Willow Beach

362 reviews
hiking
8 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).