The first manganese ore shipped from Mohave County was mined during 1917 in the Pilot Rock area and transported by boat down the Colorado River to Parker where it was transferred to railroad cars. Most of the production in Arizona occurred between 1953 and 1955.
This partial loop trail makes its way down a narrow wash through a scenic red rock canyon and ends at a small isolated beach on the lake. The return along an old jeep road borders an abandoned manganese mining area.
Directions to Trailhead
Drive south on Hwy. 95 to S. McCulloch Blvd. (mile post 177, last signal before leaving town). Turn right and travel one mile to the second parking lot in SARA Park on the right, across from the Desert Hawks entrance road (elev 860 ft).
Trail Route Instructions
- Follow the trail straight out from the parking area which drops into SARA CANYON wash on the left and in ½ mile, just past some old fence posts and behind a tree, a trail climbs up the left bank. (If you miss it, you will find yourself in the crack wash in about 200 yards.)
- Just up the bank, keep right at the fork and follow this trail cross country until it drops into a small wash which soon curves around to the right. There is a short trail on the left which goes over a mound into the much larger Grand Wash.
- Cross the wash and continue up the trail on the other side, bearing left, until it meets an old jeep road. You have now walked 1.5 miles. Turn left on the road and in about 150 ft, turn right onto a flat mesa. Do not take the trail directly in front of you leading up the hill. Follow the trail to the end of the mesa and down into a wash. The wash parallels the jeep road for a while and then veers away through Red Canyon and eventually down to a small beach on the lake directly across from Havasu Palms. At the highest lake levels, the beach may be flooded. There are no BLM campsites at this location (3.35 miles).
- On the way back, exit the wash in 1/2 mile, just past the cave. Walk up the rocks on the left side to the start of the jeep road above. Follow the road up the hill where it goes past an old mining area, always bearing right. The road meets the Pilot Rock Trail at the tree.
- Continue up the hill on the road almost back to where you first got on it, near the flat mesa. Look for the spur trail on the left, which leads back down into the Grand Wash. Cross the wash again and follow the Ridge Trail back to SARA Canyon Wash. Turn right and walk upstream another 1/2 mile to the parking area.
- Note: In addition to an old metal sluice you can walk to just off the main trail as you exit Red Canyon Wash on the way back, there are many surface mines along the spur roads and trails that leave the primary jeep road and meander throughout the mining area (see map). If you explore, pay attention to where you are and how to get back to the main trail.
Arizona Hiking Safety
The rugged beauty of the Lake Havasu City area, just down the Colorado River from the Grand Canyon, makes a lasting impression. But the desert can be hazardous. Many trails are unmarked and infrequently traveled. Please consider these suggestions to make the most of your adventure:
- Avoid hiking during the summer, approximately June 15 to September 15, when daytime temperatures can reach 120° or more.
- Do not hike in washes when heavy rainfall is anticipated to avoid the threat of flash floods.
- Always take plenty of water; plan to carry at least one quart of water for every four hours you hike in direct sunlight.
- Wear a hat, sunglasses with UV-protection, and sunscreen.
- Print off a copy of the trail map from this webpage and carry it with you if the route is unfamiliar.
- Wear sturdy, thick-soled shoes and use a hiking stick if you easily lose your balance.
- Never hike alone and always let a responsible person know where you’re going and when you expect to return.
- Plan to leave on your hike early in the day to avoid the risk of being lost on the trail after dark.
- Travel light; the less you carry the more you will enjoy the hike.
- Leave nothing behind. We want our trails to remain beautiful for your return!
* Aesthetic rating: The more diamonds, the more desirable the trail the in terms of remoteness, natural features and scenic beauty