Bootleg Canyon - Summary Page

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This page last updated on 01/09/2018
(Fig. 01)
River Mountain Trail-2
(Fig. 02)
Directions: From Las Vegas, drive out to Boulder City and the Bootleg Canyon Area. From the stoplight near downtown, make a left turn on Highway 93 and continue eastbound on Highway 93 for 0.7 miles. Watch for a “River Mountain” trailhead sign on the left and turn left onto a short access road that leads to a parking lot with spaces for 25 vehicles. Park here; this is the trailhead.
Area Description: Pretty much everything shown in (Fig. 02) is referred as "Bootleg Canyon". More specifically, Bootleg Canyon is a very large canyon that is surrounded by two mountains; Red Mountain on the west and Black Mountain on the east. Though there is a dirt road that runs up the back side of Bootleg Canyon, the River Mountain “Hiking” Trail runs directly up the canyon between these two mountains and is the only hiking trail to the top of the canyon providing access to both the Red Mountain and Black Mountain trails. In addition, Bootleg Canyon Road and the trail to the Red Mountain Summit is the route to the top of the four zip lines that run down the southwest side of Red Mountain.

River Mountain Trail Hike:  This moderately strenuous trail goes through a very colorful narrow-ish wash. At the saddle, the top of this trail, a trail sign indicates that the Red Mountain Trail runs to the left, while the Black Mountain Trail runs to the right. This actually is the beginning of these two trails. The well-maintained trail is 2-1/4 miles to the saddle with approximately 800 feet of elevation gain. On 05/07/2015 I actually came here today with my friend Jim Herring (Fig. 01) thinking we were going to meet up with the rock-hounds from the Henderson Senior Facility. As I learned later, they ‘cheated’ and drove up the Bootleg Canyon Road to the top, while we hiked the 2.25 miles up the River Mountain Trail. From the trailhead at the parking lot, bottom right of (Fig. 02), the trail runs past the kiosk going northwest between a cement-lined flood control channel and a wall at the edge of a housing development, After passing the housing development, the trail bends to the left and runs more-or-less west past a flood control retention basin, then continues northwest into the desert heading towards the canyon that separates the Red and Black mountains. In the main canyon, this well defined trail runs on a bench on the west side of the wash where the footing is quite solid, middle of (Fig. 01). From the bottom of the canyon wash it runs straight up the bench to the bottom of the canyon where it begins switch-backing up the steep hillside (Fig. 02). The pictures in (Figs. 03-05) were taken along the way. After the first three long switchbacks, it then makes a long run up the canyon to a long series of eight or nine switchbacks, until it crests out at a saddle on the ridge (Fig. 06), the trailheads for both the Red and Black mountain trails, top left of (Fig. 02). Once we reached the top of the saddle, the wind gusts were fierce. From here we decided to head towards Red Mountain hoping to find the senior group, however by the time we reached the parking area, they had already decided to head back, probably due to the strong winds. Just a few hundred feet beyond the parking area there was a very secure gate blocking any further vehicle travel up the road to the VORTAC Microwave facility. In spite of the strong winds, we made a decision to continue hiking the Red Mountain trail (See link below).
EFP-Bootleg Canyon 01
(Fig. 03)
(Fig. 04)
(Fig. 05)
(Fig. 06)
Zip Lines at Bootleg CanyonOn 09/18/2015, my brother Tommy and I signed up for a ride on the zip line in Bootleg Canyon. Because there are actually four separate zip lines, this tour took nearly 3.5 hours. Click the following link for pictures and a full description of this adventure ... Zip Lines at Bootleg Canyon.

Black Mountain Trail HikeOn 05/30/2015, Blake Smith and I returned to Bootleg Canyon to hike the Black Mountain Trail. Because it was projected to be over 100 degrees by noontime, we decided to get an early start, leaving the house at 5:30 am. Click the following link for pictures and a full description of this hike ... Back Mountain at Bootleg Canyon.



Red Mountain Trail HikeOn 05/07/2015, after hiking the River Mountain Trail, Jim Herring and I decided to continue by hiking to Red Mountain Summit. Click the following link for pictures and a full description of this hike ... Red Mountain Lookout at Bootleg Canyon.

The video clip below shows one of my brother rides. Because I have not edited this video, he doesn't show in the video until about 3/4 of the way through.

Note: Every attempt is made to provide accurate information, but occasionally depictions are inaccurate by error of mapping, navigation or cataloging. The information on this site is provided without any warranty, express or implied, and is for informational and historical purposes only.