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Nevada Telephone Cove Road
Backroads Around Las Vegas, Lake Mead National Recreation Area
Nevada Telephone Cove Road
Nevada Telephone Cove Road
Nevada Telephone Cove Road (view northeast)

Overview

The Nevada Telephone Cove Road is a graded backcountry road in southern Lake Mead National Recreation Area near Laughlin. The road runs from Highway 163 to Nevada Telephone Cove, a scenic cove on the shore of Lake Mohave that offers fishing, free camping, and vault toilets. The road down to the lake runs through a geologically interesting area mixed with coarse-grained granitic rocks and ancient lava flows, plus the left side of the road (northwest) is the Spirit Mountain Wilderness Area. Shade trees and a diversity of plants can be found, including some not found farther north around Las Vegas, down towards the lake. This road provides access to Lower Grapevine Canyon Road (Road 13).

Link to Area Map.

Nevada Telephone Cove Road

Watch Out

Other than the standard warnings about hiking in the desert, ... this graded road is safe, but watch for people driving too fast around the corners with boat trailers sliding around behind. Nevada Telephone Cove Road is a bit bumpy, but should be fine for a passenger vehicle. In wet weather, road conditions can change rapidly, and all bets are off.

Nevada Telephone Cove Road

While out, please respect the land and the other people out there, and try to Leave No Trace of your passage. Also, even though this road is short, be sure to bring what you need of the 10 Essentials. Be aware of the weather and stay out of this area if rain is expected; you don’t want to get caught in a flash flood.

Within Lake Mead NRA, watch for brown backcountry signs with numbered yellow arrows and sometimes road names. Approved roads are signed with yellow arrows. The number in the yellow arrow is the road number. Driving on roads or trails not marked with a yellow arrow is prohibited. Driving off roads, in washes, or cross country damages the fragile desert soil and is prohibited. Please check with local rangers on the road conditions before driving into the backcountry. Maps of approved backcountry roads are available online and at the Alan Bible Visitor Center.

Nevada Telephone Cove Road
Spirit Mountain Wilderness Area(view from the road)

Getting to the Roadhead

This road is located in Lake Mead National Recreation Area near Laughlin, about 75 miles south of Las Vegas (5 miles west of Laughlin).

From Las Vegas, drive south towards Laughlin. From the intersection of Highway 93 and 95 (Table 1, Site 0914), drive south on Highway 95, past Searchlight and Cal-Nev-Ari, for 54 miles to Highway 163 (Site 0826). Turn left onto Highway 163 towards Laughlin and drive east for 13.5 miles to an unmarked turnoff on the north side of the highway. This point is 1.7 miles past (east of) the turnoff to Christmas Tree Pass Road (Site 0823) and about 5 miles before the bridge in Laughlin.

Nevada Telephone Cove Road
Approaching Lake Mohave

The Road

From the pavement (Site 1253), turn northeast onto the unsigned and unpaved Nevada Telephone Cove Road and follow it as it bends to the east and parallels Highway 163. Soon there is a brown backcountry road sign showing a yellow arrow with road number 9. Follow Nevada Telephone Cove Road northeast for 2.25 miles to an intersection (Site 1254) where Roads 11, 12, and 14 fork off to the right. Bear left staying on the main road (Road 9), and follow it all the way to the shores of Lake Mohave (Site 1258). The beach at Nevada Telephone Cove is scenic, secluded, and pleasant.

Nevada Telephone Cove Road
Telephone Cove entrance

Note that all along Nevada Telephone Cove Road, the lands to the left (northwest) are inside the Spirit Mountain Wilderness Area and protected from development forever. Stop anywhere and wander into the wilderness area -- you don't have to walk far as this wilderness area is accessible to most everyone.

When finished at the cove, drive a short distance back up Nevada Telephone Cove Road and turn west at the tiny brown sign showing a yellow arrow with road number 13 inside the arrow (Site 1255). Around the first corner, a brown sign confirms that this is Lower Grapevine Canyon Road (Road 13). At this point, the road penetrates Spirit Mountain Wilderness Area as a "cherry stem road." Drive up the road a short ways, less then 0.5 miles, then stop and look back to the east where there is a great view of the lake.

Nevada Telephone Cove Road
Telephone Cove
Camping at Telephone Cove is unregulated, except that there is a 7-day limit. Vault toilets are provided, but there is no trash pickup or facilities of any kind.
Nevada Telephone Cove Road

Happy camper at Telephone Cove

Nevada Telephone Cove Road Telephone Cove as seen from Lower Grapevine Canyon Road (view east). For a nice side trip into the Spirit Mountain Wilderness Area, walk or drive up Lower Grapevine Canyon Road. The road is a "cherry stem" that penetrates deeply into the wilderness area and provides access to a wilderness area from the comfort of your car.

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

Site Location Latitude (N) Longitude (W) UTM Easting UTM Northing Elevation (ft) Point-to-Point Distance (mi) Cumulative Distance (mi) Verified
0823 Highway 163 at Christmas Tree Pass Road 35.20082 114.66796 712306 3897607 1,952 . . Yes
0826 Highway 95 at Highway 163 35.19280 114.85245 695527 3896339 2,516 . . Yes
0914 Highway 95 at Highway 93 (Railroad Pass) 35.96744 114.89381 689922 3982187 2,340 . . Yes
1253 Hwy 163 at Nevada Telephone Cove Rd (Rd 9) 35.19254 114.64002 714872 3896749 1,536 0.00 0.00 GPS
1254 Nevada Telephone Cove Rd (Rd 9) at Road 14 35.21094 114.61623 716990 3898842 1,111 2.30 2.30 GPS
1255 Nevada Telephone Cove Rd (Rd 9) at Road 13 35.22927 114.59514 718860 3900921 698 1.90 4.20 GPS
1258 Nevada Telephone Cove 35.23258 114.59357 718994 3901292 1,016 0.30 4.50 GPS

Happy Hiking! All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate.
© 2014 Jim Boone; Last updated 120427

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