Boulder City, NV
One of the hikes recommended to us in the Lake Mead area is to Fortification Hill, on the Arizona side of the lake near Hoover Dam. The hike is not long (four miles round trip) but has a bit of elevation gain (1200 feet, most of which is in the middle third of the hike).
To get to the trailhead we drove south on Rte. 93 across the Colorado River on the O’Callaghan-Tillman Memorial Bridge into Arizona. Two miles from the bridge we took Exit 2 on to the Kingman Wash Road, a well-maintained dirt road that leads to the lake.
About a mile before the lake we took a right turn on to the Fortification Hill Road leading to the trailhead.
The hike begins in a fairly flat wash for a bit over a half mile. It then goes up onto a summit ridge and begins to gain in elevation.
The trail joins the summit ridge at a point where there is a group of oddly placed volcanic rocks. They look as if humans placed them there, but they have to be natural. The writer of a hiking website we use refers to them as the “funny rocks.”
At that point the trail really begins to gain elevation winding up a series of switchbacks going up loose gravel. In the photo below note the dark basalt headwall above us. We’ll go through that before reaching the summit.
At the top of the switchbacks the views begin to get interesting.
Remember that basalt headwall in a previous photo?
This short section of the hike required a bit of scrambling, but the rock is very solid with many hand and foot holds, so the climb was not too difficult.
From the top of the cliffs, the now-gentle trail wanders westward along the south edge of the mesa.
The trail continues westward for another half mile, climbing gradually onto the summit, although the end of the trail is mostly lost in the summit boulders. Once at the summit the views are fantastic in all directions.
Remember our blog on a visit to the Hoover Dam? The photo below was taken from the middle of the O’Callaghan-Tillman Memorial Bridge. The arrow marks the summit on Fortification Hill where we are.
After a lengthy stay at the summit it was time to head back down the trail.
While driving back along the dirt roads some of the locals kept their eye on us!
This is a great hike for those seeking a bit of adventure. While not long, the elevation change provides a great work-out. And climbing up the cliff is a good test of your hiking skills. The view from the summit makes the effort well worthwhile!