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Immediately after the murals, the trail gets rough. Continue east navigating through many large rocks along trail. The trail continues to climb as it begins to follow a wash. Ignore side roads. At 2.0 miles, the trail makes a hard right as it passes through the tailings of a mine. Stay left where the trail splits at 2.3 miles. Trail remains challenging as it climbs and navigates numerous washouts at 3.1 miles. At 3.5 miles, the trail briefly levels out before reaching an old ore bin and mining ruins off to the right at 3.7 miles. The trail continues skirting in and out of hills as it heads northwest.
At 4.4 miles, make a hard right uphill as trail switchbacks. Staying straight here will take you on a short spur to the Rainbow Mine with several ruins left – worth a stop if you like that kind of stuff. Continue uphill along trail when done. Use caution as the trail switchbacks again at 5.0 miles. As you climb away from Chloride, the trail gets progressively easier, returning to easy graded roads at the top of the climb at 5.3 miles. From here, the trail is a pleasant drive through forest of the Cerbat Mountains.
At 7.1 miles the trail splits. To the left is Windy Point, site of a nice view, restrooms, and a campground ($8, per night). The trail continues to the right. Past Windy Point, the trail winds back and forth along the top of the mountain. At 8.6 miles, the road passes through the Packsaddle Campground (small site, no fee) before beginning its decent down the mountain. The road back down to Highway 93 is easy but switchbacks several times at 8.8 miles and 10.4 miles. Pass an old corral off to the left at 14.0 miles as trail begins following Big Wash on the left. Another corral off to the right at 16.4 miles before the trail ends at Highway 93 at 17.4 miles. Turn left on US-93 to get back to Chloride and Kingman. Right continues to Hoover Dam and Las Vegas.
Summary/Trail Ratings: The majority of this trail is easy, however, the section between the murals and the Rainbow Mine east of Chloride is difficult. Several sections of large rocks, washouts and steep climbs on narrow trails require high clearance and 4-wheel drive. More aggressive vehicles favorable. We’ve rated this trail a ‘7’ out of ‘10’. After the Rainbow Mine, the trail is a wide, graded road. Low clearance vehicles can make it to the murals, but not any further. To complete the 17 mile loop from Chloride, through all the mines and campgrounds and up around back to Highway 93 will take 2-4 hours to complete depending on how often you stop. This trail is also fun for ATV’s and UTV’s – just make sure you park somewhere where you won’t make anyone mad.
Take a challenging ride on this historic loop around the mining town of Chloride. You’ll see historic murals, abandoned mines, and pass several campgrounds allowing you to spend a day exploring this unique region.
Page last updated: 7/7/2016
Last Known Status: Open
Trail Type: Point-to-point
Length: 17 miles one-way
Approx. time: 2-4 hours
Current Info: Chloride Visitor Center (928) 718-3700
Elevation: 3582' - 6206'
Nearest City: Chloride
Best Time: Spring-late Fall
How to get there: From Kingman, drive northwest on US-93 for 18.6 miles. Follow the signs and turn right onto County Highway 125 toward Chloride. Follow the road 4 miles to downtown. Continue straight through downtown on the main road. The trail begins at a cattle guard where the road turns to dirt. Staging/parking is difficult to find because the trail begins within town limits. Try and find a public place and/or ask a business owner for a place to park if you haul ATV’s or UTV’s. You could also begin at the exit (not within town limits) and follow the directions below in reverse.
The trail: From the end of the pavement east of downtown Chloride, head east towards the mine tailings. After 500 feet, stay right where private mines continue straight and to the left. Ignore side roads as you drive south of tailings pile. Continue left on the main road at 1.1 miles where private mines go left. You’ll reach the famous murals just after 1.3 miles. There is a small parking area on the left – you’ll want to get out and hike around a bit. The murals were first painted by Roy Purcell in 1966.