By Leah Duran | Photo by Mark W. Lipczynski
Located 12 miles from Historic Route 66 in Kingman, Hualapai Mountain Resort beckons visitors with a dirt road that leads into the cool, soothing embrace of ponderosa pines and, ultimately, toward the peak of Hualapai Mountain.
With honey-hued pine décor and an abundance of sunshine through large windows, the resort's accommodations exude an aura of warmth and coziness akin to a New England log cabin, but one that's nestled at an elevation of 7,000 feet.
A snapshot on the shower curtain reads "Roughing It," but here, your stay is anything but. Without being pretentious, the resort presents a refined, coordinated appearance that reminds guests that they are indeed on vacation.
The decorations reflect the landscape, and the resort's eight rooms pay homage to three large mammals: deer, bears and elk. Everything, from the wall-sized paintings by local artists to the cast-iron towel racks, echoes a natural theme. For the resort's most luxurious experience, book the Bear's Den room, which features a private patio, flat-screen satellite TV and gas fireplace. Imported Italian river rock frames the shower, complementing the interior's earthy mints, creams and ambers. For visitors more of the camping persuasion, the resort also offers 14 sites for RVs. Weddings and community events are commonplace on the 8-acre property.
Owner Ron Kutil has been remodeling Hualapai Mountain Resort since he purchased it in 2004. His personal touches appear in the rustic, hand-carved furniture and wood-inlaid ceilings. In the spacious dining room, Kutil built the fireplace and replaced a disco ball and gray paint with local pelts and pictures. The bar, which opens to a patio where guests can enjoy live music in the summer, formerly served as four motel rooms. "When I bought it, there were still bathtubs behind the bar," he says.
These days, guests might catch Kutil bartending or cooking Sunday's breakfast buffet. The resort's menu is extensive and fresh, boasting wild-caught salmon, hand-cut Black Angus beef, and homemade sauces and dressings. If you're compelled to work off some of those delicious calories, nearby Hualapai Mountain Park features hiking trails, including one to the mountain's 8,417-foot summit. At the resort, visitors can watch birds and the sun's daily displays of color, and elk are permanent dwellers on the grass just outside the yawning windows of the dining room.
The goal of Hualapai Mountain Resort is "basically to relax and get in touch with yourself," Kutil says. If that means getting in touch with nature, as well, Hualapai Mountain Resort presents the right formula for rejuvenation.
Hualapai Mountain Resort is located at 4525 Hualapai Mountain Road in Kingman. For more information, call 928-757-3545 or visit www.hmresort.net.