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Seaman Wash Road -- Northbound
Backroads Around Las Vegas, Basin and Range National Monument
Seaman Wash Road
Seaman Wash Road
Highway 318, approaching Seaman Wash Road (view NE)

Overview

Seaman Wash Road is a well maintained dirt road that normally is suitable for 2WD vehicles. The road starts along Highway 318 north of Hiko and runs northwest through a narrow canyon, up over a low pass, down across Coal Valley, and ends at an intersection with Timber Pass Road at a gap in the Golden Gate Range called Water Gap.

Seaman Wash Road is the shortest way to Heizer's City, the community of Cherry Creek in the Quinn Canyon Range, and it provides sightseers spectacular scenery, ranchers access to their herds, and residents a way home.

Link to Area Map or Road Map

Link to photos of Seaman Wash Road -- Southbound (select photos of returning to the pavement)

Seaman Wash Road
Highway 318 at Seaman Wash Road (view NE)

Watch Out

Other than the standard warnings about driving 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.

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.

Seaman Wash Road
Seaman Wash Road (view NW from Highway 318)

Getting to the Road

Seaman Wash Road is located in the east-central part of Basin and Range National Monument, about 2 hours (124 miles) northeast of Las Vegas driving directly, or about 15 minutes (17.4 miles) north 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 past 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). 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. The intersection is marked by a stop sign with a solar powered flashing red light, but no road signs.

Seaman Wash Road
Seaman Wash Rd is paved a few yards to a cattle guard (view NW)

The Road

From the pavement (Table 1, Site 1548), Seaman Wash Road runs west-northwest as it gently climbs across desert flats covered with low shrubs towards the Seaman Range in the distance.

In about 0.6 miles, the road begins to run up Seaman Wash where low hills hem in the road can concentrate the view in the broad wash.

The road continues along the wash, and at about 3 miles out, high rock walls begin to pinch the road, and in this area the road goes into Basin and Range.

At about 4 miles out, the road enters the sinuous Seaman Narrows, a narrow section that lasts for about 0.3 miles. The road here is good, so be careful to keep the speed down in case someone is careening down the road -- don't meet on a blind corner.

Beyond Seaman Narrows, the road winds up the canyon, but the walls lay back providing fleeting views of the surrounding area.

Seaman Wash Road
Approaching Basin and Range National Monument sign (view NW)

At about 7.7 miles out, the road runs up a low canyon and crosses onto a broad ridge that seems like the highpoint. This spot provides nice views, but the road runs across rolling country for another mile before reaching the pass at the top of the Seaman Range.

At about 8.4 miles out, still in the Seaman Range, the road finally crosses a broad saddle into Coal Valley and straightens to head northwest into the endless distance. To this point, all side roads clearly appear to be side roads. However, at 8.5 miles out (just past the saddle), the road forks. Here, Seaman Wash Road stays right.

At this point, the road begins a long, gradual descent into Coal Valley, a grand, wide-open valley bordered by mountain ranges. The road runs more or less straight north-northwest and smooth, but watch for errant boulders on the road. Coal Valley runs more directly north-south, so the road gradually crosses from the east side to the west.

Seaman Wash Road
Basin and Range National Monument sign (view NW)

At about 15.5 miles out, the road crosses a cattle guard (Site 1589) where fencing stretches east and west as far as the eye can see. This is a good place to stop, get out of the car, stretch the legs, and soak in the full glory of a wide-open basin and range.

A bit beyond the cattle guard, the road bends a bit to the left (more northwest) and continues to run straight for another 3 miles. Here, near Coal Valley Reservoir and Sheep Reservoir, is a good place to look for cows and other animals coming in for water. Beyond the reservoirs, the road bends back to the north and now runs straight towards Water Gap, a gap in the Golden Gate Range.

The road slowly gets closer and closer to the Golden Gate Range. When the dark gray cliffs of the Golden Gate Range are almost close enough to touch, Coal Valley West Road (Site 1558) merges from the left, and shortly Seaman Wash Road rounds a corner below a rocky knob and turns west (left) into Water Gap (25.5 miles out).

Seaman Wash Road
Looking south towards Hiko (view S)

Passing through Water Gap, Seaman Wash Road runs west for another mile to a fork (Site 1559). The road to the left runs south into Garden Valley, while Seaman Wash Road stays right, crosses a bridge over Cherry Creek Wash, and ends at a triangular intersection (26.8 miles out; Site 1560) with Timber Mountain Pass Road to the right and Cherry Creek Road to the left.

Continue to the left to the Heizer Ranch and Cherry Creek, or return to Highway 318 via Timber Mountain Pass Road.

