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Devil's Cove Road
Backroads Around Las Vegas, Gold Butte National Monument
Devil's Cove Road
Devil's Cove Road
Gold Butte Road at Devil's Cove Road (view SW)

Overview

Devil's Cove Road is one of the major roads off Gold Butte Road that provides 2WD, high-clearance vehicle access to much of the wild and rugged Gold Butte National Monument mountains east of Gold Butte Townsite, but it requires 4WD to drive the full 14.5 miles to Devil's Cove at the edge of Lake Mead. The road runs east into the mountains and climbs to Summit Pass, then descends nearly 3,000 feet heading south to Lake Mead. In a narrow, rocky canyon, the road was badly washed out some years ago, but is now passable in a 4WD vehicle without too much effort. There are several washouts and sandy areas to negotiate.

Link to map or regional road map.

Devil's Cove Road
Starting on Devil's Cove Road (view S)

Watch Out

Other than the standard warnings about hiking in the desert, ... this is a difficult 4WD road, but without any unusual hazards.

This is wild and remote country 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. It is a big place and someone will find you eventually if you stay on a main road, but be prepared to survive alone for a day or two, or even longer on side roads. Cell phones don't work here.

While out, 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.

Devil's Cove Road

Getting to the Road

Devil's Cove Road is located out in Gold Butte National Monument northeast of Lake Mead, about 3 hours northeast of Las Vegas.

From Las Vegas, drive out the paved Gold Butte Road to Whitney Pocket. Continue south on the unpaved Gold Butte Road for 16.5 miles to Devil's Cove Road, a major fork to the left.

Devil's Cove Road

The Road

From Gold Butte Road at Devil's Cove Road (Table 1, Site 0797), the road angles away to the left heading south, eventually turning southeast as it angles around the south end of a towering limestone ridge. Passing the ridge about 1 mile out, side roads branch off both sides of Devil's Cove Road, but the main road always is obvious. In this area, the road also enters the area burned in 2005 by the massive (82,000 acres) Fork Fire. Fortunately, not everything burned, and there are still patches of Singleleaf Pinyon Pine and Utah Juniper in the area.

The road runs southeast as it climbs into the mountains. In a patch of forest that survived the fire (2.6 miles out), a spur road on the left leads to shady campsites.

Devil's Cove Road
Road passes through a burn area (view SE)

Devil's Cove Road winds about as it climbs to a highpoint on a ridge with grand views to the northeast across northern Arizona. Descending steeply the other side of the ridge, the road drops into Immigrant Canyon and bends south. Crossing Immigrant Wash, the road passes Summit Spring Road (Site 1743), on the right, which leads a short distance to the trailhead for Summit Spring.

The road continues up Immigrant Canyon, eventually running up onto Summit Pass (Site 1745), a site with great views north and south.

Starting down towards Lake Mead, Devil's Cove Road runs somewhat steeply down New Spring Wash, which is a fine driving road. The road eventually exits New Spring Wash to the right, more or less contouring across desert hillsides to cross a ridgeline near Connoly Spring.

Beyond the ridgeline, Devil's Cove Road begins to descend Connoly Wash. Shortly, the road passes Connoly Corral Road (Site 1746), a short spur road west that leads to the old Connoly Corral.

Devil's Cove Road

Continuing, Devil's Cove Road eventually exits the wash to the right, again more or less contouring across desert hillsides to the next ridgeline. Crossing this ridgeline, the road also crosses the boundary into Lake Mead National Recreation Area (Site 1748) and begins to descend towards Devil's Cove on the edge of the lake.

The road deteriorates rapidly beyond the park boundary as it runs down a steep, narrow, rocky canyon. This area flash flooded in 2005, and the road is worse for wear, but it is suitable for 4WD vehicles. From the park boundary, the worst of the road lies between 0.6 and 1.0 miles out. One steep spot is even covered in cement to cover rocks and improve traction.

Near the bottom of the steep, narrow canyon, the road contours out to the left avoiding even steeper slopes below. The road eventually drops towards the bottom of the canyon, but now beyond the confluence with a much larger wash entering from the west, and from this point on, the road becomes more sandy than rocky.

Devil's Cove Road
Devil's Cove Road approaching Garden Spring Road (view SE)

Immediately before getting to the wash (9.8 miles out), the road forks. The left, the old road, is hopelessly washed out in a few hundred yards, but the new road cuts across the sandy wash to the other side. The road runs in and out of the sandy wash, but generally is a fine 4WD road.

At about 11.7 miles out, Devil's Cove Road passes Cottonwood Canyon Road (Site 1749), on the right. To the west, this short spur road leads to a trailhead and a nice hike up Cottonwood Canyon to near the edge of Jumbo Springs Wilderness Area.

Continuing down Cottonwood Wash, Devil's Cove Road becomes firm and smooth, a much nicer road than before. Eventually the road drops below the high-water mark of Lake Mead and ends at Devil's Cove on the "current" edge of the lake (Site 1751).

