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Cottonwood Trailhead
Hiking Around Las Vegas, Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area
Cottonwood Trailhead
Cottonwood Valley Trailhead
Trailhead parking (view W)

The Cottonwood Trailhead is located in Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, about 30 minutes west of Las Vegas, but not in the Scenic Loop Road area. The trailhead is located on Highway 160, west of the intersection with Highway 159 (West Charleston Blvd). This trailhead is not in the fee area.

From town, drive out to Red Rocks. From West Charleston at the entrance to the Scenic Loop Road (Table 1, Site 0519), continue west on Charleston Blvd (Hwy 159) all the way past Blue Diamond town to Highway 160 (Site 0848). Turn right onto Highway 160, towards Pahrump, and drive west for 5.9 miles. Watch for a broad, dirt road on the left, a vault toilet in the distance (200 yards out), and a paved, slow-vehicle passing zone on the right; there is no sign on the highway. Turn left onto the dirt Cottonwood Valley Road (Site 0849) and drive south about 200 yards to the large, dirt parking area on the right (Site 1073). Park here; this is the trailhead.

Cottonwood Valley Trailhead
A toilet with a view (view N)

Link to trailhead map.

The left turn from Highway 160 onto Cottonwood Valley Road can be very dangerous because drivers coming down the hill often are moving over 80 mph and drivers going up the hill already are annoyed by people driving too slowly and are prone to passing despite the double yellow lines. It might be best to pull into the slow-vehicle turnout and wait for traffic to clear before making the left turn.

The Cottonwood Trailhead primarily is used by mountain bike riders to access the Cottonwood Valley South bike trail system; however, it also provides access to miles of fairly easy hiking.

Trails: Birdspring Mountain, Dinosaur Teeth, Dead Horse Loop, Bonnie and Clyde, Lombard Crash Site.

Cottonwood Valley Trailhead
Hwy 160, approaching the turnoff (view W)
Cottonwood Valley Trailhead
Hwy 160 at Cottonwood Valley Road (view W)
Cottonwood Valley Trailhead
Hwy 160 at Cottonwood Valley Road (view SW)
Cottonwood Valley Trailhead
Cattle guard at start of Cottonwood Valley Road (view S)
Cottonwood Valley Trailhead
Approaching trailhead parking (view S)
Cottonwood Trailhead
Approaching trailhead parking (view SW)
Cottonwood Trailhead
Turn into trailhead parking (view S)
Cottonwood Trailhead
Lots of parking (view SE)
Cottonwood Trailhead
Info sign (view SE)
Cottonwood Valley Trailhead
Info sign (view E)
Cottonwood Valley Trailhead
Cottonwood Valley Road heading into the desert (view S)
Cottonwood Trailhead
Sign about Goodsprings Fire (view E)

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

Site Location Easting Northing Elevation Latitude Longitude Verified
0519 Charleston Blvd at Scenic Loop Entrance 642120 3999525 3,681 36.13183 115.42059 Yes
0848 Hwy 160 at Blue Diamond Rd 647933 3988875 3,169 36.03498 115.35801 Yes
0849 Hwy 160 at Cottonwood Valley Rd 640016 3984735 4,325 35.99884 115.44659 Yes
1073 Cottonwood Valley Trailhead 640070 3984562 4,300 35.99727 115.44602 GPS

Happy Hiking! All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate.
copyright; Last updated 121107

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