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Potato Patch Loop, AZ

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Guide 34 Triplogs  2 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Northwest > Kingman S
3.7 of 5 by 14
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Difficulty 1.5 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance Lasso-Loop 4.4 miles
Trailhead Elevation 6,741 feet
Elevation Gain 750 feet
Accumulated Gain 1,500 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 3 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 11.9
Interest Historic & Peak
Backpack Possible - Not Popular
Dogs not allowed
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
Inaugural Calculation on Button Tap!
15  2019-08-30 kingsnake
10  2018-07-22
Hualapai Peak & Hayden Peak
10  2017-11-18
Hayden Peak Summit Road - Hualapai Mountains
6  2017-10-12 azbackpackr
11  2017-04-23
Hualapai Super Loop
6  2017-04-23
Hualapai Super Loop
5  2017-04-15 nikorock28
20  2016-11-05
Potato Patch Loop and AHH Peaks
Page 1,  2,  3
Author leadhiker
author avatar Guides 4
Routes 39
Photos 209
Trips 118 map ( 634 miles )
Age 79 Male Gender
Location Tucson, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Sep, May, Jun, Oct → 7 AM
Seasons   ALL
Sun  6:20am - 6:38pm
Official Route
13 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Geology Nearby
Meteorology Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
Pine Tree Folk
by leadhiker

Likely In-Season!
The Hualapai Mountains rise abruptly southeast of Kingman offering hikers a contrast to the parched desert basins below. Mohave County established the park in 1937, and the Civilian Conversation Corps built the first cabins and trails. The trails were rebuilt by the Youth Conservation Corps in 1981. On my hike on June 30, 2009 I came across a group from the Mohave Sheriffs Probation Department doing trail maintenance. If you only have enough time to do one hike in northwest Arizona, this should be the one. The Hualapai Indians (pine tree folk) regard the nuts of the pinon pine common to the mountains to be a valuable food source. Eventually, the name of the people became the name of the mountains. The Indian tribe called these mountains home until they were relocated by the military in the 1870s.

There are over ten miles of trails in the park ranging in elevation from 6200 feet at Sawmill Canyon to Hualapai Peak at 8417 feet. All of the trails are easy to follow and have numbered trail markers that coincide with a map. Be sure to get one when you pay your entrance fee. There are benches and storm shelters along the trail.

Hike: From the parking lot walk up the road past the locked gate about 75 yards. The Aspen Springs Trail starts on the left side of the road. Follow this trail 0.86 miles to the junction of the Potato Patch Trail. Turn right and follow the loop counterclockwise. The summit of Aspen Peak will come into view in a short distance. A great view of the Kingman basin and the Cerbat Mountains to the northwest are just past an interesting rock formation known at the Three Gossips. Just past the first storm shelter the trail levels off and you come to a 4WD road. This connects with the road to the Boy Scout Camp. Stay left on the road and in a short distance you will come to the trail to Aspen Peak. It is about a 1.4 mile, steep climb, round trip to Aspen Peak. To continue on the loop follow the dirt road down hill to the Boy Scout Camp. About 0.25 miles past the camp the Potato Patch Trail turns left off the road into the bush. The turn is signed but, easy to pass by. The Potato Patch Trail climbs briefly and then contours around the east side of Aspen Peak. You have great views of Hualapai and Hayden Peaks to the south. After 3.5 miles of hiking you'll connect back with the Aspen Springs Trail. Return to the parking lot via the Aspen Springs Trail.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

Gate Policy: If a gate is closed upon arrival, leave it closed after you go through. If it is open, leave it open. Leaving a closed gate open may put cattle in danger. Closing an open gate may cut them off from water. Please be respectful, leave gates as found.

Leave No Trace and +Add a Triplog after your hike to support this local community.

2009-07-05 leadhiker
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WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

Most recent of 11 deeper Triplog Reviews
Potato Patch Loop
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I’ve had my eye on the Hualapai Mountains for several years, but never quite got around to hiking there due to their distance. Besides Potato Patch Loop, I also planned to summit Hualapai Peak, which would make for a relatively short hike (8.0 miles), but with some good elevation gain (2,500 ft.). I hoped my lack of recent decent hikes would not be a factor.

