Atascosa Lookout

Below: Looking south towards Mexico


A rough gravel road just this side of the border leads to a little-used trail to Atacosa Lookout. The peach-colored CCC cabin tops a stone pinnacle with unforgettable views from the Santa Catalinas to the Sea of Cortez ... not to mention the Edward Abbey Memorial Shithouse. Abbey spent the summer of 1968 as a forest ranger at Atacosa Lookout, and wrote about it in Confessions of a Barbarian.


This blood-red claret cactus just below the summit is still the best I've ever seen.


Ocotillo Forest (and the road to Nogales)


Kathy and I returned to Atacosa Lookout on October 3, 2004, after an absence of more than a year. The mountain is as beautiful and unspoiled as ever, but the CCC cabin is now white instead of peach-colored.

On the plus side, there were all new shutters and windows in the cabin.


Lunch and a little light reading next to the cabin with a view to die for.


Me in my green cowboy hat.


Alas the Edward Memorial Shithouse is somewhat worse for the wear, now tilting crazily and tearing at its fragile wire tether.


Lunch and a little light reading next to the cabin with a view to die for.


The ocotillo are as wildly abundant as ever in these dry mountains, this time sporting unusual yellow foliage.


The hike to Atacosa Lookout remains one of my favorites, both for Abbey's lovingly preserved cabin and for the wild and isolated beauty of the border ranges.