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Arizona Road - Eastbound
Hiking Around Las Vegas, Gold Butte National Monument
Arizona Road
Arizona Road
End of the pavement at Whitney Pocket (view S)

Overview

The Arizona Road (also called Ney Ranch Road and Whitney Pass Road) runs east from Whitney Pocket into Arizona, climbing some 2,000 feet in 4.3 miles to Whitney Pass. Along the way, the road passes through a number of vegetation zones where different species of desert and montane species can be found. The road normally is suitable for sedans, but it is steep and narrow, and it gets a bit washboarded.

From Whitney Pass, the road descends towards Arizona and ends at a fork in the road at 5.1 miles out. From the fork, drivers can turn left and take the "scenic" road back to Mesquite, or turn right and continue into Arizona and the wilds of Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument. For information on driving Arizona Road westbound, see Arizona Road -- Westbound.

This road provides access to the Whitney Pocket camp area, hikes to Virgin Peak and Billy Goat Peak, and Grand Canyon - Parashant National Monument over in Arizona.

Link to map.

Arizona Road
Gold Butte Road at Arizona Road directional sign (view S)

Watch Out

Other than the standard warnings about driving in the desert, ... this road is narrow, winding, and fairly steep, but there are no unusual hazards. Do be extra careful on blind curves: there are no vehicles out here, so everyone assumes nobody will be coming around the curve.

This is a wild and remote area without services of any kind (no restrooms, no water, no gas, no food). Bring what you need to survive. Be prepared and be self-reliant. Someone will find you eventually if you stay on a main road, but be prepared to survive alone for a day or two. Cell phones only work along parts of the paved road.

While visiting the area, please respect the land and the other people out there, and try to Leave No Trace of your passage. Also, this is a remote area, so be sure to bring the 10 Essentials.

Arizona Road
Gold Butte Road at Arizona Road (view S)

Getting to Arizona Road

The Arizona Road is located about 2 hours east of Las Vegas, in the wild, remote, and scenic Gold Butte region south of the town of Mesquite.

From Las Vegas, drive out to Gold Butte National Monument. Drive south on the paved Gold Butte Road for 21 miles to Whitney Pocket. The unpaved Gold Butte Road continues south, and in only 100 yards, Arizona Road forks off to the left heading east and uphill alongside red-and-white sandstone crags.

Arizona Road
Arizona Road (view E from near Gold Butte Road)

The Road

From the unpaved Gold Butte Road (Table 1, Site 0462), Arizona Road starts running east along the south edge of the Whitney Pocket crags. Several camping areas are scattered along these crags, and there is an historic dam (Site 1658) and an historic storage shed built by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) during the Great Depression in the 1930s in this area.

After about 0.4 miles, the road passes beyond Whitney Pocket and begins climbing the bajada, passing additional camp areas along the way. At about 2.1 miles out, the road passes Quail Point at a narrow gap between rocky ridges. Shortly, Arizona Road pass Virgin Peak Road (Site 0937), on the left. Virgin Peak Road runs north to the Virgin Peak trailhead.

Beyond Virgin Peak Road, Arizona Road begins climbing into the mountains in earnest. At about 3.4 miles out, the road bends right at the point where Cabin Spring Road (Site 1660) forks to the left. The cabin is long gone, the spring went dry years ago, and the road is a bit rough.

Arizona Road
Arizona Road at Whitney Pocket (view E)

Beyond Cabin Spring Road, Arizona Road winds up into the mountains, and before long, Singleleaf Pinyon Pine dot the hillsides, evidence of how increasing altitude changes the environment in the desert. At about 4.2 miles out, the road passes a flat area on the right with an historic, circular cement watering trough. This area once was wet enough to support cattle, but now it makes a nice campsite.

Shortly after the cement trough, the road reaches the highpoint at Whitney Pass (Site 0688). This is a nice place to stop and enjoy the views in both directions: west across Nevada and east into Arizona. A forest fire some years ago killed off most of the trees, but it also opened up the view.

Beyond Whitney Pass, Arizona Road descends rapidly. At 4.6 miles out, the road passes Billy Goat Peak Road (Site 0969), on the right. This road runs south to the Billy Goat Peak trailhead.

Beyond Billy Goat Peak Road, Arizona Road continues down to a major fork (Site 1659) that marks the end of Arizona Road. To the left, Wolf Hole Valley Road runs north all the way to Mesquite, while to the right (straight) Grand Wash Bay Road runs south almost all the way to the Colorado River.

