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Fortification Hill is a 3.5 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Willow Beach, Arizona that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, running, nature trips, and bird watching and is best used from September until May. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Length 3.5 mi Elevation gain 1,394 ft Route type Out & Back
Dog friendly Hiking Nature trips Bird watching Running Lake Views Scramble No shade
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Getting There

This is a little-known trail that climbs to the summit of Fortification Hill, an extinct volcano gone mesa, which overlooks Lake Mead and the Hoover Damn. Most of the trail is fairly easy, although there is a stretch of about 20 feet up the Basalt headwall that offers some slightly unstable hiking. To make matters worse, there seems to be a wind funnel right at this junction. A walking stick would be highly recommended. 4 miles round-trip.

Follow the road until you reach a camping area where boats are launched. Take the road to the right. It'll become a bit rougher as your drive. The Trailhead is located on the North-East side of Frenchman Mt. Parking is at a widened spot on the road, marked by a small hiking marker on the left side.

There's not a lot of space to give details on this site, so if you have any questions, please feel free to message me at MagicMoment84@yahoo.com

From Las Vegas, take the 95/93/515 South to Boulder City and follow the 93 as crosses the Hoover Dam and ventures into Arizona. You'll want to exit the Kingman Wash Access Road. It'll be the first exit after the Hoover Dam. At the exit, turn left under the freeway and follow the dirt road.

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Reviews (76)
Photos (76)
Recordings (69)
Completed (133)
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Anna Pelino
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 15, 2020
Hiking

Whew, we did it in the heat of the day (116F), but totally worth the views of Lake Mead and the surrounding terrain. Plenty of water is a necessity, and make sure to actually drink it! If you plan to hang out at the top, consider bringing something to sit on so you don't burn your booty on the black rocks.

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Robert Merrell
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMay 17, 2020
HikingScramble

Did this two weeks ago. Mod-hard with rock scramble at the top. One of my favorites after this hike.

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Daniela Gaudino
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarFebruary 18, 2020

☆FORTIFICATION HILL☆ STATS: Elevation Gain : 1,500 Feet Elevation Of Peak : 3,658 Feet Card : 2 Date: February 17,2020 You need a 4WD drive to get there because the road that leads to the beginning of the trail is "rocky". It is much better to have trekking poles because the majority of the trail has lose rocks. Approach shoes are unnecessary as there are only 2 small scrambling sections and you can wear hiking shoes/boots.

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Merri Peterson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 2, 2020
Hiking

Beautiful hike!! Steep going up with some light scrambling towards the top, but well worth the spectacular views!! Don’t forget to turn around and look back on the way up! Hiking shoes with good grip a must for the loose rocks. Can’t wait to come back and do it again!

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Joshua Shook
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 11, 2019
Hiking

This trail is gorgeous. We did it at sunset and the top views are just sweeping. Word of caution though: even with a high-clearance SUV, the road is so sandy and hasn’t been graded recently, so we couldn’t get all the way to the trailhead and had to add an extra 1/2 mile or so. Not a dealbreaker but definitely would have been a challenge in an ordinary car.

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Kate Darrow
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 29, 2019
HikingScramble

I hiked Fortification Hill while preparing for the Second Battle of Hoover Dam. It was pretty challenging. I used the Bird and Hike.com guide and was able to reach the summit. The Legion has quite a view from up here. Gorgeous!

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Prajwal .
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 14, 2019
Hiking

Did this hike solo in mid July. The heat was brutal, so plan to do it early in the day. It is definitely a hard trail. Carry plenty of water. You will probably need a 4*4 just to get to the bottom of this trail. my car wouldn't make it past a certain point so I had to park and hike an additional 2 miles. overall a great trail. the views are beautiful from the top. highly recommended.

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Stephen Vance
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMarch 30, 2019

perfect day today to do this trail. GO RIGHT GO RIGHT GO RIGHT. unless you want to go left and get a little mountaineering in your life. first time doing this trail and it was fantastic. The view on a clear day was amazing and well worth the hike. 10/10 will definitely be doing this one again.

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Diana Su
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMarch 28, 2019
HikingNo shadeRockyScramble
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Marnie Hill
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMarch 22, 2019
HikingNo shadeRockyScramble
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Ricky Fell
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMarch 12, 2019
Hiking

Great hike with a great view from the top. There is a TINY bit of scrambling (class 2.5) for roughly 15 feet. Other than that, really easy. That weird scramble kind of take away the fact of brining your dog. Unless you can fit it in your backpack. Not our 70 pound lab lol. Stop at Hoover on the way hole for lunch :)

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Alex Hagen
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMarch 3, 2019
HikingNo shadeRockyScramble

An amazing, fairly short hike. You start going up as soon as you hit the trailhead and don't really stop until you are at the top of the mesa. It's kind of tough, kind of steep, and some places have a lot of loose rock, but the view of Lake Mead and the surrounding area is 150% worth it. It's also a great vantage point of different places to visit on Lake Mead.

