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Arizona - Nevada - Utah Tri-state

Coordinates (NAD27) N3700'0.6" W11402'57.1"
UTM Coordinates (NAD27) 11S 762584 4098757
UTM Coordinates (WGS84) 11S 762584 4098963
Elevation 2554 feet (778.4 meters)


My visit to this point on October 20, 2002 was a side-trip while on business in California. I had arranged ahead of time for 4WD transportation to as close to the tri-point as possible. The proprietor of MeSquite Outdoors in Mesquite, NV assured me they had someone who could drive me all the way to the point. At 6:00 AM I met Duane Linge and his father Russell Linge, who would be my guide, at Mesquite Outdoors. We headed north on the road toward Shivwitz, UT, crossed into Arizona and stopped at the Arizona-Utah line, 7.4 miles due east of the objective.

Mr. Linge decided the best way to cross Beaver Dam Wash, some 3 or 4 miles to the west, would be to head northwest using Bureau of Land Management roads to a ranch he knew about. Eventually we reached the ranch set in a beautiful canyon cut by the wash. The road switch- backed down the east side and back up the west side, putting us on the right side of the wash but about 10 miles from the tri-state. Mr. Linge, navigating strictly by eye and lining up with distant mountains, headed south and southwest until we were about 9 miles due west of the tri-point. From this point we tried following various fence lines and roads, ultimately resorting to some cross-country travel. Eventuallly, we arrived at a point only 0.6 miles SW of the tri-point, which we could see with field glasses. I would have been happy to walk the remaining distance but Mr. Linge decided it was a worthy challenge to drive the entire distance. By the way, the 4WD was not working in his GMC truck, a fact that would come back to bite us later on.

After unsuccessfully trying several routes across small washes, we headed northwest to the intersection of the BLM road with a fence line running 21 degrees south of east. It appeared that this fence would run to the "Initial" location shown on the topographic map, southeast of the tri-point. Unfortunately, we got the truck stuck in a steep dry wash. A half hour of shovel work freed the truck but soon encountered another, uncrossable wash, so we turned around and immediately got the truck stuck in the first wash again. Another half hour of shoveling and loading traction boulders into the truck bed got us free. After a little more driving we stopped to scout the trail. The truck bounced to a stop, whereupon I opened my door, hopped out, and impaled my knee on a small Joshua tree. Seeing me hobbling around, Mr. Linge asked what happened and I told him a got pricked by a bush. He said "Well, just don't get pricked by a Joshua tree because they're poison." Oops. I have to admit, my knee did swell up a bit and felt like it had been stung by a bee, but aside from some moderate anxiety at the prospect of dying in the desert without having visited the tri-point, the injury was minor.

Finally, and via a course I can not remember, we arrived at a small road that ran directly to the tri-state monument. Inexplicably, Mr. Linge parked the truck about a quarter mile shy of the objective and we walked the remaining distance, finding some nice fossilized turtle fins along the way.

The tri-state monument is red sandstone marked with the names of the states. Adjacent to it was a metal box placed by a GPS scavenger hunt enthusiast. I added my name to his visitor register.

Getting back to Mesquite was relatively easy using roads to the south and west of the tri-point. Unfortunately I have no idea how to find these roads again, but they were good roads and would be passable in a regular car.

The entire outing took about 5 hours and will definitely stand as one of my more memorable tri-state adventures.

Photos (click to enlarge)

Brian J Butler at the tri-point, October 20, 2002.
Photo by Russell Linge
Russell Linge at the tri-point, October 20, 2002
Photo by Brian J. Butler
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