a day pack, and stay in Base Camp, or you can bring a backpack and small tent or bivy sack, and sleep on top of Isolation Point.

While it is only a 4 mile journey from our "Base Camp," which is just a few hundred yards off a road, the hike requires map reading and GPS skills, good fitness, (though we did it at age 60!), long pants, hiking boots and tolerance for brush.

Potentially you only need to walk 2 miles if you can drive in on 4 x 4 on the rugged jeep trail.  You can also spend the night anywhere you wish in the area.

Campsite area
Bring your own tents
2 sites
Up to 6 guests per site
Hike in
No ADA access
Essentials
Campfires allowed
Pets allowed
No toilet
Amenities
Potable water available
Kitchen available
Picnic table available
No showers
No wifi
Pack it out
Laundry absent
Have a question? Send Gigi a message!
  • Check in: After 8AM
  • Check out: Before 7PM
  • Cancellation policy: Moderate
  • On arrival: Go straight to camp
  • Minimum nights: 1 night
  • Accepts bookings: 18 months out
  • Weeknight discount: 30% off

Activities

Offered on the Host's property or nearby.

Biking

Mountain bikes only! And you are free to ride on the AWD trails or off road in the washes.

Fishing

Fishing is nearby on Big Sandy River or up higher in Burro Creek Wilderness. Bass and trout.

Hiking

The ranch is 3 square miles of pristine private land, surrounded by thousands of acres of BLM government land. It is pristine a...Read more

Horseback riding

You are free to ride your horse on the land. Contact Arizona Horse Company in Wickenburg for horse and pack animal rentals; ...Read more

Off-roading (OHV)

OHV quads can travel on jeep trails through 27,000 acres of surrounding wilderness.

Climbing

This is a fantastic location for bouldering and short climbs. Bring your own climbing gear and climb at your own risk. Lots of ...Read more

Swimming

Nearby Swimming Holes.

Whitewater paddling

You can do whitewater paddling on Upper Burro Creek but you need a jeep or 4 x 4 to access this rugged wilderness.

Wildlife watching

This is a paradise for wildlife watching including wild horses, wild burros, antelope, black bear, buffalo, desert bighorn shee...Read more

Terrain

Natural features you'll find at Dark sky walk in backpack site. in Arizona.

Cave

Many small caves around the property.

Desert

This is high desert, which means there are deciduous trees and other plants you don't usually see in a low desert, and it is co...Read more

Forest

We have a small forest of Gingko trees and Aspens, Sycamores and other deciduous trees along the creek.

Hot spring

Nearby hot springs drive/hike - we give you directions.

Lake

Alamo Lake State Park 30 miles.

Canyon

Negro Butte rises up above, and there are many steep red rock canyons that echo the terrain of Sedona.

Mountainous

Breathtaking views of the purple hued Aquarius Mountains and the many pink granite and red rock boulders and cliffs.

River, stream, or creek

Nearby river, springs and creek with swimming holes.

Swimming hole

Nearby swimming on the creek in 150 foot swimming hole, not crowded.

Waterfall

There are waterfalls on the nearby creek and spring.

Ranch

You may see an occasional cow as you are hiking, they are wandering in from a neighbor's ranch.

The vibe at Dark sky walk in backpack site.

This listing has no reviews yet.
If you stayed here and have some insider info for us, let us know!
Hipcamper Ida

Stars and storms

Ida B.
recommends this listing.
(Dispersed site)
July 25th, 2020

I came for the stars. Didn’t have the right gear with me for a lot of hiking so I just drove around in my Jeep, found the perfect plateau and settled on the roof for the ‘show’ that was promised...

But a storm rolled in FAST from the SE and had other things to show me.

Stunning.

You could spend a lifetime exploring this area. Host was perfect. Thank you for being a generous steward of your land and sharing with those of us who would never experience it otherwise.

Hipcamper Courtney

Bad

Courtney B.
doesn't recommend this listing.
(Dispersed site)
September 14th, 2020

She didn’t answer her phone and we had to find a new camp site. Directions were extremely unclear.

Property
Aquarius Stargazing Ranch
State
Arizona
Country
United States
$25/night
2 Sites

Safety at Hipcamp

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