Cottonwood Valley Road - 10/29/2016 Trip Notes

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This page last updated on 04/14/2018
(Fig. 01)
Directions:  Cottonwood Valley Road, a.k.a. Goodsprings Road, is a north-south dirt road that runs between between Highway 160 (the road to Pahrump) and Highway 161 at Goodsprings. As a result it is accessable from either end. For the north end of Cottonwood Valley Road, from Las Vegas drive about 12 miles west on Highway 160 (Pahrump Highway) to the Cottonwood Valley Trailhead on the left, about a mile past the Midnight Trailhead sign. When approaching the south end of Cottonwood Valley Road, from Las Vegas, drive south on Interstate-15 to Jean. At Jean, exit the interstate and turn right onto Highway 161, towards Goodsprings and Sandy Valley. Go about 5,5 miles and turn right onto the Goodsprings Bypass Road. Turn right onto the truck route and follow the pavement around the east side of town. After about 3.2 miles the road forks. Turn right onto the dirt road, which is Cottonwood Valley Road. Continuing on the paved road takes you out to the Rainbow Quarry.

Description: This 11 mile, unmaintained dirt road is bounded by the Potosi Mountain Range on the west and the Birdspring Range on the east (Fig. 01). The majority of this narrow road is relatively well maintained, and sometimes travels through several wash areas that can be quite rocky. Along the length of the road it passes several side roads, but the Cottonwood Valley Road is usually obvious, straight ahead. However, a portion of the northern end of the road, especially near Cottonwood Pass, is quite washed out and rough, and definately requires a 4WD vehicle.

10/29/2016 Trip Notes: On this trip, Jim Herring and I rented a jeep and decided to Goodsprings and out to the large redstone crop out behind the town. We first drove up Pauline Road to the north end of the outcrop and hiked up Aztec Road for a look around. Pauline road was in must worse shape than it was on my previous visit. On the way out we encountered a small band of wild horses on the east side of the road (Figs. 02 & 04). Once we reached Aztec Road, a nice view northwest from the top looked towards the Mt. Potosi Range and the Contact Mine (center of Fig. 05), a place we had visited on a previous trip ...  On the way back to the Goodsprings Bypass road to the the intersection of Cottonwood Valley Road, we passed a second band of different horses (Figs. 06 & 07). (notes continued below)
(Fig. 02)
(Fig. 03)
(Fig. 04)

(Fig. 05)
(Fig. 06)
(Fig. 07)
Trip Notes Continued: After turning onto the dirt Cottonwood Valley Road, we headed north to Route 160. As we headed out it unexpectively started to "cloud up" and get quite windy. Along the way out we had views of the Birdspring Range on the right (background in Fig. 06), and the Red Aztec Sandstone outcrop and the Potosi Mountain Range on our left (Fig. 08). From the Goodspring end, this road parallels a pipe line. About a a third of the way out, the path of the pipeline crosses the road. We found some boulders here and decided to stop and have a picnic lunch (Fig. 09). See the location on the map in (Fig. 01). From our lunch spot we had a great view of the Mt. Potosi Range (Fig. 10). About a mile or so past here, the gas line crosses the road again and heads up Wilson Tank Road. For a relative short diversion, we should have taken this to the spring. After passing Wilson Takn Road, there were several roads that branched off to the west (800C & 800A) that lead to the Dawn and Ninetynine mines, both places that I had visited on a previous trip ... Continuing on we headed to Cottonwood Pass, where we took a steep side road to the top of the red sandstone hill. The top of this hill provided great views in every direction. The view in (Fig. 11) is due north looking towards hyway 160, the Wilson Cliffs, Cottonwood Valley and the Calico Hills in Red Rock Canyon park. the hill towards. After decending this viewpoint, the drive through Cottonwood Pass was a difficult drive. From here it was only a matter of another four miles to reach hyway 160 (Fig. 01). For more on the Cottonwood Valley area, check out the following links ....

(Fig. 08)
(Fig. 09)
(Fig. 10)
(Fig. 11)
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