Tuesday

Monolith Garden Lasso Loop Trail, AZ

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This page last updated on 08/20/2017

(Fig. 01) View from the Trailhead






(Fig. 02)


Directions: Take US 93 south to Kingman, AZ  It is approximately 87 miles from Henderson to the turn off to the Monolith Garden Loop Trailhead on the right as US-93 turns into West Beale Street, about 2 miles before I-40.

Area DescriptionJust north of Kingman, Arizona is a beautiful desert landscape, a joint venture created by the City of Kingman, the BLM, and the Arizona State Trail System.  The 5,620 acres of BLM land is now known collectively as the Cerbat Foothills Recreation Area. Established in 1995, it is jointly administered by the City of Kingman and the BLM. This area is located in the Mohave desert, and vegetation is primarily scrub, with some grassland. Natural water sources are seasonal only, and typically dry. You will find Beavertail cactus, wild rhubarb, and Arizona lupine, and many others. It’s also home to many types of wildlife, from desert tortoises and foxes to Gambel’s quail and rattlesnakes. There is a beautiful network of trails encompassing miles of biking and hiking trails that weave throughout this recreation area. The most well known trail is the 1.7 mile Monolith Garden Lasso Loop Trail (refer to map in Fig. 02) is a fantastic maze of towering rock formations. It has a rolling landscape of low hills, stacked rock towers and hunched ridgeline columns. Running through dramatic boulder fields and crumbling ramparts of volcanic ash, the views are amazing. It is hard to stop taking pictures of the rocks, flowers, mesas, buttes, and ever changing colors of the area.


08/18/2017 Hiking Notes: Today, Harvey Smith and I got up at 5:00 am and headed to Kingman. At an elevation of nearly 3,800 feet, it was 10-12 degrees cooler than in Henderson. We turned off of US 93 and parked in the parking area of the Cerbat Foothills Recreation Area and trailhead of the Monolith Gardens Trails (refer to map in (Fig. 02). The trailhead has a restroom but no water available. Starting in a westerly direction head towards the mountain on the old access road. Climbing down from the parking area you end up directly in front of a large monolith structure with what appears to be the opening of a mine (Fig. 03). Upon closer inspection, it turns out to only go in for about 8-10 feet. Just to the right of this opening the trail begins to wrap around this high outcrop (Fig. 04). As you hike around it, the view in (Fig. 05) is of the back side. Directly behind this monolith is an intersection that is actually the beginning and end of the Monolith Garden Lasso Loop. We chose to go left, starting the loop in a clockwise direction.  As you hike along you are constantly confronted with a variety of  towering rock formations all around you (Figs. 06 & 07). The scenery is straight out of an old western movie. As we hiked along the trails in this we were amazed at how green the desert floor present dozens of cacti and wild flowers like those seen in the collage in (Fig. 08). Arriving at the next intersection there is a bench if you wish to relax and take it all in. It you proceed to the right for a quarter mile, you come to another intersection appears. If you continue to keep taking right turns you will end up back to where you started, completing the 1.8 mile Lasso Loop. We chose to go left, allowing us to hike a yet another larger "loop" (see Fig. 02) This allowed up to "get up to and personal with many more of these beautiful monoliths (Figs. 09, & 10). (Notes con't below).
                                                         
(Fig. 03)
(Fig. 04)
(Fig. 05)
(Fig. 06)
(Fig. 07)
(Fig. 08)
(Fig. 09)
(Fig. 10)

Hiking Notes Continued: Finally we turned west and hiked across an open area and headed back towards the Lasso Loop trail. After passing some more unique structures (Figs. 11 & 12), we came across meadow filled with a blanket of yellow ground cover (Figs. 13 & 14). There were so many bees sucking nectar off these plants, that their 'buzzing" was extremely loud. Then we noticed hundreds of white-lined sphinx moth caterpillars (Fig. 15) eating these plants as well. We could see and hear many birds as we hike these trails, but our hiking sounds made the instantly scatter, making them almost impossible to capture any pictures (Fig. 16). In the end we hiked a total of 2.75 miles. All in all we both agreed that this was a beautiful area and can't wait until Spring when we would be able to capture many more cacti and plants in full bloom.

(Fig. 11)
(Fig. 12)
(Fig. 13)
(Fig. 14)
(Fig.  15)
(Fig. 16)
(Fig. 17)
Upon reaching Kingman we stopped for lunch at the famous Mr. D’z Route 66 diner (below) before starting the ride home. Along the way we also visited the town of Chloride [Chloride - Arizona] and the Roy Purcell Murals [Roy Purcell Murals].
                                    
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