I started hiking at 9:30 a.m., just behind some chatty girls (“We’re from the Mojave Desert!”). A few minutes after filming the intro to my hike video, I caught up to them already taking a sit down break. I never saw them again. Flatlanders. Not that I am Reinhold Messner. 🏔

On one of the early switchbacks, I got rattled by a snake. A rattle so brief, I wasn’t sure it was a rattle. I didn’t even jump. It was an Arizona Black Rattlesnake (crotalus cerberus). I wonder if the brief rattle was random, or if the species has a shorter rattle, as the western diamondbacks and speckled rattlesnakes I’ve encountered tend to quite lengthy rattles. 🤔

Some fluffy yellow flower clusters were the most common of the sparse floral pickings, with most of the patches found in the open, grassy, area around the Pine Lake Overlook. I took a short break on the bench, as I was already feeling the elevation.

Just past the overlook is Storm Shelter 1. Not sure why storm shelters are needed in the Hualapai Mountains, of all places. I’ve never seen them anywhere else. Indeed, the only other trailside shelters I’ve seen are for camping along the Appalachian Trail or Wisconsin’s Ice Age Trail. Definitely not for storms. ⛈

I was already noticing that every time I looked up, then back down to the trail, I was briefly experiencing visual anomalies. Not from looking at the sun (I wasn’t). Not nearly as bad as the heat exhaustion I experienced hiking from Table Mesa Rd. to Little Pan Loop back in 2011! [ photoset ] I figured best not to push too much, and decided to skip Hualapai Peak, or any of the other nearby summits.

At Camp Levi Levi -- not a misprint -- I checked three well hand pumps, and each gushed water, two of them without a single pump, just by lifting the handle! 💦

The 1.5 miles downhill from Storm Shelter 4 -- what happened to 2 and 3? 🤔 -- went much quicker than it's opposite earlier in the day. Less than an hour, in fact. And that despite stopping several times to wander off trail to enjoy some nice views. (If Kingman could be considered attractive.)

Even though I didn't summit any of the peaks, that means I now have three other hikes I can do in the area ... once I get back in hiking shape.

Hike Video: [ youtube video ]
Potato Patch Loop
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Following the Potato Patch Loop to the Hayden Trails, which included the Tipton Overlook and the dinosaur rock trails, we cut over to the road and from there it was only a short distance to the actual summit on the road. Nice hike, great weather. Oddly, it was cold and windy in Kingman, but not windy on the mountain. Somehow I had thought we'd spend a lot more time hiking on a road, but actually it's very little.

A HAZ member turned up for the hike!!: HikedUP

We could not figure out what the dinosaur is. Maybe it's a rock to the south that sort of looks like a Dino head?

I have to wonder if my GPS is off, because another hiker said his showed over 7 miles and 2500 or so AEG. Or maybe, his is off.

Practically zilch is left now. No aspen leaves. Some very faded oaks and shrubs.
Potato Patch Loop
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An errand day in Kingman allowed me time to do this loop. I'd forgotten there would be fall colors, so even though it was a weekday I saw probably 10 other hikers, which seemed kind of crowded. This is actually the best place to get up into some elevation near where I'm living.

I think of this mountain range as being like a "mini-Catalinas" due to the granite boulders, the long views, and the pines, spruce, aspens and firs.

I could just barely make out the Peaks from a viewpoint. Could easily see Bill Williams Mountain.

Aspen, Gambel oak, possibly walnut (bright yellow, but saw no nuts), maples, and a few shrubs.
Potato Patch Loop
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Hualapai Super Loop
an excellent hike on the way to las vegas with linda
this area has been on my list for awhile
didn't realize we would be hitting all three peaks :)
also didn't realize we would be in pine trees the entire time
the entire park is beautiful
set out on potato patch loop, hitting hualapai peak first
a bit of a scramble to get to the summit
nice to get the mohave county high point
dropped back down to potato patch, going through the boy scout camp, then made the steep road walk to hayden peak
went up both sets of steps to be sure we had the high point
back down the road to the aspen peak trail
nice trail to the saddle, then off trail to the peak
great views of the other peaks from there
finished out potato patch loop
loved the park, and would enjoy camping or staying in one of the cabins sometime
very windy on sunday, making summit stays brief
great choice, linda, and a great start to the weekend!
Potato Patch Loop
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Hualapai Super Loop
Irony: I had planned on a trip to Flagstaff to visit Philomena Springs on the Peaks, for about a month, but decided to drive to Kingman to hike this loop instead, as the forecast was for cold temperatures on the Peaks. I also had no real desire to revisit the Mazatzals so soon, which I had considered doing. Either way, the forecast for sun and mild gave way to increasing storm chances as the hike day approached. By the time I was out there, I had barely any sun, it was cold for me (but likely still warmer than it would have been on the Peaks even at 11,600') and I had hail, some passing rain, and cold wind on any summit or high ridge. I guess the gods didn't want me to have what Todd and Kyle had 2 weeks ago, out here, or myself and Linda had the same day in the Mazatzals. Oh, well.

