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Radio Crystal Campsite
Hiking Around Las Vegas, Gold Butte National Monument
Radio Crystal
Radio Crystal campsite with shade structure left by the miners

Overview

Radio Crystal campsite is a quiet undeveloped campsite way out in the desert on the south end of Gold Butte National Monument in Cedar Basin, a broad valley bounded by granite domes and granite peaks. Gold Butte Peak and Mica Peak lie to the north, Jumbo Peak and Sharks Tooth Peak form the southern horizon, and granite domes reminiscent of the southern Sierra Nevada Mountain Range tower above the campsite. Open views west provide nice sunset colors in the evening.

There is no water, and there are no toilets, no trash cans, and no picnic tables. Bring what you need and take it home when you leave. There is truck parking a couple of miles west on Interstate-15 where campers can dump trash without taking it back to Las Vegas.

This campsite, suitable for a 4WD pickup camper or two, is located on sandy backroads south of Gold Butte Townsite, offering plenty of privacy. The camp area is small, so it is suitable only for one party. This is a scenic place to visit and commune with the mining history and scenery of this wild and rugged region.

Link to map.

Radio Crystal
Radio Crystal campsite with shade structure (view west)

Watch Out

Other than the standard warnings about hiking in the desert, ... this is a wild and remote area without services of any kind (no restrooms, no water, no gas, no food). Bring what you need to survive. Be prepared and be self-reliant. Someone will find you eventually if you stay on a main road, but be prepared to survive alone for a day or two. Cell phones only work along parts of the paved road. Old mines are never safe to enter.

Parts of Cedar Basin Road are sandy, making this campsite most suitable for 4WD vehicles, although a party with only one 4WD and a tow rope probably would be safe.

While visiting Gold Butte National Monument, please respect the land and the other people out there, and try to Leave No Trace of your passage. Also, this is a remote area, so be sure to bring the 10 Essentials, even if you leave them in the car.

Be sure to bring trash bags to clean up after people who care less about wild places than you do.

Radio Crystal

Getting to the Radio Crystal Campsite

Radio Crystal campsite is located out in Gold Butte National Monument at the northeast end of Lake Mead, about of 3-1/2 hours northeast of Las Vegas in a wild, remote, and scenic area.

From Las Vegas, drive out the paved Gold Butte Road 21 miles to Whitney Pocket. Continue south on the unpaved Gold Butte Road for 20 miles to Gold Butte Townsite. From the Townsite, Scanlon Road, a continuation of GB Road, is the main road running southwest.

Scanlon Road passes several minor side roads, including Cedar Basin Shortcut Road. This road, 1.0 miles beyond the Townsite, is a shortcut to Cedar Basin Road. Continuing southwest on Scanlon Road, drivers reach Quail Springs Wash (1.9 miles past the Townsite), a major wash that crosses the road. Just before the wash, a sign warns of flash floods. Cedar Basin Road runs up the wash to the left.

Follow Cedar Basin Road to the white trash can, then stay left. This road runs into the Radio Crystal campsite.

Radio Crystal

Radio Crystal Campsite

Radio Crystal campsite is a quiet place out in Cedar Basin where a few Singleleaf Pinyon and lots of Utah Juniper (aka "cedar"), and some oak trees provide privacy and shade.

This is a good place to basecamp while exploring the mining history in the area. The road to the mine branches off the access road about 0.25 miles back down the road, and continues east past the campsite, where an old mill site is about 0.5 miles east. While poking around, please respect these historic sites and protect them for future generations.

This area a good kick-off point for ATVs following some of the 500 miles of open road in Gold Butte National Monument. Rough roads lead in all directions and drivers can loop out Radio Crystal Mine Road to Gold Butte Townsite before looping back to camp.

Radio Crystal
Water tank at Radio Crystal campsite
Radio Crystal Campsite
Nearby granite outcrops
Radio Crystal Campsite
Radio Crystal mill site
Radio Crystal Campsite
Radio Crystal mill site
Radio Crystal Campsite
Radio Crystal mine
Radio Crystal Campsite
Radio Crystal mine

Table 1. Highway Coordinates Based on GPS Data (NAD27; UTM Zone 11S). Download Highway GPS Waypoints (*.gpx) file.

Site Location UTM Easting UTM Northing Latitude (N) Longitude (W) Elevation (ft)
1703 Scanlon Rd at Side Rd Left 751123 4018135 36.27733 114.20427 3,680
1708 Scanlon Rd at Cedar Basin Wash Road 749204 4016689 36.26481 114.22607 3,139
RC-Camp Radio Crystal Campsite 754488 4015095 36.24908 114.16784 4,386

Happy Hiking! All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate.
copyright; Last updated 160903

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