Off-Road Trails Ė Northwestern Arizona Travel

Mar. 13, 2013 By Jim Brightly, KF7SCT

Stick a pin in Kingman! Thatís right, grab a road map of Arizona, and stick a pin in Kingman. No, weíre not done, but if you can attach a string and pen to that pin, you can draw in a 40-mile radius around Kingman. In that 80-mile-diameter circle, there are over 5,000 square miles and literally hundreds of four-wheel-drive trails with thousands of scenic, technical, and fun miles on them. Many of the four-wheeling trails are so close to Kingman that most of us who live here donít even bother to air up our tires anymore. We just leave them at trail pressure to save time when we want to go off-roading.

Within that 40-mile radius, youíll even find the eastern trailhead of the famous and historical Mojave Road on the Nevada side of the Colorado River, near the Avi Casino & Hotel, just south of Laughlin, Nevada. But Iím not going to be talking about the Mojave Road; Iíll be talking about the trails fairly close to Kingman.

Iíve selected just six trails of the hundreds to provide an overview of what the countryside around Kingman offers four-wheelers. Most of the trails not included here can be found in Luis & Paula Vegaís 4 Wheel Drive & Back Roads of Mohave County, Arizona. The Vega books (other editions cover Yavapai, La Paz, and Yuma counties) include directions, GPS locations, trail descriptions, and in many cases a history of the areas covered by the trailsóthey are available on Amazon and in most bookstores in Mohave County.

Iíve also gone through my digital photo albums that Iíve taken in the 10 years Iíve wheeled in this countyóover a thousand imagesóto pare them down to meet the space requirements here on Off-Road.Com. Some of the images of a particular trail might have been taken on several different trips through that trail; other images may come from just one trip over the route.

One other item: the Walapai 4 Wheel Club is headquartered in Kingman, and the club is hosting its annual Ghost Town Jamboree on April 12-14, 2013. If the descriptions and images in this article have intrigued you into thinking about wheeling in Mohave County, go to the clubís website at http://walapai4wheeler.proboards.com/index.cgi for more information and prices. (Iíll be doing an article on the jamboree; look for it here on ORC.)

Just a few items Iíd like to cover before getting into the trail descriptions. Some of these trails pass through cattle country. These are working ranches, raising meat for our tables and Mickey Dees. So when you pass through a gate, leave it in the same condition that you found it. If itís open, leave it open. If itís closed, close it after youíve gone through. When you visit please take only pictures and leave only footprintsóor tire prints, in our case. Over the past decade that Iíve been visiting these areas Iíve seen a great deal of destruction and desecration to the various buildings, and itís sickening. If you should come upon any cattle or wildlife, please slow down and if you have to drive near them, do it very slowly so that you donít spook them.

Just outside Kingmanís northern city limits, Bull Run warms your Jeep up with a steep rocky climb and then an equally steep downhill into the dry creek bed.

Bull Run
Letís start with a trail that isnít in any book and its trailhead is right at the Kingman city limits. Go north on Stockton Hill Road, turn left on Camelback Blvd., and continue on when the pavement turns to dirt (on your right is Bull Mountain). The trail circles around to the west of Bull Mountain and then drops down into a dry and rocky streambed. It skirts the base of Bull to the north until the streambed widens out and then climbs east up through a canyon to a white quartz quarry. The trail flattens out at the mine and then continues upward and eastward through a notch and clings to side of a steep hill as it drops back down to Stockton Hill Road.

This is a year-round trail and all-weatheróexcept in snowóand is rated a 3.5. Itís a very narrow, overgrown trail with some extremely tight turns; and it has some 4.0 bypasses for the more adventurous drivers. A JK with lockers can make Bull Run but it will get really scratched up from the brush.

As I said, itís narrow and rocky.

Did I mention it also has some challenging off-camber lines?

Tedís Cherokee actually laid over against the bank on this line, but he drove on out.

Next Page... More Northern Arizona Trails

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