Backpacker Magazine Las Vegas, NV: Anniversary Narrows Trail 

Sparkling gypsum deposits, weathered mining ruins, and a twisted slot canyon highlight this scenic 6-mile hike—less than an hour from Las Vegas.

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Author: Backpacker Magazine
Date: 19 Feb 2008 4:53:44 PM
Activity: Hiking
State: Nevada (NV)
Distance: 3.03 mi  (Change units)
Survey Elevation: Total Gain: 1140 ft
Total Loss: 701 ft
Net Change: 439 ft
Difficulty: 5 / 10
USGS Topo Map: Callville Bay
Tags: Las Vegas, Nevada, Overton
Rating: Unrated   Rate it

This 6-mile hike begins 30 miles east of Las Vegas’s Strip in Lake Mead National Recreation Area. Start walking northeast on dirt road through Callville Wash. At .2 mile, the trail leaves the wash and winds to the northwest on quiet 4WD roads until it enters Lovell Wash at 1.7 miles—sparkling deposits of gypsum and faded remnants of old mines punctuate the surrounding landscape. At 2.6 miles, multicolored canyon walls (stained by various minerals) narrow as you near the hike’s only slot canyon. The final .4-mile stretch weaves through a tight corridor of pinched rock walls, requiring a few non-technical boulder scrambles.

Caution: Check the weather for flash floods before attempting this hike.

Mapped by Heidi Sackreuter

TO TRAILHEAD: From Las Vegas Blvd, take I-515 S/US-93 S to exit 72. Turn left onto Charleston Blvd./NV 159 E. In 1.7 miles, turn left onto Nellis Blvd./NV 612 N. In 2.6 miles, turn right onto Lake Mead Blvd./NV 147. In 12.7 miles, turn left onto Northshore Rd./NV 167. Go 12.7 miles to mile marker 16, and turn L for parking in unpaved lot.

Position Format: Datum:


Distance: 3.03 mi Points: 244
Total Time: none Speed: 0.0 mph Pace: 0:00 / mi
Active Time: none Speed: 0.0 mph Pace: 0:00 / mi
Anniversary Narrows

Points of Interest


Location: 36.196716, -114.687271
Hike northeast along unmarked, unmaintained 4WD road in Callville Wash.


Location: 36.198570, -114.684517
Turn left @ Y-junction onto unmarked dirt road; hike north.


Location: 36.201942, -114.686890
Continue straight on the dirt road, which occasionally crosses the wash.


Location: 36.208466, -114.696251
As you hike along the road, look for a sign marking the abandoned Ore Car Mine. Geodes (egg-shaped rocks that have crystallized in the center) can be found along the road. Look closely for geodes that have been cut in half by local gem clubs, displaying the gorgeous natural colors and layers within the rocks.


Location: 36.211315, -114.704224
Turn left @ T-junction, heading west, then north into wash. Ahead, trail leads toward cliff walls stained by multicolored mineral deposits, creating a rainbow of stripes across the rock face (red indicates iron oxide deposits; green indicates copper deposits; and yellow indicates sulfur deposits).


Location: 36.213516, -114.706680
Bear right @ 3-way junction. Look for pieces of gypsum (identified by its clear to whitish color) scattered along the wash and intertwined into seams along the canyon walls


Location: 36.216087, -114.705818
Look for ore cart tunnels carved into the cliff on the right; the ruins of ore cart tracks are also scattered around.


Location: 36.218147, -114.705315
Pass the remnants of a closed mineshaft (do not enter). The shafts—home to desert animals, including rattlesnakes—can be extremely unstable.


Location: 36.220592, -114.702820
The canyon walls narrow to form a slot canyon. Ahead, non-technical boulder scrambles. After a heavy rain, pools may form, so be prepared to get wet.


Location: 36.223263, -114.699020
Turn around and retrace your steps back to Waypoint 1 at the end of the narrows. Add mileage: To extend the hike, continue scrambling up the wash for stunning desert views.

Mineral-stained slopes

Location: 36.213768, -114.706390
© Heidi Sackreuter

Old mining tunnels

Location: 36.215786, -114.706139
© Heidi Sackreuter

Mining remnants

Location: 36.216290, -114.705482
© Heidi Sackreuter

Slot canyon

Location: 36.220726, -114.702362
© Heidi Sackreuter

Pinched rock walls

Location: 36.222488, -114.699738
© Heidi Sackreuter

End of the narrows

Location: 36.223244, -114.698730
© Heidi Sackreuter


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