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Rainbow Spring Trailhead
(aka Little Zion Trailhead, The Park Trailhead)
Hiking Around Las Vegas, Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area
Little Zion (aka The Park) Trailhead
Ranbow Spring Trailhead
Rainbow Spring Trailhead (view NE)

Rainbow Spring Trailhead is located in Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, about 1-1/2 hours west of Las Vegas, but not in the Scenic Loop Road area. The trailhead is located off Lovell Canyon Road (north of Highway 160, west of Mountain Springs Summit). This trailhead is not in the fee area.

From the Red Rock Visitor Center area (Table 1, Site 0519), drive west then south on West Charleston Blvd. (Hwy. 159) past Blue Diamond Town to Highway 160 (Site 0848). Turn right onto Highway 160 and drive west over the mountains towards Pahrump. About 3 miles past the town of Mountain Springs, turn right onto the signed Lovell Canyon Road (Site 1013). Drive north on Lovell Canyon Road for 1.0 miles to an unsigned dirt road on the right (Site 1014).

The unsigned dirt road is U.S. Forest Service Road 45537F (Rainbow Spring Road) and leads to Rainbow and Bootleg springs. The road is in fair condition and should be passable for carefully driven sedans, weather permitting, to near the trailhead (but probably not all the way to the trailhead).

Link to trailhead map.

Ranbow Spring Trailhead
Rainbow Spring Trailhead (view NE)


Driving east on Rainbow Spring Road, at about 0.4 miles out, a dirt powerline road to the north marks the boundary of the Rainbow Mountain Wilderness Area. Beyond the powerlines, everything to the left is Wilderness. At about 1.9 miles from the pavement (Site 1015), the road leaves Forest Service land (Spring Mountains NRA) and enters BLM land (Red Rock Canyon NCA). Continuing another 1.2 miles eastward, the road ends at a narrow spot in the canyon with a metal post-and-pipe fence. Park here; this is the trailhead.

This sturdy fence was placed to prevent ATVs from continuing through the narrows into wilderness area and damaging riparian vegetation and wildlife at the spring.

The Rainbow Spring Trailhead primarily provides access the the crest of the Spring Mountains Range and the Little Zion area; however, it also provides access to miles of moderate to strenuous off-trail hiking.

Trails: Little Zion, Crest of the Spring Mountain Range.

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

Site # Location Latitude (N) Longitude (W) UTM Easting UTM Northing Elevation (feet) Point-to-Point Dist. (mi) Cumulative Dist. (mi)
0519 Charleston Blvd at Scenic Loop Entrance 36.13183 115.42059 642120 3999525 3,681 . .
1013 Hwy 160 at Lovell Canyon Rd 36.01833 115.56049 629717 3986740 4,643 0.00 0.00
1014 Lovell Canyon Rd. at Rainbow Spring Rd 36.03124 115.55451 630234 3988179 4,825 0.99 0.99
1015 Rainbow Spring Rd at UFSF-BLM bndry 36.04123 115.52551 632830 3989327 5,155 1.87 2.86
1071 Rainbow Spring Trailhead 36.05165 115.51059 634157 3990503 5,496 1.27 4.13

Happy Hiking! All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate.
copyright; Last updated 170318

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