U.S. Highway 93 runs from the Great Basin Desert through Las Vegas, before the road turns southeast east toward Phoenix. After passing by the Hoover Dam on the border of Arizona, Highway 93 goes through about 100 miles of wide open spaces on the way to Kingman. As can be imagined, there is quite a bit of long distance commuter traffic between Las Vegas, Kingman and Phoenix, so the pace on this old highway can be hectic. Fortunately there actually is a peaceful place to take a break from the road before arriving in the city of Kingman. The Cerbat Foothills Recreation Area offers majestic views and fun things to do, yet most commuters on Highway 93 do not even realize it is there, simply because they are in too much of a hurry!
When traveling on Highway 93 east from Las Vegas, Kingman literally is the gateway to all scenic destinations in Arizona. This town is also the heart and soul of historic Route 66. From Kingman a tourist can go to Hualapai Grand Canyon West, Grand Canyon South Rim, Oatman Ghost Town, Laughlin or Lake Havasu City on the Colorado River. Getting to the Sonoran Desert or Phoenix from Kingman is easy too. Of course, touring historic Route 66 is an option and this is what Kingman is most famous for. With so many major tourism destinations to choose from, the Cerbat Foothills Recreation Area kind of gets lost in the shuffle, which means that this destination is rarely crowded. This is like music to the ears of those who seek a convenient place to getaway from it all.
When traveling the long stretch of road from Las Vegas to Phoenix, taking a break to stretch the legs is the best way to reinvigorate the body and refresh the mind. Since the Monolith Garden Trail in the Cerbat Foothills Recreation Area is located only a couple miles west of Kingman, this quiet little spot is a perfect choice. Stretching the legs while doing a short hike does have a way of giving a long distance driver a second wind.
The Cerbat Foothills Recreation Area offers several short hiking trails through a scenic Mojave Desert landscape. The facilities and trails are managed by the BLM in conjunction with Kingman tourism, so they are well maintained. BLM recreation areas are usually not highly publicized, so there is no such thing as dealing with an endless sea of tourists like what can be found at a National Park.
The Monolith Gardens Trail is the easiest trail to find at the Cerbat Foothills Recreation Area, because the access is located on Highway 93. Just a few small signs mark the access point and it is easy to miss this destination while driving downhill on this steep section of the highway, so be sure to keep the eyes peeled. There is ample room here for RV camper or trailer parking. Even horse trailers can unload with ease, because the the Monolith Garden Trail area is horseback rider friendly. Riding the Cerbat Foothills Trails on horseback is what many folks do and there are even trails that go into downtown Kingman, so you can roll into the Route 66 scene with some old wild west style!
Those that take the time to stop and look around will be rewarded for their venture, because this is such a picturesque place. The name of the trail refers to the eroded rock outcrops that look like they are built with massive stone blocks that resemble ancient monoliths. The Monolith Garden Trail is a 7 mile loop, but most people just hike to a few points of interest along the way instead of doing the entire loop. When the weather is cool, hiking the full 7 miles is easy to accomplish, but when the extreme heat of summer rolls around, it is best to shorten the hiking distance or just take in the scenic views.
The Monolith Garden is definitely worth taking the time to see and this place is very photogenic. This is a great place to take a break while driving the long distances in this vast desert expanse. Hiking the Monolith Gardens Trail is also a good way to work up an appetite for some old fashioned classic American Route 66 food in Kingman!
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