The Hualapai Mountains dominate the skyline south of Kingman, Arizona, and are the highest mountains in northwest Arizona. The summit of the range, Hualapai Peak, is a well-known hiker's destination and the highest point in Mohave County, as well as one of the most prominent mountains in Arizona. The peak and range are easily visible from all directions, and are especially impressive viewed from the west as there is nearly 6,000 feet of vertical difference between the summit and the desert plains below.
The range is noted for its liberal sprinkling of huge granite rocks and outcroppings; the summit itself is a slab-fest of these giant pillars. A good trail and road network makes for an easy half-day hike to the base of the summit, while a moderate scramble and bushwhack, plus some minorly exposed climbing at the very top, gives the summit-bagger a good reward for his or her effort.
The peak is climbed all year, but spring and fall are best. Summer can be hot, even at near 8,000 feet, and thunderstorms kick up regularly in July and August. Winter snow is rare and never accumulates to any depth, although it can get very cold on top in such conditions.
The summit appears around a bend on the Aspen Loop Trail
The slabby summit, and bushwhacking, too.
Kingman is located on Interstate-40 and is northwest Arizona's biggest city. In Kingman, follow the signs south to Hualapai Mountain State Park (any of the three main exits in town: Beale (old Rte-66), Stockton Hill or Andy Devine, will converge south of town at Hualapai Mountain Road. It's very well signed). It's about 10 miles along paved road to the ranger station and camping complex. The trailhead (follow the signs) is up past a few campsites to a small parking area. Walk past a gate in the road about 200 feet and catch the Aspen Peak trail on the left at a large sign. It is very obvious and easy to follow. Ask at the ranger station if you need further help.
Spotty snow sometimes sits on the peak. Photo by Dean Molen
I don't recall paying any money when I hiked the peak in 2000 and in 2003, but you may want to check at the ranger station for the latest information. You may have to fill in a self-issued daily pass.
When To Climb
This peak can be climbed virtually all year. Best times are early summer and late summer-fall. The middle of summer can be quite warm and be in the middle of the thunderstorm season. Winter can have snows that may close the access road.
The immediate area is fully developed for camping. Not sure of the fee structure but I'd imagine it's probably the usual going rate.
Contact the Hualapai Mountains County (Mohave) Park Ranger Station. Google "Hualapai Mountain Park" since the URL seems to change often (see updates below).
The southern Hualapai Range. Photo by Dennis Poulin
A new map published by the Mohave County Parks system show the route to the summit very nicely:
Hualapai Mountains Park Trail Map
Thanks to HGRAPID for pointing this out to me.