US-95 (South) Towards Searchlight & Laughlin

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This page last updated on 05/02/2019

IndexMAP - US-95S Towards Laughlin-2
(Fig. 01) Click to Enlarge
Daytrips Bordering US-95 South:  Between Boulder City and Searchlight, this highway corridor runs between the McCullough Mountain ranges to the west and the Eldorado and Iritiba Mountains that parallel Colorado River to the east. After Searchlight, to the east, it follows the rugged Newberry Mountains and the southern area of the Lake Mead National Recreation Area as it continues to follow the Colorado River to the Davis Dam at Laughlin, Nevada. As you can see from the map in (Fig. 01), we have hiked and explored numerous sights along this nearly 90-mile stretch. From exploration of the Eldorado Mine at the Techatticup Mining Camp, to the Joshua Trees in the Wee Thump Joshua Tree Wilderness area, down to the amazing petroglyphs at Grapevine Canyon inside the Bridge Canyon Wilderness Area, just to name a few. Clicking the titles of each of these sites below will take you to pages with pictures and full descriptions for each of these hiking locations.    

E-P1070800Keyhole Canyon: Keyhole Canyon is an amazing archaeological area with many petroglyphs and a few pictographs. Keyhole Canyon cuts into a ridge of hard granitic rock that appears to have jutted right out of the desert just yesterday. In most petroglyphs sites, the rock art is fairly close to the ground, but here they are unusual because so many are very high on the cliffs. Hiking, Rock-hounding and Photography
E-P1020168Techatticup Mining Camp: The Techatticup mining camp was established in 1861. There is a general store, an old barn filled with antiques, and a variety of old mining camp buildings in various stages of restoration.    The notorious Techatticup Mine became the oldest, richest and most famous gold mine in Southern Nevada. Along with others in the area, it produced an estimated 250 million dollars in gold, silver, copper and lead. Hiking, Rock-hounding and Photography
P1020019Nelsons Landing & Place Cove: The area referred to as Nelson’s Landing is located about 10 miles beyond the town of Nelson on the northern shore of the Colorado River. Nelson's Landing is most noted for a flash flood that washed a group of campers into Lake Mohave in 1974. The entire landing was destroyed and nine people died when a wall of water and debris, reported to be about 40 feet high, reached the river. Hiking, Rock-hounding and Photography
E-P1010520Highland Range Crucial Bighorn Habitat Area: The Highland Range is located west off of US-95 as it heads south through the Eldorado Valley, south of Boulder City. The mountains and valleys in this 10-mile long range provides some of the best landscape views in southern Nevada. Not only does the metamorphic rock in this area provides a wide variety of color, the washes and alluvial plains that lead to mountain ridges in this area are filled with scattered yucca, Cholula and barrel cacti. Because this area is hard to reach without a four-wheel drive vehicle and therefore is seldom hiked, if provides one of the most peaceful and tranquil hiking experiences one could ask for. Hiking, Rock-hounding and Photography
E-P1080432Ireteba Peaks Wilderness Area: The Ireteba Peak Wilderness Area is 32,745 acres and contains Ireteba Peak, the highest point on the El Dorado Mountains at 5,060 feet. Named for Ireteba, a Mojave Indian guide for the Joseph Ives expedition to this region in 1858, Ireteba Peaks are high, rocky, rugged, and very beautiful. Hiking, Rock-hounding and Photography
EP-P1050175Cottonwood Cove. Cottonwood Cove is situated at the banks of Lake Mohave on the Nevada-Arizona border in Clark County, Nevada, just 13.5 miles east from the center of historic Searchlight, NV. Lake Mohave is approximately 67 miles long and is backed by the Davis Dam about 26 miles downstream at Laughlin, NV. Part of the Lake Mead National Recreation Area administered by the U.S. National Park Service, it is the site of the Cottonwood Cove Resort and Marina. Hiking, Rock-hounding and Photography
Wee Thump Joshua Tree Wilderness Area: Wee Thump Joshua Tree is a relatively small (6,050 acres) wilderness area established to protect a forest of dense, old-growth Joshua trees."Wee Thump" is Paiute for "ancient ones."  At first glance, this flat, gently sloped alluvial plain between Searchlight and Nipton appears rather plain and boring; however, it offers a wide variety of plant life and occasionally, for the patient, glimpses of birds, lizards and other desert animals. Hiking, Rock-hounding and Photography
E-P1010921-2Walking Box Ranch: Walking Box Ranch, located 7 miles west of Searchlight in the Mojave Desert off of Nipton Road, was founded in 1931 by Rex Bell and Clara Bow as a working 400,000 acre ranch. The ranch covered 160 acres at the time it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on January 30, 2009 and includes four buildings. Over the years, Rex and Clara entertained many notable Hollywood figures, including Clark Gable, Carole Lombard, Errol Flynn, and Lionel Barrymore. Hiking, Rock-hounding and Photography
E-P1090683-tiltshiftCrescent Peak Mine Road: The Crescent Peak mine is located about 12 miles west of the town of Searchlight, along the west flanks of Crescent Peak. It was extensively worked by the native Americans of the area long before the arrival of European emigrants, and has since been home to an extensive turquoise mining and stone processing community. Crescent peak is the prominent pyramid shaped peak on the northeast end of the New York Mountain range on the south side of Nipton Road just east of the town of Nipton, CA. Hiking, Rock-hounding and Photography

