Mohave County High Point Trip Report

Hualapai Peak (8,417 ft)

Date: March 30, 2003
Author: Roy Schweiker

The ranger called this peak wall-a-pie and didn't even understand my rendering of the name. I had a total of 8 reports, by Messrs. Casterlin, Coltrin, Helman, Jones, Martin (3), and Surgent, and all of them were basically correct. The trailhead I used is reached by a twisty road through the campground that leaves the main road just uphill of the ranger station and passes through two open gates before reaching a parking lot just before a warning sign and a locked gate. The park has constructed another trailhead downhill of the ranger station and if they behave like other parks, in peak season you may be required to park here and use a connector trail which will add a mile each way and 500 feet of climb. The ranger warned me there was probably lots of snow and ice but I decided that someone from Kingman AZ might have a different view of "lots" than someone from NH so went anyway and even wore low-cut hiking boots instead of rubber boots. This was not a problem as there were only a dozen places of maybe a car-length each where there was snow all the way across the road, it was mostly hard packed or had old tracks, and only a few inches deep. I never saw ice anywhere.

I started by taking an unmarked road left of the gate following some other hikers, but got ahead of them before the road ended next to a brook, presumably it was the access to a former water supply. I bushwhacked to the left and up and came out at bench "7" on the trail where it crosses the east ridge of Aspen Peak at about 7480 feet. (Andy Martin calls this "11" but apparently the map has been renumbered.) I then followed the trail mostly level to the road and then the road down and up, passing another gate where the road leaves the county park.

The road leads to a post "14" and ends one switchback above with no sign of an electronics shack, although there was plenty of old wire etc. I looked at the route up from there but it looked steep and scrubby, so instead I went one switchback below "14" and followed the east route which proved to have several snow pockets between the trees and the rocks although most of the necessary holds were bare. I had a long rest at the BM enjoying the view and decided not to climb to the RM alone, but instead just touched the highest rock with my hand by leaning across the gap.

I was rushing darkness due to a late start and disappointed not to have a couple more hours which would have allowed me to also ascend Hayden and Aspen Peaks. I returned all the way on the road which requires a little extra climb and a little extra distance. The beginning of the trail was well marked: the trick is to hike up the road through the 3rd gate and the trail leaves left by the 4th gate near the handicapped restroom.

Trip statistics: 8.2 miles, 2100 feet gain, 5.5 hours.

The state is planning to make US-93 four lanes to Wickenburg including $46 million for a bypass of Wickieup. I would say for $46 million you could buy the whole town and flatten it, and you might as well as when the road moves it will dry up and blow away.