Fortification Hill P750 52PC / RS
Cove Peak RS
Dam View Point P300 RS

Sat, Apr 28, 2018
Etymology
Story Photos / Slideshow Map GPXs: 1 2 Profiles: 1 2

Continued...

I promised myself today would be an easy one - my feet were starting to look pretty battered and needed some rest. I decided to head down to the Arizona side of the Hoover Dam to finish up the last summit on the 52Peaks Club list, Fortification Hill. It took well over an hour to make the drive down that way so I figured I ought to do a few easy bonus peaks while I was in the area before calling it quits.

Fortification Hill

The hill is quite prominent from the highway, looking like a large mesa overlooking Lake Mead on its southern shore. There's a longish drive on dirt/gravel roads from US93 to reach the TH. Signs recommend 4WD vehicles, but I'm pretty sure I could have driven the van in. Much of the road was washboarded, making it slow even in the Jeep, and it wasn't until 7:50a that I was ready to start hiking. The sign at the TH says "Travel at Your Own Risk," but the trail is quite decent. It goes up along a mostly barren, rounded ridge with an easy grade for most of the way. At the base of the mountain on the east side, the trail turns north to go up a class 2 break in the cliff above. Following a cue from Purcell's guidebook, I avoided this class 2 switchback by going more directly up through the cliff band, finding an enjoyable class 3 scramble for about 50-60ft. Almost immediately upon gaining the summit plateau, I was back on the trail which follows the southern rim of the plateau to reach the highpoint another half mile to the west. The summit features a large cairn, a benchmark and of course the 52Peaks Club ammo box and busy register. There's also a swell view of Lake Mead and the surrounding NRA, the dam just hidden from view behind Dam View Point. Back to the Jeep by 9:30a, the outing took about 1h40m, all told.

Cove Peak / Dam View Point

I drove back down Fortification Hill Rd to the junction with Kingman Wash Rd where there is a restroom and lots of space to park. I walked across the road and immediately started up Cove Peak which rises sharply above the road junction. Though an enjoyable scramble, it took but 10min to find my way to the top. It has a good view looking down on Kingman Wash Cove and one of the better views of Fortification Hill to the east. Dam View Point was only 7/10mi to the west, so I headed off in that direction along the connecting ridgeline. Like most of the rock in the area, it is volcanic in nature and darkly varnished, making for decent, but not great scrambling. It took about 40min to travel between the two summits, mostly sticking to the ridgeline, though I did find one step where I couldn't downclimb and had to backtrack a bit. As the name suggests, there is a fine view of the Hoover Dam, nicely framed by the new US93 overpass behind it. I dropped east off the summit, returning to Kingman Wash Rd and walking the last 1/3mi along the dusty route to return to the Jeep. It was 11a at the conclusion and this time I kept my promise to my feet to give them the rest of the day off. Hopefully they'll appreciate the sacrifices I sometimes make for them...

Continued...


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