Kofa Wildlife Refuge was recommended to us by a fellow photographer. I confess to having been once before, but frankly missing the point. We just didn’t understand the allure. So we decided to go back and see what was thought to be special about it, and give it a second chance.
Kofa is located northeast of Yuma and southeast of Quartzsite in the southwestern part of the state. It was established in 1939 to protect desert bighorn sheep who roam the 665,000 acres in the Sonaran Desert. While we were there the only animal we saw was a coyote walk through our camp.
What we did see though was how the light played on the craggy mountain ranges surrounding the area. Vast expanses of cholla cactus, ocotillo, and saguaro dotted the landscape, lit by the morning and evening sun. The mountains lit up in a colorful palette of maroons and purples. We began to see the beauty of the area.
There are roads and trails leading through the desert landscape making it a popular place for the many ATV / UTV’s we saw. Camping is easily laid out throughout the area, discouraging off road dispersed camping.
It’s amazing what you see when you open your eyes and heart to the beauty that surrounds you, even if you have to look a little deeper.