Todd's loop from 9/24 and his photos of great views with excellent sky conditions had me excited to head to Kingman (yes, really) to explore this range I had never visited, despite expressing a desire to do so 8 years ago. The hike is solid, the park pretty nice, the range interesting, and the views on a nice day are probably very worth it. I followed Todd's loop route exactly as he hiked it so I could use his stats, but also as it was a pretty good loop, and nothing here is ever very long. Counter clock-wise on the Potato Patch Loop, Aspen Peak, Hayden via the road, than a cut over to the Tipton overlook using the Upper Dinosaur Trail, down the road and up the slope to Hualapai Peak, and back to the trailhead finishing on the east side of the Potato Patch Loop.

I was not really surprised it was over 13 mile, but I don't really feel like it was over 4,000' of AEG. Still, I trust the GPS route and stats, and rolling terrain is generally easier to take than a steep up and down. I wish I had those clear blue skies, long distance views, and pleasant hiking conditions, but I guess it was better than a trip to the Peaks, and I did get to use my poncho for the first time this year, as I had good fortune on the Peaks for every Humphrey summit, or I was smart and didn't hike there in the Monsoon season. I took advantage of the storm shelter below the Tipton Overlook and ate lunch for about 10 minutes during the hail storm, and even though I considered skipping Hualapai Peak, I scrambled to the summit of that through New Mexican Locust, as I was there and could tolerate the cold wet wind for a little while. I was in shorts and t-shirt for this.

I highly recommend this hike, but also recommend better weather! I guess I could have canceled my hotel reservation, but I didn't want to, and in the end, I did something new.
Potato Patch Loop
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Hualapai Super Loop
I was so surprised on my first visit here that I knew I had to come back. Upon returning, I forgot how much I like this park! With eyes set on the two peaks I had previously missed, we started with Aspen. This one is a winner. The trail is great to the Dean overlook, and then the unmaintained route to the summit is nice enough and easy to find. Below the peak is an A-Plus camping area with awesome views in all directions.

Next up was Hayden. We took the road which is super steep, but not that exciting. The park literature indicates that visitors should not disturb the equipment on the peak, and we didn't. Though we did observe it from a fairly close range. :scared: I decided to hit the second hump on the peak while Kyle headed back down. On my return I found a short crossover to the Dinosaur Rock trail and decided to descend that way instead. Then I got to the Tipton Overlook junction, and it would just be dumb not to go out there too. Kyle would have to wait!

In retrospect, if doing this peak again I'd skip the road altogether. The upper part of Dinosaur Rock was awesome. A beautiful grove of aspen was the highlight. Tipton Overlook is worth the price of admission too. (That price being annoyingly flat switchbacks which I cut vertically on the way down :oops: )

Next up, we decided there was no reason not to bag Hualapai too. While I had been there before, Kyle had not, and it's a fun one I didn't mind doing again. We took turns Lily-sitting since the summit is not dog friendly. Thousands upon thousands of ladybugs covered the peak, but I think it's past their season. They were pretty docile and even their color looked dull. I don't know anything about ladybugs but I was a little surprised to see them this late in the year.

We headed down and finished on the other side of the Potato Patch Loop. This northern slope is a different world of shade, grass, and trees. It's almost as if Kingman isn't... right over there. :A1:
Potato Patch Loop
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After an entertaining night of camping :whistle: , we headed over to Hualapai Mountain Park with the intention of getting to the Mohave County high point.

It's early season and there was only one car in the parking lot when we arrived. The trails here are very well marked, and in great shape. We did a counter-clockwise loop around Aspen Peak on the Potato Patch Loop.

After wandering through Camp Levi Levi, we followed the road toward Hualapai. Only later did I realize that Hualapai Peak is not inside the county park, and therefore explains why this aggressively-signed trail system has no mention of Hualapai Peak on it. After some confusion, we figured it out, and headed southeast along the old road, first descending and then climbing to a saddle, before the old road turns to the southwest and ascends steeply directly toward the peak.

This would have been a very rough road for a vehicle back in the day! A very impressive grade!

The trail levels out for a short stretch before making the final push to the peak, where it ends on the south side below the rocky summit. We chose our ascent route from the east, one switchback below the end of the road, where a vegetation-filled chute showed signs of previous travel. There is some easy class-3 scrambling to the peak, the only real hazard was not slipping on the patches of snow that remained from a small storm earlier in the week.

The top is small and it was windy. There are two reference marks pointing to the benchmark. Strangely the one reference mark was blatantly higher (by at least 2-3 feet) than the benchmark. :-k

Also, Lee and John indicated that the Garmin basemaps have this peak marked with an incorrect elevation over 1000 feet lower than it actually is. Strange.

