birdandhike.com logo
Home | Wilderness | Hiking | Basin and Range | Hiking Basin and Range National Monument
Cherry Creek Road
Backroads Around Las Vegas, Basin and Range National Monument
Cherry Creek Road
Cherry Creek Road
Seaman Wash Road at Cherry Creek Road (view NW)

Overview

Cherry Creek Road is a well maintained dirt road that normally is suitable for 2WD vehicles. The road runs across Garden Valley between Water Gap (Golden Gate Range) on the east and Cherry Creek (Quinn Canyon Range) on the west. The road continues into the Quinn Canyon Range, passing ranching families and summer houses, the historic townsite of Adaven, and then exits the far side of the mountains into Railroad Valley.

Link to Area Map or Road Map.

Cherry Creek Road

Watch Out

Other than the standard warnings about being in the desert, ...this road is pretty safe, but be sure that your vehicle is in good working condition, carry plenty of water (radiator and drinking), and pack a lunch. Always drive carefully; even though the road is well maintained, there are occasional hazards such as errant boulders in the roadway and mud puddles after heavy rains.

When the road starts into the Quinn Canyon Range, parts are narrow with precipitous drop-offs and blind corners, and one spot has a one-lane bridge, so drive extra carefully in that area. There are more blind corners up the canyon.

While out, please respect the land and the other people out there, and try to Leave No Trace of your passage. This road goes into remote areas, so be sure to bring the 10 Essentials. Cell phones don't work.

Cherry Creek Road

Getting to the Road

Cherry Creek Road is located in the west-central part of Basin and Range National Monument, about 3 hours (150 miles) northwest of Las Vegas driving directly, or about 1-1/2 hours (50 miles) north of the intersection of Highway 93 and Highway 318.

From Las Vegas, drive north on Interstate-15 21 miles to Highway 93. Turn left onto Great Basin Highway (Hwy 93) and drive north past the towns of Alamo (95 miles from Las Vegas) and Ash Springs (102 miles) to the intersection of Highways 93 and 318 (107 miles). Gasoline is available in Alamo, Ash Springs, and Lund, but not Rachael.

Turn left onto Highway 318 and drive west then north on Highway 318 for 17.4 miles to Seaman Wash Road on the left. Turn onto Seaman Wash Road and drive northwest 26.5 miles to a fork in the road (stay "straight" at all forks and side roads to this point). At the fork, stay right and cross to the other side of the valley where the road forks again (broad, triangular intersection). Stay left onto Cherry Creek Road. Timber Mountain Pass Road goes in the other direction.

Cherry Creek Road

The Road

From the three-way intersection with Seaman Wash Road and Timber Mountain Pass Road (Table 1, Site 1560), Cherry Creek Road runs west heading out of Water Gap and into Garden Valley.

The road passes three low hills in the left. Between the first and second, the Heizer Ranch can be seen in the distance -- watch for a stand of tall cottonwood trees. To the left and right of the trees, the upper-most portions of Michael Heizer's City, a land art sculpture, can be seen spreading across the landscape.

The third hill, Lovers Leap (Site 1561), provides an overlook from which hikers (0.2 miles) can look across some 1.7 miles of Great Basin desert and see City in the distance. Be sure to bring binoculars.

Cherry Creek Road
Lover's Leap, ahead in the distance (view W)

Beyond the last hill, Cherry Creek Road descends a gentle grade to a road intersection (Site 1562; 2.2 miles out). Here, Heizer Ranch Road turns left and runs 0.6 miles to a gate: the closest that the public can get to City. The gate is more than a mile from City, but apparently within rifle range from the ranch.

Continuing, Cherry Creek Road curves to the north following along the base of the Golden Gate Range. At about 3.0 miles out, the road crosses a cattle guard, then curves left and away from the mountains.

The road now runs more-or-less straight northwest towards Cherry Canyon in the Quinn Canyon Range. There are a few minor side roads, but at 9.4 miles out, Cherry Creek Road passes the northern terminus of Mail Summit Road on the left (Site 1594), which can be followed back to the pavement just north of Hiko. Watch for a highway sign with distances.

Cherry Creek Road
First view of City

Shortly, Cherry Creek Road forks (9.8 miles out). Here, the obvious direction, straight, is not the way to go: that road is gated ahead. Instead, Cherry Creek Road bends right to go due north for about 1.4 miles. At 11.2 miles out, Cherry Creek Road bends to the left at a triangular T-intersection (Site 1596).

