The Arrow Range is a long, north-south orientated ridge and string of peaks located northeast of Las Vegas (map). The range is a striking example of the fault-block topography typical of the Great Basin. On the west side of the range, the fault scarp rises sharply from the valley floor for nearly 3,000 feet, exposing numerous layers of gray and black carbonate rocks (probably dolomite) and at least two layers of white quartzite. From Highway 93, several subfaults can be seen where layers of dolomite and quartzite don't line up properly and where entire blocks of the mountain seem to have slipped down the face. The east side of the range rises less steeply, but it is cut by several deep canyons. Arrow Canyon, located on the east edge of the range, is a deep, narrow slot canyon described by one old-time field geologist as the most amazing slot canyon in all of Nevada.
Activities in the Arrow Range primarily are orientated around day-hiking. People also backpack, ride horses, OHV, and hunt in the area. The northern part of the range (27,500 acres) was designated as a wilderness area in October 2002, so vehicles are prohibited from that area.
The Arrow Range is located in the Mojave Desert, but the higher elevations show biotic influences from the Great Basin. Elevations range from about 2,000 feet in the valleys to 5,226 feet at the highest peak. The lower-elevation desert-scrub areas are dominated by scattered creosote bush, white bursage, lizards, and a few desert tortoises; the middle elevations are floristically diverse with shrubs, forbs, cacti, and yucca; and the higher elevations are dominated by blackbrush and bighorn sheep. The variation in topography and soils makes for a mix of habitats and a diverse flora and fauna. Canyons along the eastern edge of the range support ash trees and mesquite thickets.
Temperatures in the lower-elevation areas are similar to those in Las Vegas: daytime summer temperatures can exceed 100 degrees, while daytime winter temperatures can stay below freezing. The higher-elevation areas are cooler, but summer temperatures can still exceed 90 degrees. Because of the high summer temperatures, hiking is best during October through May. Afternoon thunderstorms are common during July and August, possibly creating flash flood and lightning hazards.
There are no services in the Arrow Range.
While hiking in the Arrow Range, and especially in the Arrow Canyon Wilderness Area, please respect the land and the other people out there, and please try to Leave No Trace of your passage. There are few cairns in the range; please don't leave any new ones. Also, this area has many long hard hikes, so choose routes of the appropriate difficulty, and be sure to bring the 10 Essentials.
For More Information on getting to the Arrow Canyon Range, Hours of Operation, Entrance Fees, Camping, Precautions, Some Rules and Regulations, and links to Other Information, see the Arrow Canyon Range Overview Page.