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Leviathan Cave Road and Trailhead
Backroads Around Las Vegas, Basin and Range National Monument
Leviathan Cave Access Road

Leviathan Cave Road (view W from Garden Valley West Road)

Overview

Leviathan Cave Road runs southwest 1.5 miles from Garden Valley West Road to the Leviathan Cave trailhead at the edge of the Worthington Mountains Wilderness Area.

This 2-track road normally is suitable for 2WD vehicles lower down, but it gets quite bumpy higher up, but 4WD normally is not needed.

For hikers planning to visit Leviathan Cave, this area is too remote to do it in a day, and there are three places along the road to camp: Lower Camp (0.4 miles out), Upper Camp (0.6 miles out), and Trailhead Camp (1.5 miles out).

Link to Area Map or Roads Map.


Leviathan Cave Road (view SW)

Watch Out

Other than the standard warnings about driving in the desert, ... this road is pretty safe, but be sure your vehicle is in good working condition, carry plenty of water (radiator and drinking), and pack a lunch. Always drive carefully as there are occasional hazards such as potholes and washouts.

In 2WD vehicles, drivers probably should stop at the upper campsite area, 0.6 miles out, and certainly should not try to pass the wash at 0.9 miles out.

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.


Lowest Campsite (view SW)

Getting to the Road

Leviathan Cave Road is located in the west-central portion of Basin and Range National Monument, about 3 hours (145 miles) north of Las Vegas driving directly, or about 1-1/4 hours (39 miles) northwest of the intersection of Highway 93 and Highway 318.

From Las Vegas, drive north on Interstate-15 for 21 miles to Highway 93. Turn left onto Great Basin Highway (Hwy 93) and top off the gas tank if necessary. Drive north through the towns of Alamo (95 miles from Las Vegas) and Ash Springs (102 miles) to the intersection of Highway 93 and Highway 318 (107 miles out). Gasoline is available in Alamo and Ash Springs.

Drive north on Highway 318 to Mail Summit Road. Turn left onto Mail Summit Road and drive west 25.5 miles to a 4-way intersection with Garden Valley South Road. Turn left and drive southwest 3.4 miles to at T-intersection with Garden Valley West Road. Turn right and drive north 0.5 miles to Leviathan Cave Road, on the left.


Spur road left into another camp area (view W)

The Road

From Garden Valley West Road, Leviathan Cave Road runs southwest and up the bajada. Initially, the 2-track road is fairly good, and the sagebrush growing on the hump are fairly short.

Running uphill, the road passes Lower Campsite (0.4 miles out) with parking for 2 vehicles on the left. Continuing uphill, the road passes a short side road to the left that serves as Upper Campsite with parking for a few more vehicles.

Beyond Upper Campsite, the road becomes more rocky and bumpy, but still is suitable for 2WD-HC vehicles. The road drops into and crosses a wash (0.9 miles out) and climbs rather steeply out the other side.

Climbing somewhat steeply and rounding tight turns hemmed in by trees and shrubs, the road eventually arrives at the Leviathan Cave Trailhead, 1.5 miles out, with parking for a several vehicles and tents. The route to Leviathan Cave starts behind signs straight off the end of the road.


Campsite (view SW)

Leviathan Cave Road (view SW)

Leviathan Cave Road (view SW)

Last parking before dipping into wash (view W)

Road dips into wash (view W)

Following up the wash (view W)

Leviathan Cave Road (view W)

Climbing somewhat steeply (view W)

Entering the trailhead camp area

Campsite on the left (view S)

End of the road by trailhead sign (view W)

Trailhead parking (view W)

Leviathan Cave Trailhead and Camping Area


Leviathan Cave Trailhead parking (view SW)

Leviathan Cave Trailhead sign (view W)

Leviathan Cave Trailhead sign (view W)
Leviathan Cave Access Road
Leviathan Cave sign-in register (view W)
Leviathan Cave Access Road
Leviathan Cave sign-in register (view W)
Leviathan Cave Access Road
Leviathan Cave sign-in register (view W)

Wilderness area survey marker

Wilderness area survey marker

On trail, Wilderness area boundary sign
Leviathan Cave Access Road
On trail, Wilderness area boundary sign

The trail is faint, but look carefully and follow along (view W)

The trail is faint, but look carefully and follow along (view W)

Grand scenery up Garden Valley (view N)

Returning to the trailhead (view NE)
Leviathan Cave Access Road
Leviathan Cave Trailhead camping (view SE)
Leviathan Cave Access Road
Trailhead camping
Leviathan Cave Access Road Leviathan Cave Access Road
Leviathan Cave Access Road Leviathan Cave Access Road
Leviathan Cave Access Road
Sunrise on the high peaks -- golden colors
Leviathan Cave Access Road
Fifteen minutes past sunrise on the high peaks -- normal colors

Descending down Leviathan Cave Road

Leviathan Cave Road
Leviathan Cave Road more to come

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) Verified
0886 Hwy 318 at Mail Summit Rd 658154 4168556 37.65240 115.20720 4,125 Yes
0887 Mail Summit Rd at Mail Summit 651286 4173890 37.70161 115.28391 5,686 Yes
0888 Mail Summit Rd at Coal Valley Rd 648526 4180753 37.76390 115.31380 5,208 Yes
0889 Mail Summit Rd W of Murphy Gap 637066 4183185 37.78760 115.44340 5,820 Yes
0891 Garden Valley Rd at Leviathan Rd 626763 4189867 37.84929 115.55920 5,787 Yes
0892 Leviathan Rd End 624615 4189188 37.84348 115.58373 6,349 Yes
1118 Leviathan Rd at Camp 625840 4189618 37.84718 115.56973 5,964 Yes
1552 Mail Summit Rd at Garden Valley South Rd 631866 4190452 37.85384 115.50111 5,946 Yes
1553 Garden Valley So. Rd at Garden Valley West Rd 626805 4189057 37.84199 115.55887 5,781 Yes

Happy Hiking! All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate.
copyright; Last updated 170711

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