Thursday, April 13, 2017

A Short Stay in Kingman, AZ

From Prescott we made the uneventful 140 mile drive to Kingman, AZ via highway 89 to interstate 40; though I-40 was pretty rough on the final approach to Kingman, it could use some new pavement.

This was our first stay in Kingman and we found some great trails to hike during our two full days in the area. First stop: the Cerbat Foothills Recreation Area.  Located on the south west edge of Kingman, this recreation area has about 20 miles of trails. The visitor center staff highly recommended the Monolith Gardens Loop and we loved it! We hiked about 6.5 miles through a blooming landscape studded with lush desert vegetation and fantastic rock formations.

Mid April turned out to be peak wildflower season in Kingman!

We came over a small rise and saw a vast valley dotted with giant rock outcroppings.

Our trail wound past pillared cliff faces.

I-40 passes over this dramatic canyon about a mile downstream.

We entered a lush wash.

Hans was trying to blend into the landscape on this hike!

This gila monster was the highlight of an already amazing hike!
We stalked him/her for quite a while.

We got a little too close here and it turned and hissed at us.

An abundance of cactus was just starting to bloom, both hedgehog and prickly pear.
The cholla were a long ways from blooming.

The hills were dotted with pink blooms....with thousands more to come in the next couple of weeks.

We climbed to this saddle and were treated to expansive views on the other side.

Close up, some of the rock outcroppings were sandstone with large holes created by wind and water over time.

For our second hike we headed a few miles south east of Kingman to Hualapai Mountain Park. This is where Kingman residents go to escape the heat. We hiked a great 5.5 mile loop that included pine and oak forest, a tiny bit of snow and incredible views from the top of 8,000 ft Aspen Peak.

It was wonderful to hike in a healthy Ponderosa forest. Recent winds had downed some of the old, dead trees. 

The Potato Patch Loop trail took us around Aspen Peak
and as we climbed the mountainside was composed of giant slabs of rock in places.
Hualapai Peak looms above Hans, it is the tallest peak in the range at 8,417 ft.

Just a few small patches of icy snow left on the north facing slopes.

Hazy views down into Kingman from Aspen Peak.

Hazy views to the east as well, plus the last remnants of snow.

A pair of horned lizards that seemed to be an adult with a youngster.

Another kind of horned lizard.

Peregrine falcons were nesting in the big rock formation.

Peregrine falcon.

Kingman turned out to be an interesting stop for hiking. We stayed at Zuni Village RV Park, a no frills bargain at $19/night Passport America rate. It had an excellent laundry room. There are several museums in town that we did not visit and more trails to hike so we'd likely stop here again if we are passing through.

Today we moved on to Boulder City, NV for a week...had to get settled in at our new location before high winds hit the area this afternoon...we're rocking and rolling a little here!


  1. Great photos of the gila monster! We've only ever seen one while hiking.
    We always seem to pass through Kingman at the wrong time (too cold), so we've never stayed. Looks like there are some nice trails there.

    1. Yes, it's a good stopover!

      This was our second gila monster...just so cool!

  2. Your last two posts have been fantastic. I love seeing you photos. You two do an excellent job of photographing anything and everything. Thanks for sharing your super hikes and the beauty of the area.

  3. Awesome photos of the Gila Monster and the Horned Lizards. You sure picked two good the giant rock outcropping and the Ponderosa forest.

  4. Wow!! We've never seen a Gila monster in the wild. Those horned lizards are pretty cool, too. We've passed through Kingman but never stayed there—had no idea that there are such gorgeous and interesting hikes. Your photos are beautiful!

  5. Nice scenery! And some interesting wildlife sightings to boot.

    1. There's lots of beauty in the south should visit some time!

  6. That lush wash and those rock formations are wonderful! Gila monster and horned lizards and falcons?! What a treat to see them all. I so enjoy your trail photos :-))) We thought Zuni was a good spot to stay as well - all we needed for a shore stay.

  7. The Gila Monster is just amazing. We saw one in Tucson, they just creep me out a little. Kingman looks really amazing. Putting it on the list!

  8. We've not been to Kingman in many years. Looks like it offers more than I had thought. We had a similar experience with a Gila monster last year. He let us know in no uncertain terms that he was sick of getting his photo taken.

    1. It's worth a stop. Gila monsters are so unique, and so easy to follow and take photos!

  9. WOW! great sightings with a Gila monster and horned lizards, all the makings of a cheap Japanese horror movie. Beautiful hike and a bit of wildlife to go with the wildflowers.

    1. We got really lucky on these trails to see these awesome critters!

  10. Wow, those are a couple of great hikes that I have now marked down on my list if we happen to be in the area. What a great experience is was to see the gila monster, the horned lizards and the falcon. Really makes a great hike even better! :-)

    1. These were super fun hikes...especially with the critter sightings!

  11. Gila Monster and Horned Lizards!! Great sightings:) I love all the rocks!! My kind of hikes. Thanks for sharing:)

  12. Wow another Gila sighting and a horned toad lizard! great eyes! This is an excellent stop and if I have to repeat myself, we will follow you there as well.