In 2013, trees had grown up on the lakeshore blocking views of the water and requiring visitors to hike out a bit (Devils Finger Route) to get a view of the Colorado River. Changing water level in Lake Mead will affect the exact position of the shoreline, so drivers should be careful to avoid deep and sticky muck when the edge is wet.

devil's cove roadDevil's Cove Road at Garden Spring Road (view SE) Devil's Cove Road
Devil's Cove Road at 4-way intersection (view SE)
Devil's Cove Road
Garden Spring Alternate Road (view NE from Gold Butte Road)
Devil's Cove RoadFirst road to Bills Spring (view SW from Gold Butte Road)
Devil's Cove Road
Gold Butte Road at second road to Bills Spring (view SE)
Devil's Cove Road
Second road to Bills Spring (view SE)
Devil's Cove Road Devil's Cove Road
Devil's Cove Road
Road in Pinyon-Juniper Forest (view NE)
Devil's Cove Road
Road in Pinyon-Juniper Forest (view NE)
Devil's Cove Road
Devil's Cove Road (view SE)
Devil's Cove Road
The road climbs into the hills (view SE)
Devil's Cove Road Devil's Cove Road
Devil's Cove Road
Nearing the top of the hill (view NE)
Devil's Cove Road
Pullout and overlook at the top of the hill (view SE)
Devil's Cove Road
Grand scenery and the road ahead (view E from overlook)
Devil's Cove Road
Grand scenery (view NE from overlook)
Devil's Cove Road
The road begins to descend steeply (view E)
Devil's Cove Road
Descending steeply (view E)
Devil's Cove Road
Approaching the bottom of the steep hill (view S)
Devil's Cove Road
Devil's Cove Road at Summit Spring Road (view S)
Devil's Cove Road
Summit Spring Road (view W from Devil's Cove Road)
Devil's Cove Road
Devil's Cove Road climbs towards Summit Pass (view S)
Devil's Cove Road Devil's Cove Road
Devil's Cove Road
Devil's Cove Road approaching Summit Pass (view S)
Devil's Cove Road
Devil's Cove Road at Summit Pass (view S)
Devil's Cove Road Devil's Cove Road
Devil's Cove Road Devil's Cove Road
Devil's Cove Road Devil's Cove Road
Devil's Cove Road
Devil's Cove Road (view S)
Devil's Cove Road
Grand scenery (view E)
Devil's Cove Road
There must be a spring in there somewhere (view NW)
Devil's Cove Road
Devil's Cove Road (view S)
Devil's Cove Road
Grand scenery (view SE)
Devil's Cove Road
Devil's Cove Road (view S)
Devil's Cove Road
Devil's Cove Road (view S)
Devil's Cove Road
Devil's Cove Road at first turn to Connoly Corral (view S)
Devil's Cove Road
First access road to Connoly Corral (view S)
Devil's Cove Road
Devil's Cove Road at second turn to Connoly Corral (view S)
Devil's Cove Road
Second access road to Connoly Corral (view S)
Devil's Cove Road
Devil's Cove Road (view S)
Devil's Cove Road
Devil's Cove Road (view S)
Devil's Cove Road
Lake Mead NRA boundary sign; near end of good road (view S)
Devil's Cove Road
Lake Mead NRA boundary sign (view S)
Devil's Cove Road
Devil's Cove Road (view S)
Devil's Cove Road
Devil's Cove Road (view S)
Devil's Cove Road
End of good road; grader turns around here (view S)
Devil's Cove Road
Road condition deteriorates (view S)
Devil's Cove Road
Rocky road (view S)
Devil's Cove Road
Rocky road (view S)
Devil's Cove Road
Steep road with concrete for traction (view S)
Devil's Cove Road
High on canyon wall, beyond the worst road conditions (view S)
Devil's Cove Road
Washed out, new road stays right (view S)
Devil's Cove Road
Deep sand (view S)
Devil's Cove Road
Road eventually climbs out of sandy wash (view S)
Devil's Cove Road
Devil's Cove Road at Cottonwood Canyon Road
Devil's Cove Road
Lake Mead ahead in the distance (view S)
Devil's Cove Road
Approaching Devil's Cove camping area sign (view S)
Devil's Cove Road
Devil's Cove camping area sign (view S)
Devil's Cove Road
Easy road descending towards the cove (view S)
Devil's Cove Road
Passing below Lake Mead high-water mark (view S)
Devil's Cove Road
Arriving at 2013 water level (view S; blocked by ash trees)
Devil's Cove Road
Devils Finger Route, the water is visible (view S)
Devil's Cove Road
Devil's Cove; Colorado River in the distance
Devil's Cove Road
Devil's Cove; Colorado River in the distance
Devil's Cove Road
Feral burros at Devil's Cove
Devil's Cove Road
Meeting the locals
Devil's Cove Road
Devil's Cove in 2003 before the road washed out
Devil's Cove Road
More to come ...

Driving Back Out

Devil's Cove Road
Steep road with concrete for traction (view N)
Devil's Cove Road
Steep road with rocks (view N)
Devil's Cove Road
Back on the good road (view N)
Devil's Cove Road
Devil's Cove Road (view N)
Devil's Cove Road Devil's Cove Road
Devil's Cove Road
Starting up the steep hill (view N)
Devil's Cove Road
More to come ...

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

Wpt. Location Latitude (N) Longitude (W) Elevation (ft) Point-to-Point Distance (mi) Cumulative Distance (mi) Verified
0797 Gold Butte Rd at Devils Cove Rd 36.31315 114.15450 3,509 0.00 00.00 Yes
1743 Devils Cove Rd at Summit Spring Rd 36.28747 114.11323 3,761 4.28 04.28 Yes
1745 Devils Cove Rd at Summit Pass 36.27504 114.11220 4,095 0.88 05.16 Yes
1746 Devils Cove Rd at Connoly Corral Rd 36.24014 114.10367 3,342 2.55 07.71 Yes
1748 Devils Cove Rd at Lake Mead Boundary 36.23080 114.10533 3,209 0.66 08.37 Yes
1749 Devils Cove Rd at Cottonwood Canyon 36.18869 114.11770 1,940 3.36 11.73 Yes
1751 Devils Cove Rd at Lake Mead 36.15632 114.09702 1,141 2.73 14.46 Yes

Happy Hiking! All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate.
copyright; Last updated 170910

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