Road Miles: 99.6
Trail Miles: 6
Sites: Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, Kingman BLM
Locals: John Williamson
I picked John up early so we could get out to hike Red Rock before it got too hot. There are several established trails and ample opportunities for backcountry exploration here. We started off at the First Creek trailhead, which follows an established route up a canyon toward the base of Mount Wilson, with several unmarked spurs and alternate routes, all generally leading up the canyon. It was a beautiful sunny day, and the rock formations and colors here are incredible. We saw plenty of other hikers, many with dogs, and several climbers on their approach to the many faces available for technical ascents. In all, we hiked 6 miles total out & back, exploring the canyon, checking out wildflowers (I even found what I later learned was wild rhubarb in bloom!), and relaxing by the seasonal creek running a narrow channel along the canyon floor.
After dropping John back off at his super cool mom’s place and getting cleaned up a bit, I hit the road again, stopping in Boulder City for gas and resupply before heading south into Arizona. The last time I drove this way, you actually drove right over Hoover Dam. The road has since been re-routed, but you can still turn off the main highway to visit the Dam at the Nevada / Arizona border.
TIP: The Albertsons grocery store in Boulder City, NV gives 10% off to military and veterans on the first Saturday of each month.
I’d hoped to stay at the Willow Beach Marina campground on the Colorado River, but it was full. Finding sites in campgrounds on the weekends can be challenging, especially when they take reservations, and even more especially when like me, you aren’t sure exactly where you’re gonna end up on any given day. I continued south toward Chloride, which is surrounded by BLM land managed by the Kingman field office and available for free boondocking. I settled into a quiet secluded spot near Old Chloride Road with beautiful views down-valley toward the lights of Kingman. There was little evidence of human activity here on this utility side road other than some piles of ancient rusted tin cans, presumably relics from the area’s mining era.