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The Best Hikes in Colorado River - Kingman BLM

19 Triplog Reviews in the Colorado River - Kingman BLM
Most recent of 12 deeper Triplog Reviews
5 mi • 800 ft aeg
From the Trailhead at the tail end of Guthrie Road in Golden Valley, there are several hiking options leading into the Black Mountains. Today we chose the south leading trail. It is a little tricky to follow the first 1/2 mile or so, especially with the vegetation from the wet spring. Once you reach the ridge, the trail becomes much easier to follow. This direction leads to a low saddle in the mountains and a views toward Oatman and Cool Springs on historic route 66. Other times we have chosen the western leading trail. Going this direction is quite a bit tougher and steeper as you are basically climbing the face of the mountains. Once you get a mile or two up into the mountains, many possibilities exist for rock scrambles, drainage exploration, small caves, and higher saddles to climb. Climb high enough and you'll achieve views of the Colorado River. Finally, we have seen people take a more northwestern route toward Cave Springs. Each time we have tried this route, we've been turned away by rattlesnakes, burros, or lost trail as the brush gets thick. People say though that if you persevere, the springs are pretty interesting.

A side note. Our teenage son tried mountain biking these trails today for the first time and was disappointed. The trails are tight, not maintained the best, very rocky, and steep. I would agree that they are much better suited for hiking as opposed to mountain biking.

White, orange, yellow, purple, blue, red, and about everything in between, small delicate all the way to large thick. Pretty spring color!
9.38 mi • 2,067 ft aeg
(Edited my mistakes): This is quite a hike, to the Nutt benchmark, which turns out is not the named Mount Nutt. However, this benchmark peak that we climbed is higher than Mount Nutt. It isn't much to look at from a distance. A friend of mine had been there before and was leading us. When she pointed out a small knob amongst the spectacular rocky pyramids I couldn't believe that was the high point. But it is.

There is a well-defined burro trail for much of the way if you start at Sitgreaves Pass, which is just up the hill from Oatman. It really helps the hike if you can stay on this trail most of the time. That is, until you get to the higher, rockier areas. In general, though, it would be considered a rocky off-trail hike with some route-finding. This is the kind of hiking I have been wanting to get back to, ever since my foot problems have dramatically improved.

From the top we could see Lake Havasu and Lake Mohave. Many, many mountain ranges can be seen in California, in Arizona and in Nevada. Also, spectacular Cottonwood Canyon was below us for much of the hike.

Another hiker, Scott Peavy, who has been on HAZ in the past (azpeavy) came up, seemingly out of nowhere, from Golden Valley, and accompanied us to the top. I think some of the HAZ people will remember hiking with him.

The hikers' register included some pretty well-known Arizona hiker names from years past: Bob Packard, J.D. Green, Andy Martin, Mark Nichols, John Klein. The register dated back at least 17 or 18 years. Just the kind that is fun to read.

Glad to be back hiking to the tops of mountains.

3 mi • 600 ft aeg
Thumb Butte - Black Mountains
Mileage and elevation gain estimated because I stupidly forgot to turn on my GPS, or accidentally turned it off. Rough off-trail hiking. Can be very steep, with loose shale. Great views of Thumb Butte. I believe it can be climbed only with hardware and ropes. (This is the very prominent "finger" you see when driving between Bullhead and Golden Valley on Highway 68.) Saw some burros. Saw plenty of evidence of bighorns, but no sightings. I'm told they are pretty commonly seen in the area.

The Black Mountains range is a lot longer than most of the local ranges, and there are seemingly endless opportunities for exploration. Lots of Jeep roads to access it. I will link to Mount Nutt Wilderness, although we didn't quite reach the wilderness boundary.
6.66 mi • 2,319 ft aeg
Arizona Wilderness names some of their beers after wilderness areas in Arizona. The first time I had Wabayuma Wit I had to go home and search the name. I had never heard of it, and had been intrigued ever since.

So I set out to make this happen. There's little to no information available online. BLM said to come in from Yucca. It's a longer trip, but you can also drive in from the north. So we made an overnight out of it and hit up some hikes in Hualapai Mountain Park the day before. (More on the drive later).

Once we got to the trailhead late Sunday morning, it was very windy. The register box at the trailhead was empty except for a spider. We headed up the old roadbed and then the old trail that switchbacks up the major climb. Near the saddle the trail disappears and cairns lead the way through fairly forgiving landscape.

I had to check my GPS to verify that we had not yet even SEEN the peak! Finally, around the false peak, Waba came into view. It was clear that Lily wasn't going to make this one, and a bunch of annoying deadfall on the traverse sent Kyle back to the saddle with his grateful pup.

There were a few cairns that didn't help at all, and I had to fight some manzy near the bottom before some fun scrambling up a few layers. The final climb to the summit was about 15 feet and since I was by myself I took a bloody route through a thicket of holly trees. The trees are in a bit of a gully and help make the ascent much less exposed. A more confident climber could skip the razor trees and climb along the left side.

