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Timber Mountain Pass Road - Westbound
Backroads Around Las Vegas, Basin and Range National Monument
Timber Pass Road
Timber Mountain Pass Road
Highway 318, approaching Timber Mountain Pass Road (view N)

Overview

Timber Mountain Pass Road is a well maintained dirt road that normally is suitable for 2WD vehicles. The road starts along Highway 318 north of Hiko and runs southwest over Timber Pass, down across Coal Valley, and ends at an intersection with Seaman Wash Road at a gap in the Golden Gate Range called Water Gap.

Timber Mountain Pass Road provides access to Heizer's City, the community of Cherry Creek in the Quinn Canyon Range, and it provides sightseers spectacular scenery, ranchers access to their herds, and residents a way home.

For eastbound photos, see Timber Mountain Pass Road - Eastbound.

Link to Area Map or Road Map.

Timber Mountain Pass Road
Highway 318 at Timber Mountain Pass Road (view N)

Watch Out

Other than the standard warnings about driving in the desert, ...this road is pretty safe, but be sure that your vehicle is in good working condition, carry plenty of water (radiator and drinking), and pack a lunch. Always drive carefully; even though the road is well maintained, there are occasional hazards such as errant boulders in the roadway.

While out, please respect the land and the other people out there, and try to Leave No Trace of your passage. This road goes into remote areas, so be sure to bring the 10 Essentials. Cell phones don't work.

Timber Mountain Pass Road
Timber Mountain Pass Road (view SW from Highway 318)

Getting to the Road

Timber Mountain Pass Road is located in the east-central part of Basin and Range National Monument, about 2-1/4 hours (156 miles) northeast of Las Vegas driving directly, or about 50 minutes (49 miles) north of the intersection of Highway 93 and Highway 318.

From Las Vegas, drive north on Interstate-15 21 miles to Highway 93. Turn left onto Great Basin Highway (Hwy 93) and top off the gas tank if necessary. Drive north past the towns of Alamo (95 miles from Las Vegas) and Ash Springs (102 miles) to the intersection of Highway 93 and Highway 318 (107 miles). Gasoline is available in Alamo, Ash Springs, and Lund, but not Rachael.

Turn left onto Highway 318 and drive west then north on Highway 318 for 49 miles to Timber Mountain Pass Road on the left. The intersection is marked only by a directional sign facing away from the highway.

Timber Mountain Pass Road
No stop signs, but this sign faces away from Hwy 318 (view NE)

The Road

From the pavement (Table 1, Site 1588), Timber Mountain Pass Road crosses a cattle guard running southwest as it gently descends into a desert valley covered with low shrubs and Timber Mountain ahead on the left.

In about 3 miles, the road crosses another cattle guard and continues straight across the valley, eventually climbing gently towards a pass below Timber Mountain (or more precisely at this point: Black Cliff).

The road winds gently onto the rounded pass at 8.9 miles out. The pass itself is a bit of a letdown, but shortly (9.1 miles out), the road passes interesting wooden corrals on the right. From the corrals, drivers get a glimpse down the canyon of the wondrous scenery to come.

Timber Mountain Pass Road
Mileage and direction (view NE towards Hwy 318)

The road winds down the canyon, still with gentle grades and gentle curves, and at about 11.5 miles out passes a sign announcing Coal Valley. By this time the views across Coal Valley and across to the Golden Gate Range are grand, but just ahead (11.6 miles), the road dips over a low slope, and from this point, the view truly is spectacular.

Timber Mountain Pass Road continues into the bottom of Coal Valley, crossing cattle guards and various road intersections (not a single sign), but always stays straight.

The bottom of Coal Valley is a nice place to stop, get out of the car, stretch the legs, and soak in the full glory of a wide-open basin and range. A few cows might join the scene, but it is very unlikely that another vehicle will pass by.

Timber Mountain Pass Road
Timber Pass Road is paved a few yards to a cattle guard (view SW)

Continuing southwest, the road runs into Water Gap, a low point in the Golden Gate Range. At about 22.4 miles out, the road crosses a cattle guard with a sign announcing Water Gap.

In another 0.4 miles, at 22.8 miles out, Timber Mountain Pass Road ends at a 3-way intersection (Site 1560) with Seaman Wash Road (to the left). Cherry Creek Road continues straight.

Visitors to Michael Heizer's City would continue west on Cherry Creek Road for 2.2 miles to Heizer Ranch Road, on the left.

