Hualapai Crossroads

Just southeast of Kingman, Arizona, the scenic Hualapai Mountains form a high wall above the east edge of the Colorado River Valley. Like most of the ranges in the Basin & Range Province, it is a fault-block uplift, aligned from north to south, the product of stretch and fracture within the Earth's crust.

The most interesting feature of the Hualapai Range, however, is its location at the crossroads of several geophysical provinces. To its east, beyond the Big Sandy River Valley, is the western wall of the Colorado Plateau, which extends across northern and eastern Arizona, southeastern Utah, northwest New Mexico and western Colorado. The Hualapai Mountains, themselves, lie within the southernmost extension of the Mojave Desert while, to their south and southwest, the terrain drops into the Sonoran Desert of southeast California, southern Arizona and northwest Mexico.

For now, the Hualapai Range towers above the stark, arid landscape of northwest Arizona, offering a cool escape for wildlife and humans alike. Eventually, as rifting continues across the Great Basin, the ocean will invade through the lower Colorado Valley and these mountains, like other ranges of the Intermountain West, will overlook a vast inland sea.