Summary: This is one of those great hikes: isolated (especially mid-week), water to walk to (not for human consumption, just for admiring), easy-to-follow trail for beginners, a nice "base hike" to explore from, plenty of vegetation (junipers, pinion pines, typical brush) for shade and cover, lots of game (keep quiet and look closely, especially at dawn and dusk -- lots of deer), and that perfect elevation (high enough to escape heat, not too much snow). The hike to Rainbow Springs actually follows an old jeep, 2 track trail which is combination mud and gravel. This narrow road with ruts, dips, and turns keeps most vehicles out, and it defintiely is NOT for hauling a trailer. This road is NOT open for off road vehicles or bicycles, but there is plenty of evidence of those who persist on doing these activities, illegally. This wilderness area is completely open to horses and hikers -- boundaries between Red Rock Canyon NCA, USFS, & BLM Wilderness are very confusing here.
Trailhead: Rainbow Springs is North of Mountain Springs, which is in the pass between Las Vegas and Pahrump, across the highway (SR 160) from Mt. Potosi. To reach Mountain Springs from the Las Vegas strip, take I-15 to Blue Diamond Road (SR160 aka Pahrump Highway). If you're from out of town, the Silverton Casino is located on the W side of I-15 at SR160, South of Tropicana Blvd. Head W on SR160 passing the turn to Red Rock Canyon, passing Mountain Springs Summit until you see the turn for the saloon (about 20 miles from I-15). If you're nice and polite and give the saloon some business, you can park here and begin your walk up the road. Be respectful of the tiny community of residences in Mtn. Springs. Carry all your trash out with you -- this is not public parking. Horse trailers park here - jeeps can make it all the way, but why drive when you can hike? Game depends on the water at Rainbow Springs to survive so don't camp out or picnic there. Bring water to drink. (Lat:36.05223 Lon:-115.51062)
Trail Guides for Rainbow Springs:
Best Seasons: Year-Round
User Groups: Hikers, Dogs, Horses,
Ranger Contact: Red Rock (BLM) rangers at Red Rock Canyon visitor's center 702-515-5950
Localhikes Reporter: This hike was submitted by Kat Green, who has posted 86 other hikes on this site
Trail Reviews Submit your own review
Reviewed by Lesley on 1/21/2009
This was a nice change from red rock and it was a challenge. We did do some steep climbing/hiking. Be wary of four-wheelers, but they were easy to hear coming. This is a great trail for dogs. Be careful of this area and be aware of controlled burns since this is a controlled burn area. Across the highway was a control burn that we noticed when we got to the top. Once at the top enjoy your lunch and enjoy the view because the view is fantastic and much different from red rock. Also, there weren't a lot of people on this trail so it was nice quiet hike for the majority of the time.
Reviewed by CL on 3/10/2007
This is a nice hike for Vegas locals who want a different view of Red Rock and the escarpment they see everyday from the valley. Bring a camera! Enter off Highway 160, but instead of parking in Mountain Springs, continue on looking out for Lovell Canyon Road on the north side of the road. After turning, drive a mile and then look for a dirt/gravel road entering from the right. Turn on the dirt road for 2.8 miles to a pullout. Follow the road up to a small stream. Continue up the streambed looking for cairns. In about 2.5 miles the trail ends at beautiful view from the top of the escarpment. Return as you came. Nice pleasant hike with great views!
Notice: Traveling in the backcountry can be hazardous. You are responsible for informing yourself about these hazards and taking necessary precautions. Information on this web site comes from volunteer reporters and may contain errors or omissions. A current guidebook and proper equipment are essential for safe enjoyment of the hikes posted on this site.
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