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theksmith

5/1/2020 Kingman Area Weekend Exploring

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Posted (edited)

last Friday evening i drove up to Kingman, AZ for a night run that was posted on a Facebook group.

 

the run ended up being just myself and 2 Kingman locals, Ric Swats and @stockjeep (Wayne).

 

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we did Bull Run which starts out as a fairly easy climb up to an old quartz quarry.

 

after you weave your way back down the other side of the little mountain, you enter a rock-crawly tight wash that Ric swore was a trail! however, after a wrong turn, Wayne took over lead and i asked him if they created the trail by just following a drunk Javalina through the desert one day.

 

a mile or less from the exit (back on easy trail), i stayed behind to camp while the crazy Kingman boys finished the run and headed home.

 

i woke up just before 6 to a nice sunrise over Kingman!

 

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after gassing up and getting McDonalds in town, i head south to run the Hualapai Mountain trail - a graded road that runs the ridges along the major hills of the Hualapais.

 

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stopped along the road to eat my breakfast:

 

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the pavement ended up at the top and after passing a collection of little homes, i aired down and enjoyed the view.

 

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it's a long trail that passes a few tree-lined camp spots early on but then becomes mostly shrub brush. 

 

i did find one nice little shady valley down a short spur trail, so that's where i had lunch.

 

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a young couple came in on an old beater CJ and their faces dropped when they saw me parked next to an existing fire ring. they perked up when i told them i wasn't camping there, just having lunch!

 

at some point you finally stop running ridges and shelf roads, then start to descend fairly rapidly.

 

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near the bottom (on the south end), i stopped to look around the Boriana mine ruins a bit.

 

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there's a huge tailings pile there, but it's heavily eroded and looks like it might have been twice as big at one time.

 

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a little further down the road i took another short spur to the Copper World mine.

 

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the main adit was "kind of" gated, but also flooded.

 

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lots of junk there!

 

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back down on the desert floor, i decided to try a random set of trails to make my way over to Wikieup. 

 

i started in Bar I-L Wash, which was full of Joshua Trees and things blooming.

 

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obviously i'm not a rancher, so are all baby horseys this skinny, or was this little dude malnourished?

 

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have you ever pulled up on a place and immediately thought, "oh yeah, that's haunted"?

 

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i saved exploring that one for next time ;)

 

another short spur led me to some old surface mining prospects, and more baby critters.

 

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didn't stay for pictures long there - dad came running around the corner looking all sorts of bothered!

 

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as i started to climb back up in elevation, the trail definitely appeared less used.

 

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soon i realized my planned route was going to take me much higher that i had realized.

 

i had a nice view of that wash i came in on though:

 

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then i didn't take any pictures for a while...

 

my path gradually turned into a total ATV-width shelf road with constant inconveniently placed boulders. i managed to nervously squeeze Gadget through, but came very close to breaking a rear window and had to absolutely drag my rims across the sides of some of the big rocks.

 

now i normally like a good afternoon nap, but being off-camber on the side of a mountain will keep you wide awake. my little route ended up climbing all the way back up to over 6,000ft again... i really gotta pay more attention to those topo lines when route planning!

 

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coming back down, things widened up and i calmed down, so i tried to get a photo of a not-as-bad example of the sort of obstacles one could enjoy on this trail. of course pictures never do justice to that real-life leaning feeling!

 

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oh, and there had been numbered trail markers every so often along the entire route... with no indication that this was for narrow rigs only, i took them to be personal taunts - like they were saying: "this is a perfectly good real trail, stop being a wuss"!

 

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after the off-camber and narrowness and boulder scraping, i realized the past few miles had taken a long time and that i still had a looong ways to go before pavement! Gadget looks like she's sighing from the same realization here...

 

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next up the path became easy, but with insanely tight brush. i know i've led a few of you down some crazy "trails" while exploring, but this was the worst paint scraping i've ever been through.

 

...but before that, this darn cow absolutely refused to get out of the way for several minutes.

 

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the sun was getting low and so i hauled butt once back on normal dirt trails, stopping only briefly to look at the ruins of an old mining town named Cedar.

 

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finally an actual road!

 

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the fire in the sky was almost completely gone as Wikieup came into focus.

 

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i aired up just after sunset. i'd been going hard since right after 6am, but still needed to drive another couple hours on the 93 to make it home.

 

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i was slightly loopy by the time i pulled Gadget into the garage, but it was a very memorable day and i wouldn't trade adventures like that for anything!

 

Edited by theksmith
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I think that's the trail we took from Wikieup to Yucca a year or two ago. Def not used very much anymore, for shore. Glad you & Gadget came out unscathed. Pretty pictures and great report! 

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Beautiful pictures!

Thanks for sharing Kris.

 

I would assume that this is one of those times when sleeping in the rig came in handy  😴

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31 minutes ago, jgaz said:

Beautiful pictures!

Thanks for sharing Kris.

 

I would assume that this is one of those times when sleeping in the rig came in handy  😴

 

thanks Jim!

 

yes indeed - it was nearly 11pm when we got to where i could camp and so being able to set everything up quickly and crawl right into bed was great.

 

Baby Reaction GIF

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Love that new camera!!!   I sorta recognize that one brushy off camber climb to a saddle trail as my Plan F on the Moses trip that others refer to now and then!   No where does it say its an atv-width trail!  We came in from Wickiup and went past the mines, but turned at a point onto that skinny little trail...Came out near Yucca?

 

Love to see the travel Kris!  

smiles, ladybug

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here's the route i took from the Boriana Mine area to Wikieup...

 

AZ Yucca to Wikieup The Long Way.kmz

 

Yucca to Wikieup The Long Way.png

 

there are a bunch of ways you can make a route from near Yucca over to Wikieup, including a decent gravel road. since i was just out to explore, i took the longest most convoluted path i could! 

 

the really tight shelfy/brushy portion i mentioned was numbered 7240 and started a bit before Grapevine Spring, then opened back up not far after Chappo Spring. I turned off from that trail where you can see my track start heading almost straight south for a while.

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Great pictures and great trip, Kris ! 

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