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Curtis Canyon Road - Southbound
Basin and Range National Monument, Backroads Around Las Vegas
Shooting Gallery Access Road
Shooting Gallery Access Road
Highway 93 approaching South Richardville Road (view N)

Overview

Curtis Canyon Road (southbound) is a 16-mile dirt road that starts from US Highway 93 in the town of Alamo and heads west into the East Pahranagat Range before turning south and climbing over the range into Badger Valley. In the south end of Badger Valley, Curtis Canyon Road merges into Badger Valley Road.

The road runs through grand, open Mojave Desert Scrub vegetation full of Joshua trees and blackbrush, but at the highpoint in the East Pahranagat Range, the road touches the lower edge of Pinyon-Juniper Woodland zone where pinyon pine and juniper offer some shade.

The road normally is graded by Lincoln County because it provides free access for ranchers to publicly owned grazing lands. The road provides access to vast public lands, the Shooting Gallery Unit of Basin and Range National Monument, and an alternative way to the Tikaboo Peak trailhead. Two sections of the road are very steep and should not be attempted in any vehicle when wet.

Link to map.

Shooting Gallery Access Road
Highway 93 at South Richardville Road (view N)

Watch Out

Other than the standard warnings about driving in the desert, ...this road is pretty safe, but it is very steep in two places and should not be attempted in any vehicle when wet because it would be easy to slide in the mud and slip off the cliff.

This area is remote. 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.

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 should work where Alamo can be seen, but not in the Shooting Gallery, proper.

Shooting Gallery Access Road
South Richardville Road approaching Canyon Road (view N)

Getting to the Road

Curtis Canyon Road is located on the edge of the Pahranagat Valley about 110 miles north of Las Vegas on Highway 93.

From town, drive north on Interstate 15 to US Highway 93. Exit onto Highway 93 and drive north to Alamo. From the Chevron Station and market in Alamo, continue north for 1.7 miles to South Richardville Road. Turn left and follow South Richardville Road as it bends right to head north to Canyon Road (Table 1, Site 1121).

On Highway 93, If you miss South Richardville Road, continue north another 1.6 miles to North Richardville Road, turn left, and follow it back south to Canyon Road (Site 1121).

Shooting Gallery Access Road
Sign at South Richardville Road -- Canyon Road intersection (view N)

The Road

From Richardville Road at Canyon Road (Site 1121), turn onto Canyon Road, which is paved, and drive west. The pavement ends in 0.4 miles; continue west onto the dirt, which is Curtis Canyon Road. In about 0.1 miles, stay right at a fork (Site 1122; the left goes to the town dump).

Driving west on Curtis Canyon Road, continue "straight" towards the obvious canyon in the distance, passing all side roads along the way. In the canyon, the road eventually bends to the left and runs south to a fork (Site 1123). Stay left, and quickly left again, to climb a very steep hill. This hill is extremely steep and marginally 4WD due solely to the steep grade; stay away if the road is muddy.

Atop the steep hill, the road winds up a shallow canyon, generally trending south. About 1 mile past the top of the hill, stay right at a fork (left to a telecom tower) and drive south across a broad mountain valley.

Shooting Gallery Access Road
Canyon Road (view W)

At the far end of the broad mountain valley, the road climbs another very steep hill as it cuts up and across a steep hillside. As on the first steep hill, the second hill is extremely steep and marginally 4WD due solely to the steep grade; stay away if the road is muddy.

Atop the second steep hill, the road winds gradually down into another valley. About 250 yards past the crest of the ridgetop, Curtis Canyon Road reaches Shooting Gallery Road (Site 1124; 8.6 miles out), on the right.

Curtis Canyon Road continues south, climbing steeply at times up the canyon. The road finally reaches a saddle, and from there the road is entirely gentle as it runs down into Badger Valley.

At a T-intersection (Site 1829), Curtis Canyon Road turns left, then bends right to resume the southward journey. In the south end of Badger Valley, Curtis Canyon Road merges with Badger Valley Road (Site 1142), coming in from the right. Badger Valley Road provides access to many places, but following it southeast, then north, and finally east leads back to Highway 93.

Shooting Gallery Access Road
Canyon Road beyond the edge of town (view W)
Shooting Gallery Access Road
Canyon Road (view W)
Shooting Gallery Access Road
Canyon Road (view W)
Shooting Gallery Access Road
Curtis Canyon Road approaching the canyons (view W)
Shooting Gallery Access Road
Curtis Canyon Road heading into the canyons (view W)
Shooting Gallery Access Road
Curtis Canyon Road heading into the canyons (view W)
Shooting Gallery Access Road
Curtis Canyon Road stays left at fork (view W)
Shooting Gallery Access Road
Start of first steep hill (view E)
Shooting Gallery Access Road
First steep hill (view E)
Shooting Gallery Access Road
First steep hill (view E)
Shooting Gallery Access Road
First steep hill (view E)
Shooting Gallery Access Road
First steep hill (view N)
Shooting Gallery Access Road
First steep hill (view N)
Shooting Gallery Access Road
Not so steep hill (view SE)
Shooting Gallery Access Road
Road intersection; stay right (view SE)
Shooting Gallery Access Road
Atop first steep hill, starting across long valley (view S)
Shooting Gallery Access Road
Middle of the valley (view S)
Shooting Gallery Access Road
Far end of the valley (view S)
Shooting Gallery Access Road
Approaching the second steep hill (view S)
Shooting Gallery Access Road
Starting up second steep hill (view S)
Shooting Gallery Access Road
Second steep hill (view W)
Shooting Gallery Access Road
Second steep hill (view W)
Shooting Gallery Access Road
Approaching top of second steep hill (view W)
Shooting Gallery Access Road
Road descends at reasonable grade (view SW)
Shooting Gallery Access Road
Traversing gentle terrain (view SW)
Shooting Gallery Access Road
Approaching Shooting Gallery Road (view SW)
Shooting Gallery Access Road
Curtis Canyon Road at Shooting Gallery Road (view S)
Shooting Gallery Access Road
Curtis Canyon Road at Shooting Gallery Road (view S)
Shooting Gallery Access Road
Shooting Gallery Road (view W from Curtis Canyon Road)
Curtis Canyon Road
Curtis Canyon Road at T-intersection (view S)

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

Site Location UTM Easting UTM Northing Latitude (N) Longitude (W) Elevation (ft)
1121 Curtis Canyon Road at Richardville Road 661675 4140078 37.39522 115.17357 3,504
1123 Curtis Canyon Road at Fork 652505 4139271 37.38950 115.27729 4,637
1124 Curtis Canyon Road at Shooting Gallery Road 653112 4135485 37.35529 115.27121 5,297
1142 Curtis Canyon Road at Badger Valley Road 655797 4125173 37.26194 115.24308 4,898
1829 Curtis Canyon Road at Cut-over Road 655041 4130883 37.31351 115.25041 5,361

Happy Hiking! All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate.
copyright; Last updated 170715

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