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“The Marvelous BC Tours Box Canyon Tour”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of BC Jeep Tours

BC Jeep Tours
Ranked #2 of 5 Tours in Wickenburg
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Attraction details
Owner description: Let BC Jeep Tours share the Desert with you, they'll create a trip of your dreams. Our guides are local drivers who know the stories and history of the area. Take a trip that is comfortable and fun for all ages!
Sun City West, Arizona
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“The Marvelous BC Tours Box Canyon Tour”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 7, 2012

My wife Gerry & my daughter Sue took the Box Canyon Tour yesterday with Mike Billingsley (BC Jeep Tours) and had an excellent time. We left Wickenburg in a standard Jeep configured for 4, drove up the Hassayampa Wash for a while, up the north bank of the wash into the desert, admired & examined the flora & fauna, drove thru marvelously scenic back country AZ, drove back DOWN (!!!!) into the wash & thru the "Narrows" to the Box Canyon, then past multi-billion year old rock formations back to Wickenburg ... MARVELOUS!!! We highly recommend Mike, BC Tours & the Box Canyon Tour itself.

Visited April 2012
Helpful?
6 Thank TomHSCW
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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71 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Level Contributor
141 reviews
60 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 74 helpful votes
“An Exotic Experience”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 2, 2012

Desert Tour

An Exotic Experience

Jean A. Vachon
Phoenix Az - During the month of March, my wife and I had the opportunity to take a jeep tour in the Sonoran Desert, close to the cowboy town of Wickenburg, not far from Phoenix, Arizona. The tour lasted three hours, from 11 AM to 2 PM under a scorching sun and a temperature of 30 degrees celsius. What a memorable and exotic experience!
Enjoy!
The tour starts at 295 E. Wickenburg Way, where the office of BC Jeep Tours, Inc is situated, the property of Mike and Cathy Billingsley.
At our arrival Cathy, our guide, directs us to a small blue jeep that can sit six. Another Canadian couple from Rockland, Ontario is with us. Cathy takes a souvenir group photo and we’re off!
A few kilometers drive out of Wickenburg gives Cathy, a middle-aged happy entrepreneur, the opportunity to describe a bit of history.
An 1862 gold strike on the Colorado River near present day Yuma inspired adventurous American prospectors and miners to search for minerals throughout central Arizona. Among the gold searchers was an Austrian named Henry Wickenburg. His quest for gold was rewarded by the discovery of the Vulture Mine where over 30$ million in gold has been dug from the ground throughout the foothills surrounding Wickenburg.
Ranchers and farmers who built homes along the fertile plain of the Hassayampa River accompanied the miners. Together with Henry Wickenburg and the miners, they helped found the young community of Wickenburg in 1863.
We drive past a luxurious 2$ million estate ranch. According to our guide, a lot of fortunate Americans in quest of solitude and tranquility choose to have their home near the Cowboy capital of the world renowned for its warm and dry weather. Some of these ranches still offer their hospitality to visitors who can thus, for a reasonable price, experience the warm and dry life in the Sonoran Desert.
Sonoran Desert
As we challenge the Sonoran Desert’s rough trails aboard the jeep called Miss Blue, our guide in spurts of conversation, gives us facts about this peculiar terrain:
The Sonoran Desert is one of the largest and hottest deserts in North America with an area of 120,000 square miles. Although hot and dry, this land is full of life. In it’s boundaries can be found 60 mammal species, 20 amphibian species, 350 bird species, over 100 reptile species, 30 native fish species, over 1000 bee species and more than 2000 plant species.
Furthermore, the Sonoran is the only place in the world where the famous Saguaro cactus grows in the wild. Cholla, beavertail, hedgehog, fishhook, pricky pear, night blooming cereus and organ pipe are other species found here.
Cathy talks about the beauty of this vegetation as we roll along on our bumpy way. Practically all of these plants and shrubby trees have medicinal values, and if properly handled permit human beings to survive in this severe environment.
Demonstration
At one point in the plain, Cathy stops, lets us stretch our legs and strikes a piece of pricky pear cactus. She pricks a thorn from the plant and evokes it’s dangers. If you handle the thorns like this, you can be infected, she says. She hands me a thorn. I take it. It seems harmless. I look at it, hold it between two fingers and throw it away. After a while though the two fingers that have held the thorn start hitching.
It will go away after some time, says Cathy.
She then shows how this plant can be handled safely by first burning its thorns and cutting its flesh. Inside you find water and the flesh itself tastes somewhat like a Kiwi without sugar.
Eventually we ride through the dry bed of the Hassayampa River. Our guide indicates that this river as a result of abundant rain in the mountains all around can become a torrent. Now its underground proximity favors the growth of larger trees and plants... All of a sudden, we see what seems to be a stream. Pure and drinkable the narrow river flows in the desert. We can even observe minows in it. We follow its course until a wall of rock appears. The river disappears under it to reappear a few miles further.
As we take a water break, Dale, the other guide driving a red jeep, tells us that at one time the joke grew that whoever drank from the Hassyampa River was thenceforth unable to speak the truth. Hassayamper came to mean a teller of tall tales.
But I never drank its water! added Dale as he laughed heartily.
Finally we climb the mountains close to the Vulture Mine where so many prospectors dreamed of finding wealth and happiness but found hardship and death. Some men still search today...
There is a saying that only a small fraction of the gold has been found in this area, adds Cathy.
From atop we see the numerous Saguaro cactus that stand out in the horizon. Most have several branches, a few stand straight without arms. These are the ones Cathy prefers. They remind her of her love for this environment and the pleasure she takes in familiarizing visitors with its wonders.
We take another route for the ride back. Three hours has passed like a flash!
Our next destination, a restaurant bar in Wickenburg where we order a freezing cold blonde beer to moist our parched lips and dry throats. All of a sudden, I remember a long lost canadien phrase: Wouldn’t a Dow go good now??

-30-

Photo:

1. Photo souvenir: Jean and Rita Vachon, Lise and Raymond Laviolette abord Miss Blue
2. Lots of Saguaro cactus

Visited March 2012
Helpful?
5 Thank lapinjano
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boise
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“This is the REAL deal !!!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 30, 2012

Took a trip with 8 family members with Mike and Cathy as our hosts. This is the real deal, no air conditioned Hummers, or tea and crumpets along the way. Just great people showing you a great experience where you can truly stop and "smell the cactus" !

Visited March 2012
Helpful?
4 Thank IdahoNativeBoise
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wickenburg, AZ
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Great Trip!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 14, 2012

A friend from Indiana and I went with Mike on the Box Canyon tour! A delightful trip, lots of stops for wildflowers, history lessons and just to enjoy the quiet! I high recommend the BC Jeep Tours! Thanks for a great day!

Visited March 2012
Helpful?
3 Thank Marion D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bayfield, Colorado
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Informative, engaging an overall delight”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 7, 2012

Our guide did an excellent job. She provided in depth information about local surroundings, history, plant life, and wild life. She was friendly and made our tour very enjoyable.

Visited February 2012
Helpful?
4 Thank Bruce E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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