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Old White River Narrows Road
Backroads Around Las Vegas, Basin and Range
White River Narrows Road
White River Narrows Road
Highway 318 approaching White River Narrows Road (view NE)

Overview

Old White River Narrows Road is a lightly maintained dirt road that normally is suitable for 2WD-HC vehicles, but can be washed out and muddy. The road starts along Highway 318 north of Hiko and runs northeast into the lower end of the White River Narrows and the White River Narrows Archaeological District where it dead-ends.

Shortly after leaving the pavement, Old White River Narrows Road forks. The main rock art sites are to the left, but the well-maintained road to the right leads through the surprisingly spectacular Valley of Faces and eastward to connect with ranch roads that can be followed north and back to Highway 318. This road can be sandy, so use caution in 2WD vehicles.

Link to Area Map or Road Map.

White River Narrows Road
Highway 318 approaching White River Narrows 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 maintained, there are occasional hazards such as errant rocks and holes in the roadway. The far end of the road can be a bit sandy, but it seems firm - use good judgment.

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.

White River Narrows Road
Highway 318 at White River Narrows Road (view NE)

Getting to the Road

Old White River Narrows Road is located in the southeast part of Basin and Range National Monument, about 2 hours (131 miles) northeast of Las Vegas driving directly, or about 25 minutes (23.8 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 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 23.8 miles to Old White River Narrows Road on the right. The intersection is marked only by a paved apron and a cattle guard.

White River Narrows Road
White River Narrows Road (view E)

The Road

From the pavement (Table 1, Site 1105), Old White River Narrows Road crosses a cattle guard and bends to the left then back to the right. At about 0.15 miles out, the road forks (Site 1106). Here, White River Narrows Road stays left onto the minor road while Valley of Faces Road Road, the better road, stays right.

Old White River Narrows Road runs up onto a berm, then turns off to the left at a fork (Site 1107) in another 0.1 miles. The road runs northeast to climb over a low ridge where the road can be a bit rocky. In a 2WD vehicle, be sure nobody has kicked up any big rocks. Past the low ridge, the road continues northeast into the canyon.

At about 0.6 miles out, a faint road (Site 1108) branches right. This road is a bit washed out, but returns to Valley of Faces Road.

In the canyon, at about 0.96 miles out, the road encounters the first archeological site. A trail right (sometimes a 2-track road) leads to a rock art site (Calendar Fence Site) on a big boulder against the canyon wall.

White River Narrows Road
Road crosses cattle guard and bends left (view E)

Continuing, the road bends left to run north through the canyon. The rock walls on the left are marked with historic names and a few petroglyphs.

At about 1.5 miles out, the road bends to the right to follow the canyon, but to the left, a trail (sometimes a 2-track road) leads to the second rock art site (Martian Home Site) on the far canyon wall.

The canyon bends to the right (1.5 miles out), then back to the left (1.9 miles out), and shortly the canyon opens and Highway 318 can be seen ahead on a berm (no, you can't get there from here). The road ends (Site 1111) at 2.16 miles out at a "No Vehicles" sign adjacent to a sign-in register. Park here; this is the trailhead for the Amphitheater Site, which is just ahead on the shady left wall.

White River Narrows Road
White River Narrows Road (view E)
White River Narrows Road
White River Narrows Road approaching fork (view E)
White River Narrows Road
White River Narrows Road stays left at fork (view E)
White River Narrows Road
White River Narrows Road stays left to climb over ridge (view NE)
White River Narrows Road
White River Narrows Road climbs over ridge (view NE)
White River Narrows Road
There are a few rocks where the road climbs over ridge (view NE)
White River Narrows Road
Descending past the ridge (view NE)
White River Narrows Road
Road crosses desert flats (view NE)
White River Narrows Road
Road approaches mouth of narrows (view NE)
White River Narrows Road
Road enters mouth of narrows (view NE)
Old White River Narrows Road
Approaching Calendar Fence site (view NE)
White River Narrows Road
Winding through narrows, road bends north (view N)
White River Narrows Road
Running through narrows (view N)
White River Narrows Road
Running through narrows (view N)
White River Narrows Road
Running through narrows (view N)
Old White River Narrows Road
Approaching fork to Martian Home site (view N)
Old White River Narrows Road
Little used fork to Martian Home site (view NW)
White River Narrows Road
Running through narrows (view NE)
White River Narrows Road
Running through narrows (view NE)
White River Narrows Road
Running through narrows (view N)
White River Narrows Road
Running through narrows (view N)
White River Narrows Road
Running through narrows (view N)
White River Narrows Road
Approaching trailhead (view NW)
White River Narrows Road
Trailhead Parking (view NW)
Old White River Narrows Road
Trailhead Parking (view NW)
White River Narrows Road
Trailhead (view NW towards Amphitheater Site)
White River Narrows Road
Trailhead lunch (view NE)
White River Narrows Road
Amphitheater Site, ahead on the shady wall (view W)

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
1105 Hwy 93 at Wt River Narrows Rd 37.81998 115.05729 4,471 0.00 0.00 Yes
1106 White River Narrows Rd Fork 1 37.81990 115.05482 4,440 0.15 0.15 Yes
1107 White River Narrows Rd Fork 2 37.81971 115.05328 4,440 0.08 0.23 Yes
1108 White River Narrows Rd Fork 3 37.82091 115.04633 4,509 0.40 0.63 Yes
1111 White River Narrows Rd End 37.83436 115.03857 4,561 1.54 2.17 Yes

Happy Hiking! All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate.
copyright; Last updated 170713

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