Up top, a small summit block with a cairn and register were easily visible. This peak doesn't get much visitation. But the last climb to the peak more than makes up for the somewhat benign old road that makes up the lower 2 miles of trail. It's a fun one!

Thankful to get 100% completion on my Waba Wilderness Mapped Area! :)
6 mi • 1,935 ft aeg
Most of the adventure for this one is just getting there-- though I'm sure Chumley will have a lot to say about that road. It took us all morning to get there and then half the afternoon to get out of there.

The hike itself is pretty nice. Its mostly old jeep road that winds you to the switchbacks that eventually help you gain some elevation pretty quick. Once you hit the saddle at the top, there is a cairned route to the summit. Lily and I made it part way on the route past the saddle. It closes in pretty good and gets a little messy. Lily was getting stuff caught in her pads so I let Chumley go ahead and summit without us. We also finally got a good look at the summit-- its hidden from view at the saddle. It was pretty obvious anyways that no dog was making it up there.

I took Lily back to the saddle and ate some lunch while waiting for Chumley. It was windy and cold and I was thankful I remembered to stick my fleece in my pack. I let Lily rest up. I knew after our 4K day before that her pads would probably be a little sore by the time we got back to the truck-- only three miles, though. She'd be fine. Chumley made the summit and we headed down pretty quickly together. Then we made out long, rocky drive out of there.
7.45 mi • 2,111 ft aeg
Mt. Wilson via Missouri Spring
We couldn't really find any reliable information on this summit, although we did find some information that it was possible without special gear. So we turned the day into a recon hike. Much of the day consisted of scrambling and climbing over, under, and around large and small boulders on steep slopes. We didn't make the peak this day, but got a pretty good feeling for a few ways NOT to go next time.

Visiting Missouri Spring was interesting. Some folks named Mamie and Grace were really into carving their names in the rocks in 1911.

All Acacia in full flower. The barrel cacti are starting, too.
9.56 mi • 1,305 ft aeg
PSA from the granddaughter of Tina & Erik Barnes who own the Santa Maria Ranch and the 40 acre parcel that is Peeple's Canyon. While this is indeed a gorgeous hike, there seems to be some confusion about what is and is not private property. Entering through state grazing leases and the wilderness area from Hwy 93, you don't actually hit "private property" until you near the canyon itself. Tina & Erik have been generous to give permission to enter to most of the people who inquire about hiking to the canyon, because they too believe it is a special place and should be shared with those who will pass through it responsibly. They do ask [after you've received their permission] that you not camp in the canyon itself and not go with a group of more than 7 or 8 people. Thank you for your understanding.
19.53 mi • 2,898 ft aeg
Santa Maria - Lower Peoples Canyon Loop
13 months ago we had a hike for the ages. Peoples Canyon Upper was in all it's fluid glory. With the forecast for gobs of rain, I tried to get all the talking heads together again for a repeat. LP was under the weather, so I took gumdrop to the river.

The forecasted rain never materialized and Joe was all dressed up with nowhere to go. We hiked down to the Santa Maria River on our way to Peoples Canyon. Almost 7 miles in the riverbed yielded some excellent views of the surrounding areas, including another memorable hike to the top of Ives.

We made the turn up Peoples Canyon and sandy riverbed gave way to boulders. Five miles in Peoples to get us to the point we turned out last time. Most of it was your typical boulder hopping. As we got closer to South Peoples Spring, the foliage got thicker and thicker. I gave up trying to keep my feet dry. The last 3/4 mile in peoples took forever but was beautifully lush.

Out of the canyon, a bit of lunch, and up to the water tank on the final climb. I was unsure of the route across and back down to the Santa Maria River, but it worked just fine. Joe has named this Negro Ben Canyon for the peak we looped around. The bottom of this canyon was the most fun, with a couple of slick rock Waterfall / Pour overs. to traverse.

Kingfishers, Sand pipers, 2 Javelina, and 2 wild burros were among the fauna spotted.

We made it to within 200 yards of the truck before the Sky's opened up. 50 mph winds and torrential rains soaked us to the bone and were with me for the entire hour and a half ride home.

Enjoyed the area once again out there.... there's much more to explore.
7.06 mi • 400 ft aeg
Joshua Forest January 2014 Trek
FitBit totals
10.76 miles total (3.70 @ HRP, 7.06 @ Joshua Forest)
520 AEG total (52 floors, 12 @ HRP, 40 @ JF)
423 images on 6D
089 images on 7D
059 images on rebel XT
013 images on iPhone 4S

HAZ Joshua Forest Scenic Parkway hike description :next: [ Joshua Forest Scenic Parkway ]
Start at MM 27.0 for Roadside Picnic Table "launching point" :next: [ photo ]
Planned start at the State Trust Land access road met with locked gate :next: ... 0&t=h&z=18

