Fortification Hill

HARD 23 reviews

Fortification Hill is a 3.5 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Willow Beach, Arizona that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from September until May. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

3.5 miles
1,394 feet
Out & Back

dog friendly



nature trips

trail running





no shade

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.

12 days ago

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).

4 months ago

Great hike! Use the trail map to make sure you find the place to climb up the steep part to get to the top of the mesa... pretty easy in that one spot... recommend taking the secondary wash trail on the way back down... easier to descend through the loose rock

4 months ago

Got lost the first time coming here and ended up scaling the mountain but second time we came prepared and knew you had to keep going up after the first scramble. Love this hike and the views at the top are so worth it. It gets really windy for a majority of the hike. There's a nice surprise at the summit where you find a flag and a box with some supplies and a notebook.

trail running
6 months ago

Ran from my campsite in kingman wash to the top and it’s a little over 9 miles if anyway wants to do it that way. But the hike is incredibly beautiful the whole time. It was windy like the description said but my dog and I welcomed that gladly. There is one sketchy spot where you have to climb up some boulders but my dog did it fine(he’s used to it). Just be careful

6 months ago

This is a great peak to bag when you are in the Lake Mead National Recreation Area. The ascent is steep and there is a little bit of Class 3 rock climbing at the very top of the plateau. Not ideal for those with a fear of heights. Don’t bring your dog unless your pet is athletic and confident hopping boulders.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Really good and fairly challenging hike. Great time. Trail gets a little loose but it is well worth it.

Sunday, March 05, 2017

The view makes the uphill worth it! We took the ridge going up and wash down but thinking it may have been easier doing it the other way around.

Sunday, February 05, 2017

Awesome hike which starts with a heavy slope the moment you step off. Last two pitches qualify as Class-3 climbs and a bit more if you shoulder two shepherds up the face to the summit...I did. Total time was 2:20hr and we finished the hike by cooling off in Lake Mead after the hike.

Friday, April 13, 2012

This is a fun hike to one of the biggest little-known landmarks in the Boulder City Area. You need to take the Kingman Wash Access Road, which is the dirt road that you'll find at the first exit past Hoover Dam. Follow the dirt road until it comes to the boat launch area. You'll find some port-a-potties here. Make a right. The dirt road narrows and becomes a little rougher. I would recommend a vehicle with some ground clearance, although I have seen people driving on the road with sedans.

14 days ago

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Monday, May 22, 2017

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Thursday, December 27, 2012