The Cerbat Mountains are located in northwest Arizona immediately north of Kingman.
The range lies directly east of the 130-mile long Black Mountains range and the two ranges are separated by the Sacramento Valley which becomes the Detrital Valley further north between the Black Mountains and the White Hills. These valleys drain to the northwest into southern Lake Mead near Temple Bar.
On the east side of the Cerbat Range lies the Hualapai Valley with the Grand Wash Cliffs and the Music Mountains on the eastern side. The Hualapai Valley drains northward into Red Lake ( a dry lake) which is drained into Lake Mead by Hualapai Wash which flows through the Gold Basin valley
The range is 23 miles long trending slightly northwest/southeast. A series of peaks towards the southern end of the range includes Packsaddle Mountain at 6,431 feet (1,960 m), and Cherum Peak at 6,983 feet (2,128 m).
The northern section of the Cerbat Mountains is composed mostly of the Mount Tipton Wilderness, with Mount Tipton being its peak at 7,148 feet (2,179 m). Packsaddle Recreation Area and the Windy Point Recreation Area are towards the southern end of the range.
There are several hiking trails and off-road scenic drives as well as campsites where you can view the diverse wildlife including Pinyon pine groves, large areas of chaparral containing shrub Live Oak, Manzanita, Broom Snakeweed, Wrights's Silk-Tassel, Skunkbush, New Mexican Locust, Gambel Oak, and Desert Ceanothus. Masses of wildflowers bloom in the spring and early summer.
There are several ghost towns in the Cerbat Mountains including Cerbat, Mineral Park & the semi-ghost town of Chloride. The community of Dolan Springs is located at the base of the Mount Tipton Wilderness on the northwestern side of the Cerbat Mountains. The community of Golden Valley occupies the southern end of the Sacramento Valley.
Gold and silver deposits in the Cerbat Mountains brought miners to the area in the late 1860s. The town of Cerbat was founded and several mines were opened including the Esmeralda, Golden Gem, and Vanderbilt. Cerbat became the Mohave County seat in 1871 but two years later nearby Mineral Park took over that role. In 1912 the Cerbat post office closed. You can still see the Golden Gem mill and head frame. There are also stone foundations and ruins of other buildings. See the Off-roading page for directions.
During most of the 1870s and 1880s, Mineral Park was the county seat and also the most important town in the area. In 1886 Kingman held both titles. In 1912 Mineral Park's post office was closed. A few crumbling cabins, a head frame, mill foundations, and scattered mine shafts still survive. The huge piles of tailings that can be seen from US 93 belong to a copper and molybdenum mine that operated from 1961 to 1982. It still contains the world's largest turquoise deposit, which is mined along with decorative rock. The signed turnoff and a historical marker for Mineral Park is 14 miles northwest of Kingman on US 93, between Mileposts 58 and 59.
When silver chloride ore was discovered here in the early 1860s, prospectors founded the town of Chloride. It is the oldest mining camp in northwestern Arizona. The Hualapai indian warriors made life hazardous during Chloride's early years but US Army troops eventually subdued the tribe. The years from 1900 to 1920 saw 75 mines in operation. Several original buildings still survive from the town's mining days which lasted into the 1940s. A few hundred people, including many retirees and artists, now live there. Chloride lies 20 miles northwest of Kingman. Take US 93 to the sign between Mileposts 52 and 53, then turn east three miles on a paved road.
Historic structures such as old miners' shacks, the post office, the Old Tennessee Saloon, jail, bank, and railroad depot have been preserved and the cemetery is to the right at the sign as you enter town. There are also prehistoric petroglyphs near town.
At high noon on Saturdays, shoot-em-up action takes place at the Old West set of "Cyanide Springs" across from Shep's Inn. The Immortal Gunfighters perform on the first and third Saturdays of each month, and the all-women Wild Roses of Chloride supply the action on the second and fourth Saturdays (except July and August). Townspeople dress up in old-fashioned clothing on Old Miners' Day, the last Saturday and following Sunday in June, for a street dance, games, vaudeville shows, shootouts, and mine tours. Smaller events include a St. Patrick's Day celebration in March, all-town yard sales in May and October, and a car show in October. The post office, said to be Arizona's oldest, is at Tennessee Avenue and Second Street.
Mine Shaft Market & Arizona Visitor Center provides tourist information and a historic photo exhibition in the back. You can reach the Chloride Chamber of Commerce at P.O. Box 268, Chloride, AZ 86431 or www.chloridearizona.com.