Seaman Wash Road
Seaman Wash Rd at cross road (view W)
Seaman Wash Road
First blind curve -- watch for oncoming traffic (view NW)
Seaman Wash Road
Approaching a borrow pit (view W)
Seaman Wash Road
Borrow pit campsite (view W)
Seaman Wash Road
Seaman Wash Road (view N toward Seaman Range peaks)
Seaman Wash Road
Seaman Wash Valley (view NW)
Seaman Wash Road
Seaman Wash begins to narrow (view NW)
Seaman Wash Road
Seaman Wash Road Seaman Wash Road
Seaman Narrows (view NW)
Seaman Wash Road
Seaman Narrows (view NW)
Seaman Wash Road
Seaman Wash Road Seaman Wash Road
Beyond Seaman Narrows (view W)
Seaman Wash Road
Winding into the hills (view NW)
Seaman Wash Road
Seaman Wash Road Seaman Wash Road
Winding through the hills (view NW)
Seaman Wash Road
Seaman Wash Rd at side road right (view NW)
Seaman Wash Road
Side road (view N)
Seaman Wash Road
Continuing up Seaman Wash (view W)
Seaman Wash Road
Seaman Wash Road Seaman Wash Road
Seaman Wash Road Seaman Wash Road
Seaman Wash Road Seaman Wash Road
Rocky palisades (view W)
Seaman Wash Road
One last bit of road pinched between rocky outcrops (view N)
Seaman Wash Road
Approaching crest of Seaman Range (view NW)
Seaman Wash Road
Top of the Seaman Range, but not quite the pass (view W)
Seaman Wash Road
Seaman Wash Rd at side road left (view NW)
Seaman Wash Road
Side road (view W)
Seaman Wash Road
First view down into Coal Valley (view NW)
Seaman Wash Road
Seaman Range during a snow storm (view E)
Seaman Wash Road
Seaman Wash Rd at minor side road right (view NW)
Seaman Wash Road
Minor side road (view N)
Seaman Wash Road
Seaman Wash Road in Coal Valley (view NW)
Seaman Wash Road
Blowing dust on Coal Valley Playa (view NW)
Seaman Wash Road
Blowing dust on Coal Valley Playa (view NW)
Seaman Wash Road
Seaman Wash Rd at side road left (view NW)
Seaman Wash Road
Side road (view W)
Seaman Wash Road
Visitors experiencing the grand, wide open spaces (view NW)
Seaman Wash Road
Seaman Range (view E from Seaman Wash Road)
Seaman Wash Road
Seaman Wash Rd in bottom of Coal Valley (spring; view NW)
Seaman Wash Road
Seaman Wash Rd in bottom of Coal Valley (summer; view NW)
Seaman Wash Road
Seaman Wash Rd at cross road (view NW)
Seaman Wash Road
Side road left to cattle trough (view W)
Seaman Wash Road
Side road right to water tank (view E)
Seaman Wash Road
Seaman Wash Rd in bottom of Coal Valley (view NW)
Seaman Wash Road
Approaching cattle guard and fenceline (view NW)
Seaman Wash Road
Cattle guard and fenceline (view NW)
Seaman Wash Road
Endless fenceline to the Golden Gate Range (view NW)
Seaman Wash Road
Endless fenceline to the Seaman Range (view NE)
Seaman Wash Road
Endless fenceline to the Seaman Range (view NE)
Seaman Wash Road
Seaman Wash Rd at major side road right (view NW)
Seaman Wash Road
Seaman Wash Rd in bottom of Coal Valley (view NW)
Seaman Wash Road
Seaman Wash Rd at side road right (view NW)
Seaman Wash Road
Approaching cattle watering area (view NW)
Seaman Wash Road
Fencing along cattle watering area (view NW)
Seaman Wash Road
Road hazards -- especially at night (view NW)
Seaman Wash Road
Lots of cows (view E)
Seaman Wash Road
Water catch-basin (view NE)
Seaman Wash Road
What are you looking at?
Seaman Wash Road Seaman Wash Road
This road hazard could easily slice open a tire (view NW)
Seaman Wash Road
Seaman Wash Rd in bottom of Coal Valley (view NW)
Seaman Wash Road
Golden Gate Range far across Coal Valley (view W)
Seaman Wash RoadSeaman Wash Road can be seen reaching the Golden Gate Range Seaman Wash Road
Golden Gate Range far across Coal Valley (view W)
Seaman Wash Road
Seaman Wash Rd approaching the Golden Gate Range (view NW)
Seaman Wash Road
Coal Valley West Rd merges into Seaman Wash Rd (view NW)
Seaman Wash Road
A few more cows (view N)
Seaman Wash Road
Seaman Wash Rd approaching Water Gap (view NW)
Seaman Wash Road
Seaman Wash Rd approaching shortcut road right (view NW)
Seaman Wash Road
Shortcut road to Timber Pass Road (view N)
Seaman Wash Road
Rounding the toe of the Golden Gate Range (view NW)
Seaman Wash Road
Limestone buttress at entrance to water gap (view SW)
Seaman Wash Road
Cave in limestone buttress (view S)
Seaman Wash Road
Entering Water Gap (view W)
Seaman Wash Road
Seaman Wash Rd in Water Gap (view W)
Seaman Wash Road
Seaman Wash Rd in Water Gap (view W)
Seaman Wash Road
Cows in Water Gap (view W)
Seaman Wash Road
Cattle guard and fencing in Water Gap (view W)
Seaman Wash Road
Seaman Wash Rd at Garden Valley Rd (view NW)
Seaman Wash Road
Approaching triangle intersection with Timber Pass Rd (view NW)
Seaman Wash Road
Seaman Rd ends at Timber Pass and Cherry Creek roads (view NW)
Seaman Wash Road
Sign along Timber Pass Road (view E)
Seaman Wash Road
Sign along Timber Pass Road (view W)
More to come
More to come ...

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

Wpt. Location Latitude (N) Longitude (W) Elevation (ft) Point-to-Point Distance (mi) Cumulative Distance (mi) Verified
1548 Hwy 318 at Seaman Wash Rd 37.74011 115.11826 4,236 0.00 00.0 Yes
1589 Seaman Wash Rd @ Cattle Guard 37.91878 115.25844 4,947 15.50 15.5 Yes
1558 Seaman Rd at Coal Valley W Rd 38.03557 115.34776 5,020 9.60 25.1 Yes
1559 Seaman Rd at Garden Valley Rd 38.03960 115.36902 5,040 1.40 26.5 Yes
1560 Seaman Rd at Cherry Creek Rd 38.04227 115.37550 5,069 0.10 26.6 Yes

Happy Hiking! All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate.
copyright; Last updated 170705

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