Last summer I was disappointed by the realization that I could not take a boat from Cottonwood Cove to the Fort because of, well, the Hoover Dam. I drove the boat as close as the dam as I could and saw the area from the lowest point, and now that I have climbed to the top of Fortification Hill a few times, I can say that I also love the view from the highest point.
# 113 – The Fort / Fortification Hill (cosplay location: Legion slave)
# 119 / 439 – Legate’s camp / war tent
# 279 / 349 – Weather monitoring station / securitron vault
# 347 – Caesar’s tent
# 348 – Legion arena
# 454 – Bullhead City
# 113 / 347 /348 – The Fort / Caesar’s tent / arena – This location in our world is an extinct volcano, called Fortification Hill, which overlooks Lake Mead and the Hoover Dam. It is on the Arizona side, in Mojave County.
I did an on location cosplay here a few years back. It is of a Legion slave that had enough of their crap and left.
Before I start describing this real world location, I must say that this hike is very difficult and potentially dangerous. Please read and follow the directions found at Bird and Hike, a website I used constantly while planning my itinerary. The writer, Dr. Jim Boone (popular surname), provides step by step directions with pictures for how to safely get to the summit. Click here for the Fortification Hill specific hiking instructions. I personally printed the photos and climbed with them to make sure I stayed on the correct trails.
The drive from Highway 93 to the trailhead most definitely needs a 4×4 with high clearance. It is a slow drive, about 15 mph the whole way or less. It starts on Kingman Wash Access Road, off of 93.
You drive along for a bit and the road starts to get pretty bumpy.
THEN you get super pumped when you turn to the east and see it, Fortification Hill in all its majestic glory. I really can not describe with accuracy, the feeling I felt. So much excitement and awe. And kind of intimidated!
The half way point is Kingman wash, which gives access to Lake Mead. When it is warm, I see a lot of people here for swimming and boating. Not so much in winter months. You will see a bathroom to the left. The road continues a hard right, but I recommend checking out the water if you are here. This location was the where I swam in the lake for the first time. Of course, it was after climbing Fortification Hill, and that water felt so good.
I had a long hike ahead of me, so I only procrastinated a small amount of time here. Ok, I procrastinated a while. But in the summer, you have to hike it in the early morning, so don’t wait too long!
The landscape became flatter and less wind-ey, but the ground was just as bumpy and progress was still slow. But I never have a hard time pressing onward, because of how excited I am to watch the Fort get bigger and bigger as I get closer.
And then finally, after an hour of driving only 6 miles, you will arrive and finally get to pee. (Trigger warning, peeing.) I learned how to pee outside here as well, and now I am pretty good at it. Some genders may be predisposed with this skill, but it was not one of my starting game skills and I had to work on it. Sometimes I see cars parked here but all the times I have climbed this peak, I have never seen another person. So pee wherever you want, all these people are peeing wherever they want, too, that’s what I always say. Except maybe on the trail (or in the Colorado River, which is a big focus of the Nevada boating exam).
The stunning view you see once reaching the summit is overwhelming. In addition, when comparing the view to the one you experience in game, it looks exactly the same. It is like one of the developers made this same hike, that is how accurate it looks. There is a register where everyone who makes the climb can sign, and I went back to 2009-2010, and did not see any names I recognized. But who knows!
There was no camp or imperial dictators up here, but I did notice that in game, the dam looks to be way, way closer. Below you can see by the arrow where the dam is from the summit of Fortification Hill in the real life photo, whereas in game it feels like I am right on top of the dam.
What a physically demanding but worthwhile time! I have made the climb half a dozen times now, always taking about 3 hours. Afterward, I went south to see the approximation of where our friend the Legate stays, and also to find some delicious snacks. So, back to the highway we go!
# 119 / 439 – Legate’s camp / war tent – Tracing my finger down the map from the Fort and over from the Hoover Dam, I headed to where the points converge, which in our world is a campsite at the terminus of Horse Thief Canyon Road, Arizona. I was able to use the console to get screenshots of the camp as seen below, but even with the console, I could not get inside the tent. Even with my knife, that would easily win against this crap canvas.
To get to this location in real life, you will exit Highway 93 around a tourist site called Arizona Hot Spring or Liberty Bell. Take the dirt road that branches off of the parking lot – this is Horse Thief Canyon Road. Dr. Boone says that all cars including 2WD should have no problem, except at the end because of deep sand. I did not drive into the deep sand, either, just to be safe.
At the end of this road is the campsite. It has a little tent sign, so you will know when you reach the end. This is approximately where Legate’s camp would be in our world.
I think it is also cool that if you take away all the in game tents and structures, the area looks very similar, in that it culminates in a canyon’s end end, surrounded by cliffs.
# 279 / 349 – Weather monitoring station / securitron vault – The only thing at the top of the hill was a small box that looked like an ammunition box, it had a United States flag and a journal to sign your name. There is a weather monitoring buoy in front of Fortification Hill, on the north side of the dam. It is called Station NBBA3. I thought that was cool despite the fact that an underground protectron army would have been even cooler.
# 454 – Bullhead City – Speaking of, this location is mentioned only in-game, but is located on my usual route when I drive down south through Arizona. It is a good place to buy gasoline and get camping or other supplies at the big box stores there. For the cheapest gasoline, drive south past the casinos of Laughlin, where gas is more expensive.
Also this way, you can stop and check out Bravo the Bull, a must-see for any Legion fan.