Monolith Gardens Trails - 03/28/2019 Trip Notes

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This page last updated on 03/31/2019
(Fig. 01)
(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.

(Fig. 03) Click to Enlarge
Description of AreaJust north of Kingman, Arizona is a stark, beautiful desert landscape. The vegetation is primarily drab scrub, with some grassland. Natural water sources are seasonal only, and typically dry. You will find Beavertail cactus, wild rhubarb, 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, as well as some free range cattle. 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). It is a fantastic maze of towering rock formations. The trails we hiked on this day are shown in (Fig. 03). 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. 

03/28/2019 Trip Notes: On this day Robert Croke, Ron Ziance and I decided to hike the trails here looking for some spring wildflowers. Unfortunately we were "pushing" the season, and were disappointed. The most prevalent was the California poppy (Fig. 04). Several small washes just off the main trail are loaded with these poppies (Fig. 05). Even though we were able to spot a few wildflowers scattered along the trails we hiked (Fig. 06), they were relatively scarce (Fig. 07). We saw hundreds of cacti with many multiple buds, but not one in bloom (Fig. 08). In spite of a lack of wildflowers, we were still able to enjoy the volcanic rock formations and the views they afforded. (Notes continued below)

(Fig. 04)
(Fig. 05)
(Fig. 06)
(Fig. 07)
(Fig. 08)
Notes Continued:  As we continued to hike the trails, it amazed me at how many of these rocks and formations were covered with a variety of colored lichen like in (Figs. 09 & 10). The towering volcanic rock formations were everywhere (Figs. 11-12). The picture in (Fig. 12) even had a large Globe Mallow bush growing high up near the top. The more we hiked these trails, the better the vistas seemed to be (Figs. 13 thru 15). Sometimes we thought we were looking at the mesas and buttes similar Monument Valley found in northern Arizona and Utah (Fig. 16). Near the end of our hike on the return, we spotted more than a half dozen free-range cattle munching on the yucca and other scrubs of the area (Fig. 17). 

(Fig. 09)
(Fig. 10)
(Fig. 11)
(Fig. 12)
(Fig. 13)
(Fig. 14)
(Fig. 15)
(Fig. 16)
(Fig. 17)


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