Rendezvous at the Wickenburg McDonalds and headed off to Joshua Forest to disprove a conventional wisdom that the only place you can see a Joshua tree is in the California Mohave Desert, in particular, Joshua Tree National Park :next: and [ Joshua Tree National Park Trails ]
With our planned State Trust Land thwarted, went to plan "B" accessing Joshua Forest west of the roadside picnic area. Interesting off-trail hiking with only two negatives - hydro lines bisecting the forest about a mile west of Hwy 93 and hidden cactus spines that always seemed to find their way into a butt cheek!
We were treated to an Arizona sunset that certainly made up for any collateral damage.
Tres Alamos 4293 - Black Mtn hike has to be explored on a return visit :next: [ Sawyer Peak 4293 - Black Mtns - Tres Alamos ]

Some additional references for a return visit;

[ Joshua Forest Scenic Parkway ] ... cle_1.html ... _drive.asp

HAZ Hassayampa River Preserve hike description :next: [ Hassayampa River Preserve ]
HRP Trail Map :next: [ Hassayampa River Preserve ]
Sampled all the trails; Palm Lake Loop, Willow Walkway, Mesquite Meander, Lion Trail, and River Ramble.
I was surprised to learn that HRP is part of the Nature Conservancy :next: ... eserve.xml just like one of my favorite places in Arizona, Hart Prairie :next: ... eserve.xml
The Nature Conservancy acquired the site in 1986 and began rehabilitation from what originally was established as an 1880's ranch, then as an upscale resort circa 1930 that morphed into an RV site complete with full service concrete slabs. Let's just say the site volunteers are a fount of information!
I've heard from some of my birder friends that HRP is a primo bird watching spot. I can't comment too much since this was a mid-day visit - water birds were negligible save for a lone mallard in Palm Lake. HRP was definitely "hummingbird city" though.
I think I got my $5 worth visiting this little gem...
Photos to follow when I get the chance.
Sent from my iPad

Brittlebush blooming in some of the Hwy93 roadside ditches
14.18 mi • 4,687 ft aeg
I've wanted to explore this area for over a year now, and after the JBLP trio were there during a flood last winter my interest was piqued even more. But their visit did little to appease my curiosity since I knew that the conditions during their visit were extremely rare.

So Joel and I headed up early Saturday morning for a planned overnight in the canyon and I thoroughly enjoyed the landscape here. It's remote and rarely visited. The elevation is a bit lower than the Supes, so there is not nearly as much vegetation to fight, especially up away from the canyon bottoms. Sparsely spaced cactus and desert shrub made travel fairly quick and pain free. In the canyon bottom, travel was surprisingly easy going, except for in the spring areas where growth made for some serious bushwhacking. Still, willows, reeds, ferns, and riparian grasses don't cause nearly as much pain as catclaw and manzanita!

The drive to the trailhead is 90% nice dirt road. The other 10% is mandatory 4x4 high clearance. Just a couple of short stretches, but not the kind of road a Rav-4 or CRV is gonna enjoy. A real truck is definitely in order. Once done with the 5-mile dirt road to the trailhead, we made it down canyon in pretty good time. We took a nice break in the narrow canyon area at Sycamore Spring, followed by changing terrain along a couple of dry miles before reaching South Peoples.

At this point, we found the only flat ground possible and managed to squeeze our two tents on what might be considered a gravelly beach adjacent to the creek. Joel set out to find some photographic opportunities, and I headed out to explore some areas around the canyon. Had I had more daylight I would have liked to check out the cliff-lined ridge on the west side of the canyon, but I only managed to get about half way up before deciding that daylight wasn't on my side. The views from above the canyon were still spectacular and I would love to come back and spend more time exploring here. I did find what turned out to be a concrete trough -- something I had seen on a satellite photo and decided to seek out.

I went up one side drainage, crossed over a ridge, and descended a parallel drainage. Both were really neat. Narrow little slots with sandy bottoms. Often not more than 3 feet wide, but only 5-20 feet high. In a few places there were small dry falls that I had to bypass, but nothing was ever a real challenge.

Downstream of South Peoples, the vegetation is very thick and travel is significantly more difficult than any part of the canyon above it. I managed to get about half a mile in about an hour's time which is about where the water heads underground and the canyon dries up and becomes easier to travel in again. I'll have to get back here sometime to finish the last few miles to the Santa Maria.

So after a couple of evening beverages, we enjoyed perfect weather for sleeping and awoke to sun on the cliffs above. The hike out to the road was uneventful, and the 2-miles of road hiking back to the the car seemed neverending but still scenic. I surprised a few head of cattle that had adopted a friend in one of nature's paradoxes that just doesn't seem real. I've had several days of emails and photo exchanges with a biologist at AZGFD about it and they are sending a team out to check it out.

Didn't see another vehicle or person all weekend, though there were some obvious man-made boot prints in the sand from time to time, so it's not like nobody has ever been here. Then again, who knows when the last time it rained there?

I posted a few more photos than I normally would just because there's not much information out there on this one. I also try to keep my videos under 3-minutes, but this is a new area for me and most who visit this site, so I went over a little bit. Hope you don't fall asleep... ;)

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