Arizona Road
Arizona Road at Whitney Pocket (view NE)
Arizona Road
AZ Rd approaching CCC Dam trailhead parking (view SE)
Arizona Road
AZ Rd at CCC Dam trailhead parking (view SE)
Arizona Road
Arizona Road at Whitney Pocket Campsite #5 access road (view E)
Arizona Road
Arizona Road approaching Whitney Pocket Campsite #6 (view NE)
Arizona Road
Arizona Road at WP Campsite #6 (view NE)
Arizona Road
Arizona Road at WP Campsite #7 access road (view NE)
Arizona Road
WP Campsite #7 access road (view N from Arizona Road)
Arizona Road
Arizona Road heading up the bajada (view E)
Arizona Road
Arizona Road at WP Campsite #8 access road (view E)
Arizona RoadWP Campsite #8 access road (view N from Arizona Road) Arizona Road
Arizona Road approaching Toe-of-the-Ridge Campsite (view NE)
Arizona Road
Toe-of-the-Ridge Campsite, west access (view N from AZ Road)
Arizona Road
Toe-of-the-Ridge Campsite, east access (view N from AZ Road)
Arizona Road
Arizona Road approaching side road (view NE)
Arizona Road
Arizona Road at dead-end side road (view N)
Arizona Road
Arizona Road approaching Quail Point Road (view NE)
Arizona Road
Quail Point Road (view SE from Arizona Road)
Arizona Road
Arizona Road passing through Quail Point Gap (view N)
Arizona Road
Arizona Road approaching Virgin Peak Road (view NE)
Arizona Road
Arizona Road at Virgin Peak Road (view NE)
Arizona Road
Virgin Peak Road (view NW from Arizona Road)
Arizona Road
Arizona Road climbing into the mountains (view NE)
Arizona Road
Arizona Road climbing into the mountains (view NE)
Arizona Road
Arizona Road at Cabin Spring Road (view NE)
Arizona Road
Cabin Spring Road (view N from Arizona Road)
Arizona Road
Arizona Road climbing into the mountains (view SE)
Arizona Road
Climbing into the mountains (view SE)
Arizona Road
Arizona Road approaching Whitney Pass Campsite (view SE)
Arizona Road
Arizona Road at Whitney Pass Campsite access roads (view SE)
Arizona Road
Whitney Pass Campsite west access road (view S from AZ Road)
Arizona Road
Whitney Pass Campsite east access road (view SW from AZ Road)
Arizona Road
Cement watering trough (2002; view NW)
Arizona Road
Cement watering trough (2013; view NW)
Arizona Road
Climbing towards Whitney Pass (view E)
Arizona Road
Arizona Road approaching Whitney Pass (view SE)
Arizona Road
Arizona Road atop Whitney Pass (view SE)
Arizona Road
Descending towards Billy Goat Peak (view SE)
Arizona Road
Arizona Road with Grand Wash Cliffs in the distance (view SE)
Arizona Road
Arizona Road at Billy Goat Peak Road (view SE)
Arizona Road
Billy Goat Peak Road (view S from Arizona Road)
Arizona RoadArizona Road with Grand Wash Cliffs in the distance (view SE)
Arizona Road
Descending towards the Arizona State Line (view SE)
Arizona Road
End of Arizona Road at road intersection (view SE)
Arizona Road
Road sign at the end of Arizona Road (view SE)
Arizona Road
more to come ...

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

Wpt. Location Latitude (N) Longitude (W) Elevation (ft) Point-to-Point Distance (mi) Cumulative Distance (mi) Verified
0462 Gold Butte Rd at Arizona Road 36.52333 114.13919 3,013 0.00 0.00 Yes
1658 Arizona Road at CCC Dam Parking 36.52326 114.13490 3,069 0.27 0.27 Yes
0937 Arizona Rd at Virgin Peak Rd 36.53264 114.10125 3,856 2.10 2.37 Yes
1660 Arizona Rd at Cabin Spring Rd 36.53630 114.08361 4,460 1.05 3.42 Yes
0688 Arizona Rd at Whitney Pass 36.53137 114.06904 4,875 0.92 4.34 Yes
0969 Arizona Rd at Billy Goat Peak Rd 36.52908 114.06592 4,753 0.24 4.58 Yes
1659 Arizona Rd Ends at Pakoon Road 36.52592 114.05843 4,453 0.52 5.10 Yes

Happy Hiking! All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate.
copyright; Last updated 161002

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