Now going southwest, Cherry Creek Road runs straight towards Cherry Canyon. Just before entering the mountains, a side road turns hard to the left (12.7 miles out). This is the other end of the gated road. Continuing straight, Cherry Creek Road winds up into the canyon traversing high, steep hillsides and crossing a one-lane bridge (12.9 miles out) that spans a rockslide area.

Cherry Creek Road

The road eventually runs down into the bottom of Cherry Canyon and follows Cherry Creek upstream. At about 13.2 miles out, the road exits Basin and Range and enters the Humboldt National Forest (Site 1597), a land of many uses. The valley bottom is ranching territory, with pasture lands, summer homes, ranch houses, and even some old mines.

The road winds along the valley bottom until it forks. A sign directs "Thru Traffic" to the right, and the road climbs over a ridge only to drop back into the valley bottom, but avoiding ranch property.

The road continues up the canyon, passing the historic townsite of Adaven (Site 1598; 16.6 miles out), a town remembered not for what is there (nothing), but for the fact the name is "Nevada" spelled backwards. The road continues, and during summer, visitors can cross the Quinn Canyon Range and drive over to Railroad Valley.

Cherry Creek Road
Vehicle at Lover's Leap trailhead (view W)
Cherry Creek Road
Vehicle at Lover's Leap trailhead (view S)
Cherry Creek Road
Start of Cherry Creek Road (view W)
Cherry Creek Road
Cherry Creek Road, approaching Lovers Leap Overlook (view W)
Cherry Creek Road
Cherry Creek Road, approaching Heizer Ranch Road (view W)
Cherry Creek Road
Cherry Creek Road bends north along Golden Gate Range (view N)
Cherry Creek Road
Cherry Creek Road, at cattle guard (view N)
Cherry Creek Road
Cherry Creek Road bends left (view NW)
Cherry Creek Road Cherry Creek Road
Cherry Creek Road
Cherry Creek Road, approaching side road (view W)
Cherry Creek Road
Sign on side road (view S)
Cherry Creek Road
Cherry Creek Road forks; stay right (view W)
Cherry Creek Road
Cherry Creek Road (view N)
Cherry Creek Road
Cherry Creek Road forks; stay left (view N)
Cherry Creek Road
Cherry Creek Road runs towards Quinn Canyon Range (view W)
Cherry Creek Road
Cherry Creek Road, approaching the mountains (view W)
Cherry Creek Road
Cherry Creek Road forks; stay straight (view W)
Cherry Creek Road
Cherry Creek Road climbs into the mountains (view W)
Cherry Creek Road
Steep drop-off (view W)
Cherry Creek Road
Cherry Creek Road at one-lane bridge (view W)
Cherry Creek Road
Cherry Creek Road, at USFS boundary (view W)
Cherry Creek Road
Cherry Creek Road in Cherry Canyon (view W)
Cherry Creek Road
Cherry Creek Road at private property (view W)
Cherry Creek Road
Cherry Creek Road at sheep pasture (view W)
Cherry Creek Road
Sheep in a pasture (view W)
Cherry Creek Road
Two of many rams in the pasture
Cherry Creek Road
Cherry Creek Road at sheep pasture (view S)
Cherry Creek Road
"Thru Traffic" stays right (view W)
Cherry Creek Road
Ranch house (view SE)

Table 1. Highway Coordinates and Distances based on GPS Data (NAD27). Download highway GPS waypoints (gpx) file.

Wpt. Location Latitude (N) Longitude (W) Elevation (ft) Point-to-Point Distance (mi) Cumulative Distance (mi) Verified
1560 Seaman Rd at Cherry Creek Rd 38.04227 115.37550 5,069 0.00 0.00 Yes
1561 Cherry Creek Rd at Lovers Leap Trailhead 38.04454 115.40638 5,174 1.70 1.60 Yes
1562 Cherry Creek Rd at Heizer Ranch Rd 38.04701 115.41557 5,155 0.50 2.20 Yes
1594 Cherry Creek Rd at Mail Summit Rd 38.11024 115.50888 5,596 7.20 9.40 Yes
1596 Cherry Creek Rd at Garden Valley N Road 38.13377 115.51419 5,795 1.80 11.20 Yes
1597 Cherry Creek Rd at USFS Boundary 38.12130 115.54781 5,868 2.00 13.20 Yes
1598 Cherry Creek Rd at Adaven Townsite 38.12902 115.59578 6,335 3.40 16.60 Yes

Happy Hiking! All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate.
copyright; Last updated 150808

Basin and Range Backroads Hiking Around Las Vegas Glossary Copyright, Conditions, Disclaimer Home

 

Google Ads