Friday

Cottonwood Valley and Mountain Springs Pass

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MAP-T- Cottonwood Valley with Boundaries
(Fig. 01)

Directons

Area Description:
Divided by NV-160 (Fig. 01), Cottonwood Valley is almost ten miles long and nearly a mile wide, with the majority of valley located inside the boundaries of the vast Red Rock National Conservation Area (Fig. 01). This area encompasses a myriad of hiking and biking opportunities. The biking trails here are the best in Los Vegas. There are over 125 miles of interconnecting single-track and an 11 mile NORBA race loop here.  Portions of these trails are thought to have been originally created by the many wild burros in the area. The Wilson Cliff's, located immediately to the west of the trail system, offer amazing views. For a detailed map and more information on the hikes in Cottonwood Valley and along the Wilson Cliffs, go to my page Daytrip - Wilson Cliffs & Cottonwood ValleyIts canyons, most notably being Black Velvet Canyon, provide numerous hiking and rock climbing opportunities. Red Rock Canyon’s Late Night Trailhead offers miles of hiking trails. Located towards the northern end of the valley is the 500-plus acre Spring Mountain Ranch State Park, which also offers more than four miles of hiking trails. The southern end of the valley offers various hiking opportunities in the Potosi Mountain range including a hikes to the Carol Lumbard Crash site and several old abandoned mines. On the east side there are trails to Bird Spring Peak offering outstanding views of the entire Las Vegas valley. Depending upon where you hike in this valley, you may be retracing the steps of traders and mule train drivers who traveled this area as part of the Old Spanish Trail as far back as the 1830s.
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10/29/2016 Trip Notes:  Jim Herring and I rented a jeep and explored the area of the Rainbow Quarries behind Goodsprings and then traveled the length of the Cottonwood Valley Road north to hyway 160. Click this link to view pictures and read about this journey ... . Cottonwood Valley Road - 10/29/2016 Trip Notes

02/13/2013 Trip Notes: Harvey Smith and I explored the southern end of Cottonwood Valley Road in search of the Dawn and Ninetynine mines. About 4.7 miles out on the right you will come to the Ninetynine Mine Road (FR-800B). This road starts out heading southwest before turning right and heading northwest towards the base of the tree lined ridges of Mt. Potosi. About a mile and a half up this road it splits. If you head left at the split, the road runs out to the Dawn Mine site; bearing right takes you to Ninetynine Mine site and to the trailhead for the 1930 Carol Lumbard crash site.
   
EFP-P1040497Dawn and Ninetynine Mines: Exploring the more than half dozen mine shafts of these two mines, the surrounding areas and the cabin towards the end of the Ninetynine Mine road provided us with more than 5 hours of hiking and picture taking. Click this link to view pictures and read about our hike to these two mines.






EFP-P1040635Birdspring Peak Trail: Birdspring peak is located in a mountain range that runs north-south along the eastern flank of Cottonwood Valley that forms the southwestern margin of the Las Vegas Valley. At an elevation of 5,298 feet, this mountain is little more than a hill compared to some of the nearby Spring Mountains. Driving to the trailhead for this hike leaves a hike of less than a mile with only a 250-300 foot elevation gain. The peak provides some outstanding views of Cottonwood Valley and the Las Vegas Valley.



04/21/2011 Trip Notes:  Again I visited this location with the rock hounds from the Heritage Park Senior Facility. Because we usually make several stops along NV-160, it is always difficult coming up with a single descriptive title for the day’s hikes. We usually stop at a couple of well known areas, each unique in its own way. First, we stopped at the trailhead for the Old Spanish Trail. Next we drove up the road to the Boy Scout Camp road which leads up a valley on the western side of Potosi Mountain. Finally on the way back we stopped at the Late Night Trailhead, part of the Red Rock Canyon National Park area. The pass itself is at the summit of a ridge of the Spring Mountains between the Mount Charleston area and the rest of the Mojave Desert and is located near the border of the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest and Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. The pass connects the Pahrump Valley with the Las Vegas Valley, and it is traversed by SR-160. Click each of the links below to view pictures and learn more about each of these areas.
   
E-P1040656Mount Potosi: At an altitude of more than 7,500 feet, this area provide some very nice mountain areas that were covered in a variety of juniper trees and mountain scrub. There were great views of the western facing cliffs of the Potosi Mountains and well as views down towards the Pahrump valley. Unfortunately, this was only one of three planned stops for the day, we really didn’t have enough time to do any real hiking. Click the link above to view pictures and read more about our stop here.


E-P1040698Late Night Trailhead at Red Rock Canyon: With easy access from Highway 160, aka Blue Diamond Road, this stop provides accessibility to a large network of trails throughout Cottonwoood Valley and the surrounding hills and mountains. The trails have been there for years but just recently a paved parking area, restrooms, and stone welcome sign have been installed at the Late Night Trailhead, which is located on the north side of SR-160, five miles west of the intersection with SR-159.







E-P1040602-3Old Spanish Trail: The Old Spanish Trail was designated by Congress as a National Historic Trail in December 2002. The trail is jointly administered by the BLM and the National Park Service, working in partnership with other federal, state, and local government agencies, as well as private landowners. Explored, in part, by Spanish explorers as early as the late 1500s, this historical trade route has often been called the most arduous pack mule caravan route in the history of America. The trail saw extensive use by pack trains from about 1830 until the mid-1850s. For more info and pictures, click the link above.