EP-P1030895Crescent Peak District and Nippeno Mine. The Nippeno Mine is located in a valley on the north-west flank of Crescent Peak off of Nipton Road, about eight miles east of Nipton, California. Filed circa 1900, this claim became one of the largest mines in the Crescent Peak District. Hiking, Rock-hounding and Photography
Nipton, California: Billed as, “The Gateway to the Mojave Desert”, Nipton is a privately owned, unincorporated town in San Bernardino County, California, on the northern edge of Mojave National Preserve, west of Searchlight, Nevada, with a population of nearly 60 people. Originally constructed in 1910 and refurbished in 2004, the adobe hotel, built in the Spanish Territorial style with a wrap-around-covered porch is advertised as a ‘bed & breakfast’. There are also five "eco-cabins" designed to provide a comfortable camping experience in the natural desert environment.There is also a trailer park, a small general store & gift shop, and a cafĂ© that is open on most days. Photography
E-P1070749-P1070756-2Christmas Tree Pass. Christmas Tree Pass is a 4WD road that leads over a pass of the Newberry Mountains in southern Nevada. This scenic drive is roughly fifteen miles in length and is a very enjoyable ride offering some fine sweeping views into Arizona and the Colorado River valley down below. Once you reach the western side of the pass you are presented with sprawling views of the Mojave Desert. The pass gets its name from the scatter of pinyon and juniper trees along the route, some of which people have decorated with cans, bottles and shiny pieces of metal. Other than some very unique geologic rock formations, the only special attraction here are the hundreds of petroglyphs found at Grapevine Canyon on the south eastern end of the road. Hiking, Rock-hounding and Photography

E-E-P1090971-E-P1090974Spirit Mountain Wilderness Area: The Spirit Mountain Wilderness Area, located in the rugged Newberry Mountains, contains 33,518 acres in the southern area of the Lake Mead National Recreation Area. Partly bordered by Christmas Tree Pass road, it is wedged between the Bridge Canyon Wilderness Area to the southwest and the Nellis Wash Wilderness Area to the north. With an elevation of 5,639 feet, Spirit Mountain is the center of creation for all Yuman speakers, and is sacred to several Native American tribes of the region. Hiking, Rock-hounding and Photography
E-IMG_2095Bridge Canyon Wilderness Area: Located off of Christmas Tree Pass Road, within the boundaries of the Bridge Canyon Wilderness Area, Grapevine Canyon is a narrow, sometimes sandy trail that runs between the Volcanic Mountains and Grapevine Hills into Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.  The Grapevine Canyon site contains some of the best petroglyphs in Nevada for both quantity and quality. There are hundreds of articulate and pronounced images, many appearing as if they were etched only yesterday. This area also contains Sacatone Canyon and the Granite Outcrops. Hiking, Rock-hounding and Photography
E-P1010319Colorado River Heritage Greenway Park & Trails: With several accompanying picnic areas, restrooms and drinking facilities, this new park has more than 9 miles of trails for bicyclists, pedestrians and equestrian riders. With two main trailheads (entrances), one off of Casino Drive and NV-163 and the other at the end of Davis Dam Road off of NV-163 just north of Laughlin. Hiking, Rock-hounding, Birding and Photography