“A grueling climb with awesome views, petroglyphs and colorful painted rock murals.
— John Myers
This is an 11 mile climb on a graded road with awesome views overlooking Kingman to the East and Chloride to the West. Then there is a fun rocky descent down some old mining roads. There are many deserted mines along the way and large murals on the rocks at the bottom. 10 feet high and almost 30 feet across, they depict a goddess figure, intertwined snakes, and Eastern and Native American petroglyphs.
Need to Know
There are two campground on the climb up Big Wash Road. There are restrooms but no WATER!
Start in town across from Yesterday's restaurant located on 2nd street. Head North on 2nd street to the stop sign. Left onto Tennessee Ave. From there you'll be on dirt roads. Right onto Old Chloride Rd. Right onto Lakeside Rd. This road isn't marked and is an immediate right after turning onto Chloride Rd. Make your next left on an unmarked road. Right at T-intersection towards the water tank. You'll pass the water tank on your right and it will be downhill to unmarked Big Wash Road.
Make a right onto Big Wash Road and begin a 11 mile 3,000 foot climb on a twisty increasingly steep maintained dirt road. Packsaddle campground will be on your right. There will be some up and down following the peaks. There are awesome views of the towns below. Past Windy Point Campground and continue to Cherum Peak Trail
. You can do Cherum Peak Trail
as an out and back even though it is mostly used by hikers.
Now the downhill begins! You'll continue down Big Wash road, this is an old mining road and is very loose and rocky. You'll pass many turnoffs to abandon mines, explore if you want. At the bottom, to your left are the murals painted by Western artist Roy Purcell in the early 70's. On the right, if you look closely at the rocks you'll see Native American petroglyphs. Take some pictures then continue onto Big Wash Rd. This will turn into Murals Road. Turn left on Prospect Ave. Right will be an active mine. Turn left over the cattle guard. You are back on Tennessee Ave. Take this to the stop sign and turn left back onto 2nd. You are back to the start.
History & Background
Chloride is one of Arizona's oldest mining towns. There are wild mustangs that still roam the hillsides. Chloride has many historic buildings, including a post office that has been in operation since 1893. See Native American petroglyphs and colorful painted rock murals. There is even a 125-year-old cemetery.