Timber Mountain Pass Road
Road runs across broad flats (view SW)
Timber Mountain Pass Road
Road runs down a shallow canyon (view SW)
Timber Mountain Pass Road
Canyon opens onto valley-bottom flats (view SW)
Timber Mountain Pass Road
Valley-bottom flats (view SW)
Timber Mountain Pass Road
Watch for cattle (view SW)
Timber Mountain Pass Road
Road bends around a surprising blind curve (view SW)
Timber Mountain Pass Road
Fork in the road: stay left (view SW)
Timber Mountain Pass Road
Cattle guard (view SW)
Timber Mountain Pass RoadWell with FEMA generator (now a solar panel; view SW) Timber Mountain Pass Road
Climbing towards Timber Mountain Pass (view SW)
Timber Mountain Pass Road
Grand scenery (view W)
Timber Mountain Pass Road
Grand scenery (view W)
Timber Mountain Pass Road Timber Mountain Pass Road
Timber Mountain Pass Road
Grand scenery (view NW)
Timber Mountain Pass Road
Climbing towards Timber Mountain Pass (view SW)
Timber Mountain Pass Road
Timber Mountain with snow (view SW)
Timber Mountain Pass Road
Climbing towards Timber Mountain Pass (view SW)
Timber Mountain Pass Road
Entering the National Monument! (view SW)
Timber Mountain Pass Road
Grand scenery along the boundary (view NW)
Timber Mountain Pass Road
Grand scenery along the boundary (zoom; view NW)
Timber Mountain Pass Road
Grand scenery along the boundary (view NW)
Timber Mountain Pass Road Timber Mountain Pass Road
Timber Mountain Pass Road Timber Mountain Pass Road
Timber Mountain Pass Road
Climbing towards Timber Mountain Pass (view SW)
Timber Mountain Pass Road
Approaching Timber Mountain Pass (view SW)
Timber Mountain Pass Road
Timber Mountain Pass (view SW)
Timber Mountain Pass Road
Approaching Timber Mountain Pass corrals (view SW)
Timber Mountain Pass Road
Timber Mountain Pass corrals (view SW)
Timber Mountain Pass Road
Timber Mountain Pass camp area (view SW)
Timber Mountain Pass Road Timber Mountain Pass Road
Timber Pass Road
Timber Mountain Pass corrals (view SW)
Timber Mountain Pass Road
Timber Mountain Pass corrals (view SW)
Timber Mountain Pass Road
Timber Mountain Pass corrals (view SW)
Timber Mountain Pass Road
Bunny footprints in the snow
Timber Mountain Pass Road Timber Mountain Pass Road
Timber Mountain Pass Road Timber Mountain Pass Road
Timber Mountain Pass Road
Descending from Timber Mountain Pass (view SW)
Timber Mountain Pass Road
Descending from Timber Mountain Pass (view SW)
Timber Mountain Pass Road Timber Mountain Pass Road
Timber Mountain Pass Road
Grand scenery (view W towards Water Gap)
Timber Pass Road
The views are becoming grand again
Timber Mountain Pass Road
Grand scenery (view NW)
Timber Mountain Pass Road
Grand scenery (view N)
Timber Pass Road
Coal Valley sign (view SW)
Timber Mountain Pass Road
Grand scene (view SW)
Timber Mountain Pass Road
Water Gap on the far side of Coal Valley (view SW)
Timber Mountain Pass Road
Hikers experiencing sagebrush habitat
Timber Pass Road Timber Mountain Pass Road
Timber Mountain Pass Road Timber Mountain Pass Road
Timber Pass Road Timber Mountain Pass Road
Timber Pass Road
Timber Mtn Pass Rd goes straight at intersection (view W)
Timber Pass Road
Timber Mtn Pass Rd goes straight at intersection (view W)
Timber Pass Road Timber Mountain Pass Road
Timber Mountain Pass Road Timber Mountain Pass Road
Timber Mountain Pass Road Timber Mountain Pass Road
Timber Pass Road
Timber Mtn Pass Rd stays right at intersection (view W)
Timber Pass Road
Bottom of Coal Valley (view W)
Timber Mountain Pass Road Timber Mountain Pass Road
Timber Mountain Pass Road Timber Mountain Pass Road
Timber Mountain Pass Road Timber Mountain Pass Road
Timber Pass Road
Cattle guard (view SW)
Timber Mountain Pass Road
Grand scenery (view SW towards Golden Gate Range)
Timber Mountain Pass Road
Southern section of the Golden Gate Range (view SW)
Timber Pass Road
Approaching the northeast corner of Water Gap (view SW)
Timber Pass Road
Approaching Coal Valley North Road (view SW)
Timber Pass Road
Passing through Water Gap in the Golden Gate Range (view SW)
Timber Pass Road
Cattle guard at Water Gap (view W)
Timber Pass Road
Water Gap sign (view W)
Timber Pass Road
Approaching Seaman Wash Road, on the left (view SW)
Timber Pass Road
Directional sign at 3-way road intersection (view W)
Timber Pass Road
Directional sign and 3-way road intersection (view W)
Timber Pass Road
End of Timber Mountain Pass Road at 3-way road intersection

Table 1. Highway Coordinates and Distances based on GPS Data (NAD27). Download highway GPS waypoints (gpx) file.

Wpt. Location Latitude (N) Longitude (W) Elevation (ft) Point-to-Point Distance (mi) Cumulative Distance (mi) Verified
1588 Hwy 318 at Timber Pass Rd 38.15467 114.99927 5,385 00.0 00.0 Yes
1560 Seaman Rd at Cherry Creek Rd 38.04227 115.37550 5,069 22.9 22.9 Yes

Happy Hiking! All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate.
copyright; Last updated 170822

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