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Cedar Basin Shortcut Road
Backroads Around Las Vegas, Gold Butte National Monument
Cedar Basin Shortcut Road
Scanlon Road at Cedar Basin Shortcut Road (view SW)


Cedar Basin Shortcut Road is a 0.9-mile two-track that connects Scanlon Road with Cedar Basin Road, providing a shortcut that is 1.1 miles shorter than following Scanlon Road all the way to Cedar Basin Road.

Cedar Basin Shortcut Road runs across open desert flats. The left side of the road (east) burned during the 2005 Tramp and Fork Fire, but firefighters were able to hold the fire along the road. Comparing the two sides of the road, it is interesting to see what little has grown back after a decade of recovery.

Cedar Basin Shortcut Road is passable in a 2WD-HC vehicle, as it runs at gentle grades except when dropping somewhat steeply into Quail Springs Wash to connect with Cedar Basin Road.

Link to road map or area overview map.

Cedar Basin Shortcut Road
Cedar Basin Shortcut Road (view S from Scanlon Road)

Watch Out

Other than the standard warnings about driving in the desert, ... this road is fairly safe with no unusual hazards.

This is wild and remote country 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. It is a big place and someone will find you eventually if you stay on a main road, but be prepared to survive alone for a day or two, or even longer on side roads. Consider signalling the tourist helicopters that traverse the area coming and going from the Grand Canyon. Cell phones might work near the north end of the road.

While out, 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.

Cedar Basin Shortcut Road
Burn area on the left (view S)

Getting to the Road

Cedar Basin Shortcut Road is located out in Gold Butte National Monument at the northeast end of Lake Mead, about 3 hours northeast of Las Vegas.

From Las Vegas, drive out the paved Gold Butte Road to Whitney Pocket, then continue south on the unpaved Gold Butte Road to Gold Butte Townsite. From there, Scanlon Road is the main road running southwest.

Continue on Scanlon Road for 1.0 miles to an unmarked side road that forks to the left: this is Cedar Basin Shortcut Road.

Cedar Basin Shortcut Road

The Road

From Scanlon Road (Site 1706), Cedar Basin Shortcut Road bends left to gently climb the open desert flats where the left side burned and the right side didn't.

The road climbs over a gentle rise, then begins a descent into Quail Springs Wash where the road is somewhat steeper and more rocky.

Cedar Basin Shortcut Road ends at a T-intersection with Cedar Basin Road (Site 1709).

Cedar Basin Shortcut Road
Near the highpoint on the road (view SW)
Cedar Basin Shortcut Road
Descending into Quail Springs Wash (view SW)
Cedar Basin Shortcut Road
Cedar Basin Shortcut Road at Cedar Basin Road (view S)
Cedar Basin Shortcut Road
Cedar Basin Road at Cedar Basin Shortcut Road (view SE)

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
1706 Scanlon Rd at Cedar Basin Shortcut Rd 750421 4017582 36.27254 114.21226 3,277 Yes
1709 Cedar Basin Rd at Cedar Basin Shortcut Rd 750740 4016442 36.26218 114.20908 3,701 Yes

Happy Hiking! All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate.
copyright; Last updated 151104

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