Friday, May 29, 2015

Monolith Gardens Trail ~ Cerbat Foothills Recreation Area, Arizona!

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     Monolith Gardens Trail
     Highway 93 runs from the Great Basin Desert through Las Vegas, before the road turns east toward Arizona.  There are some long stretches of wide open desert territory on this road and driver fatigue can become a problem.
     Tourists that venture from Las Vegas to places like the Skywalk at Grand Canyon West or the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, usually travel the first leg on Highway 93 to Kingman, Arizona.  Kingman literally is the starting point for traveling to all scenic destinations in Arizona.  Kingman is also the heart and soul of Historic Route 66.
     When traveling long stretches of road, like from Vegas to Kingman, taking a break to stretch the legs is the best way to reinvigorate the body and refresh the mind.  Coffee only does wonders for a short spell, before "car seat rigor mortis" takes over.  Stopping for a little exercise before arriving at a travel destination puts some pep in the step after getting there.
     A good spot to stretch the legs and walk the dog can be found at the Cerbat Foothills Recreation Area just outside of Kingman, Arizona.  The Cerbat Foothills Recreation Area offers several short hiking trails through the scenic Mojave Desert.  The facilities and trails are managed by the BLM, so they are well maintained.
     BLM recreation areas often are not highly publicized, so there is no such thing as dealing with an endless sea of tourists at a mainstream National Park.  Road related stress relief is easy to find at the lesser known BLM destinations, because there is more elbow room.
     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 entrance and it is easy to miss this destination while driving downhill.
     There is ample room for recreational vehicle parking.  Primitive camping is allowed on BLM land.  Even horse trailers can unload with ease in this area.  Riding the Cerbat Foothills Trails on horseback is what many folks do.
     Those that take the time to stop and look around will be rewarded for their venture.  The Monolith Gardens Trail is 7 miles long.  When the weather is cool, hiking the full 7 miles is easy to accomplish.  When summer temperatures are in the triple digits, it is best to shorten the distance and carry a jug of water.
     There are many little sidetrack trails and shortcuts for those who only want to take a short walk and get some fresh air after driving across the desert expanse.  For those who really like to get some exercise, one of the marked trails ends at the Historic Route 66 district in Kingman.
     The perception of size and distance can be deceiving in the Mojave Desert.  Mountains look like they are within reach and giant rock outcroppings appear to be much smaller than they really are.  After walking a short distance, the monolith outcroppings tower overhead.  It is then that the real scale of things sets in.
     Monolith Gardens is definitely worth taking the time to see.  The is a great place to take a break while traveling to the Grand Canyon.  Hiking the Monolith Gardens Trail is a good way to work up an appetite for some old fashioned classic American Route 66 diner food in Kingman too!      

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