I spent 5-10 minutes climbing up, down, and around the boulders up top looking for any sign of a register. To my surprise, there wasn't one. On a county highpoint!!? Despite it's relative ease to get to, the peak itself is a bit of a challenge, as noted by previous HAZ triplogs (Joe, seriously!? ;)) so it wouldn't surprise me if a register up there didn't get more than 20-30 visits annually.

The trip down was quick and easy, this time taking the south and east route around Aspen Peak.

I like this park a lot. I'll be back to hit up Aspen, Hayden, and the other developed trail out to Potato Patch and Dinosaur Rock. Maybe Dean Peak across the way too. Or even hit Hualapai from the Wild Cow Springs drainage off-trail. Lots to do here :)
Potato Patch Loop
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After a long night dealing with drunks and guns we made our way over to Hualapai Peak. I’ve never been over to this part of the state. As far as I knew we were going to be in a remote part of the desert. I was wrong. The peak is situated next to a mountain town that has all the amenities of city living including paved roads and a county park (access fee required).

We started our hike and it was a bit chilly out. I wore my fleece and was comfy. The trail immediately starts gaining elevation as you wrap around Aspen Peak. We stayed to the west and worked our way over to a Boy Scout camp which was still vacant. We explored the area and then proceeded towards Hualapai Peak along the road. For anyone looking, I cleaned up my GPS Track and deleted the parts of my track that venture off course. Once you’re on the road you follow it all the way to Hualapai Peak. The road degrades as you near the summit and there are a few down trees you need to navigate around. It’s not an issue.

We neared the summit and followed a use trail that leads to the peak. It’s a bit steep and overgrown near the peak and some snow was up top as well. We took turns on the summit because we didn’t want to take the dogs up the final steep stretch near the summit. The views are fantastic! I looked for a summit register but couldn’t find it. After the summit we dropped down a bit and had our lunch. From there we returned on the road and completed the Potato Patch loop and returned to the car by mid-afternoon. We were back in Phoenix around 6pm.

This was a fun and interesting weekend. Thanks Lee for driving and thanks Chumley for doing the research on these two hikes. It’s nice just being along for the ride sometime.
Potato Patch Loop
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This was a nice little cap to the weekend. The trails could not have been any nicer, the amount of signs was overwhelming and it was relatively easy on the troubling knee.

Highlights included great views, a quaint little pine forest, hiking with John and Chumley, bagging another peak, eating snow, a pretty solid car camping breakfast, and most importantly no one really on the trails.
Potato Patch Loop
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Super Hualapai Loop
The Plan was just to get to someplace cool and away from areas we've done before.
This seemed to fit the bill. A three hour drive and the forecast of 78 degrees sounded perfect.
I didn't plan to have this hike be as SWEET as it was.....

Take a Granite Mountain hike, mix it with a Wilderness of Rocks Hike, add beautiful Oaks, Maples, Aspens, and numerous conifers. Next apply near perfect trails, spectacular views, and hardly anyone out on a perfect day, that's pretty close to what you have here.

We did a Counter Clockwise loop starting just off Hualapai Mountain Road.
I think the route went something like this:
- Deer Canyon Trail
- Stone Step Lookout
- Music Mountain Overlook
- Potato Patch Loop
- Aspen Peak Trail (Dean Peak Overlook)
- West Hayden Trail (Mt Tipton Overloook)
- West Hayden Trail? (Yucca Overlook / Dinosaur Rock)
- Hualapai Trail - East Overlook (not an official trail, follow old 4x4 road to the end)
- Hualapai Trail to the top and back.
- Potato Patch Loop (SE Section)
- Deer Canyon Trail back to the Truck

Favorite destinations on this day.
Aspen Peak Trail - nice trail, great views
Yucca Overlook - Expansive views, nice Aspen areas
Hualapai 4x4 to the East overlook - WOW, You have to see it to appreciate it.
The Potato Patch Loop - has a little bit of everything and would be a great loop choice.

JBM was at an all time low, or my filter is working better.
Black Horseeee

Permit $$
Hualapai Mountain Park $10 - Day use, $20 camping.

Map Drive
Paved - Car Okay

To hike
Exit #51 south off I-40. Take Stockton Hill Road south which becomes Hualapai Mountain Road south of Old Route 66. It is 13 miles from I-40 to the park entrance. Pay your entrance fee and pick up a map. Drive another 0.7 miles to the trailhead. Keep right at each fork in the road.
page created by leadhiker on Jul 04 2009 2:12 pm
3 pack - loud whistle
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