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Crystal Berarducci
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFebruary 23, 2019

hard trail. hiked in february, coldest week. got off the main trail and ended up having to shuffle along the break to get to the trail. Then the trail was lost in a snow drift. make sure you start early, because we almost didn't make it down due to darkness. we started too late in the afternoon!

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Stephanie Black
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFebruary 16, 2019
HikingScramble

Getting to the top is definitely worth it!

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Leslie Schilling
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 19, 2019
HikingNo shadeRockyScramble

Worth every steep and slippery step.

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chris courtney
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 20, 2018

Loved the view from the summit, amazing. My family made the hike to pay homage to our father. Did a lot of reading before picking this hike. Unfortunately I think most of the people who wrote reviews are average to above average hikers and not from flatland areas. Take it from me if you are not used to hills r mountain areas this hike is rough. With that said push through any pain and discomfort you may have because it is totally worth it once you reach the top. Sign the book and enjoy the views because it is worth it.

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Kayla Laatz
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 25, 2018
Hiking

We began at sunrise and gosh was this a beautiful hike! Totally worth the work for the view at the end! This is a very secluded hike, this was my second time and I did not see a single other person. The class 3 rock scrambling sounded and looked intimidating from afar but as soon as we got up close to it it was a piece of cake! I wouldn’t recommend to take young kids, elders, or dogs up it though. When you’re finished, turn right on kingmans wash road and take a dip in the lake before heading home!

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Lawrence Kelly
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 16, 2018
Hiking

A little tough, but definitely worth it. Make sure you follow the right trail from the start as me and my friend got off track at the beginning. When you get to the mountain and start climbing up, go right, not left. You can go left but its much more difficult and there's less of a trail. Don't forget to sign the little notebook once you get to the top!

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Jared Mathews
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarOctober 8, 2018

Sunday 10/7/18 1 PM - Nice views, a decent workout and a bit technical due to loose rocks. A major drawback for me was the amount of air traffic. Noisy helicopters and airplanes were in abundance. Multiple routes for the first leg of this trail. I recommend the ridge route.

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Frank Nason
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 6, 2018

Only difficult during the first third in my opinion as a 65 year old man. The best views in the entire state in my opinion. Better than Tahoe and Wheeler Peak though some of my friends differ about Tahoe!

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Hugh Wang
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 2, 2018

Very good

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Lance Smith
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 7, 2018
Hiking

Fantastic Hike! Took two hours and three minutes (2.03) of hike time for me round trip. Used 2.1 liters of water, and plenty of sunscreen. However there is definitely some things to know before you go. *First - remember this is the desert, it's dry and hot - especially if you are so smart, that you decide to hike the desert in peak summer - August.... (like this guy.....) *The park's roads and trails, are not maintained. So driving anywhere, higher clearance and 4x4 is recommended. I made it to this trail in a front wheel drive sedan, but you need to know how to drive in the sand. *Kingsman wash access road and Fortification hill road, are all sand, loose dirt, and loose gravel road. This is not an easy route, so be ready. *You will drive kingsman road for 15 minutes before coming to a bathroom located on your right. You turn right on to fortification hill road and take it for another 6-8 minutes. It's a long drive, and you won't go faster than 15 mph (maybe 20 if you have the right vehicle) *Cell service is terrible in the ravines - AT&T didn't work at all on the trail. Once I was half way up, I got decent to pretty strong Verizon service. *All the trails are mostly loose gravel and sand. Walking sticks will help save your legs, and I fell on my behind three times. Once getting scratched up pretty good by the rocks and cacti. *It's hot! bring water. I used around 2.1 liters of water in my hike. Good news is there is an amazing crosswind (while it was mostly warm air) it helped me keep pace while walking and getting some relief from the scorching sun. *Use the trail map, the trails are easily marked. You really have two options. Follow the ravine and stay out of the sun or get on the ridge and head to the top. The ridge you need to follow is directly on your right. It's not marked, but previous hikers and myself tried to stack rocks to help guide you. Mostly you will need to find your own way up in various spots. * You have one almost step stone/vertical climb at the top of the first ridge, but not at the hills base (next to the steep drop off). You need to go north east round the cliff face and you will find an easy scramble to the very top. again, rocks trying to point the way. *Enjoy the views and get to the top you will find a wooden pole with an eagle on top. Next to it is an ammo can with supplies, a notebook, and pen inside. Write your story, and where you are from! *I didn't see anyone in this area for entire weekend, so this trail is not used often. *After your done go to the lake for a quick dip and enjoy! Make a right after the bathroom and head straight to an area that access to the lake (not many people go there either).

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