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Mojave Indians, in times past, would run a hundred miles a day on trading trips to the Pacific Coast. In a ritual warm up, they would jog through a maze to ward off dread and evil spirits before setting out on their epic trips. Today, you can sample the maze’s aura as you begin a journey back in time on a 14-mile float trip through the Topock Gorge. The Colorado River’s steady current will pull you past the Mojave Mountains’ jagged skyline of red and brown toned volcanic peaks, a show that reaches a scenic climax at The Needles’ three stone spires.
Havasau National Wildlife Refuge: (760) 326-3853, http://southwest.fws.gov/refuges/arizona/havasu/