I-15N Towards Mesquite

This page last updated on 05/02/2019
This highway corridor runs along the western side of the Muddy Mountains. As you can see from (Fig. 01) there are only a couple of areas to explore that lead directly off of this highway, and both of them require a high-clearance vehicle, preferably a 4WD. There are however, several other locations worth visiting if you are willing to make the additional drives. As you can see from the yellow hi-lighted roads on the map, you can even visit a couple by making a complete loop back to highway 15. Even though a few of these can be reached by driving up Lake Mead's Northshore road, using highway 15 to access them from Las Vegas can be faster.

E-P1040129-2Arrow Canyon Wilderness AreaLocated about 10 NW of Moapa, Arrow Canyon is on the northeaster edge of the 27,000 acre Arrow Canyon Wilderness Area. There is a rather extensive petroglyph area at the mouth of the narrows which eventually ends about two miles later at the base of a large dam. Along the way there are places where the canyon is only 18-feet wide with walls that climb nearly 300 feet straight up. Hiking a short side wash about halfway take you out into the vast Arrow Canyon Wilderness Area, one of the most scenic desert ranges in the state. This is probably one of the most beautiful canyons I have hiked. Hiking, Rock-hounding and Photography


E-P1100650Bitter Spring Backcountry Byway Road: Located northeast of Las Vegas, the Muddy Mountains Wilderness area, approximately 48,019 acres, includes the area known as the Valley of Fire State Park. But the Muddies, as they are often refereed to, continue south of the park to the lesser known Buffington Pockets, which feature many of the same sandstone formations found at Valley of Fire. This area is accessed from the Bitter Spring Backcountry Byway Road, a 22-mile long road that runs from the Valley of Fire Road all the way to the Lake Mead North Shore Road. This majority of this area is noted for the colorful layers and surprising textures and forms found in the outcroppings of Aztec Sandstone. This slick-rock country includes white domes, and red, orange and white "rainbow"-layered rock that are in sharp contrast to the towering dark gray cliffs to the east. Hiking, Rock-hounding and Photography

E-P1100611Valley of Fire State Park (Summary Page). Valley of Fire is Nevada's oldest and largest state park, comprising more than 46,000 acres. The valley derives its name from the many red sandstone monoliths and formations found throughout the park. There are several sites within the park that contain many fine examples of 3,000 year-old rock art (petroglyphs) left by the ancient peoples that once roamed the area. Ancient trees are represented throughout the park in the form of petrified wood. The 10.5 mile Valley of Fire Road that runs through the park was designated as a Nevada Scenic Byway on June 30, 1995. Hiking and Photography

Gold Butte National Monument - Summary PageThe Gold Butte Region is administered by the BLM and the U.S. National Park Service. Gold Butte National Monument contains nearly 300,000 acres of unspoiled Mojave Desert landscapes on the north side of Lake Mead, creating a continuous corridor of protected land that extends eastwards from the NRA across to Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument in Arizona, and onwards to Grand Canyon National Park. The monument is approximately rectangular, 30 by 15 miles in size, encompassing, in its northern reaches, the southern end of the Virgin Mountains, which rise up to 7,946 feet (Virgin Peak), but the rest of the land is much lower in elevation, a mix of small hills and ridges, and wide desert plains sloping westwards to the lake and eastwards towards the Colorado River.


EP-Panorama Overlook on UT18 2Snow Canyon State Park - Utah: Snow Canyon State Park is in Utah, just north of St. George. This picture was taken from the park overview with the Red Mountains in the background. We managed to hike 3.9 miles on three trails and get a lot of nice pictures. The good news is that there are still a couple of interesting trails left for a future visit.


E-P1100841Weiser Ridge and Mine: This is simply an old access road that passes through the California and the Weiser Ridge lines, that was used back in the day when there was an active gypsum mining operation here. As you can see from the satellite picture below, the geology here is quite varied and interesting. Some in our group have found it to be a good place to find rock samples with dendrite crystals. About the only thing out here is a now defunct gypsum quarry site. If you hike past the quarry site you will be rewarded with some nice views of the northern end of the Valley of Fire, Overton and the Moapa Valley. Hiking, Rock-hounding and Photography


EP-P1040926Southern Paiute Veterans Pow-Wow: (Yearly Event)  Sponsored by the Southern Paiute Veterans Association, this two-day event was held at the Moapa Paiute Travel Plaza along Interstate 15, about 30 miles north of Las Vegas. Using prayer, song and dance, this special Pow-Wow is dedicated to any and all veterans, past and present, who faithfully served their country. In 1874 the Government set aside two million acres of tribal lands, then later reduced it to only a thousand acres in 1876. In December 1980, the Carter Administration granted an additional 70,000 acres, making the current total land base 71,954 acres. The reservation is located in Moapa Valley, a prehistoric flood plain of the Muddy River, which flows through the valley and drains into Lake Mead.