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Garnet Valley Road
Backroads Around Las Vegas, Gold Butte National Monument
Garnet Valley Road
Scanlon Road
Scanlon Rd at Garnet Valley Road (view S)


Garnet Valley Road is located out at the far southwest end of Gold Butte National Monument, a side road off Scanlon Road. Little used, most of Garnet Valley Road is fairly smooth and without too many rocks, but the valley bottom is thickly vegetated with catclaw acacia that over-grow the road. Some of the catclaw branches are stout, and any vehicle that traverses this road will receive desert pin-striping sufficient to remind everyone of the adventure.

Garnet Valley Road might be passable in a 2WD-HC vehicle, but it is safer in a short-wheel-base 4WD vehicle because the road turns tightly, dips across the wash several times, and parts are a bit sandy.

From Scanlon Road, the road runs 4 miles to dead end at the head of Garnet Valley, passing three guzzlers, Ruby Spring (almost dry), and the Bonelli Peak Trailhead along the way.

Link to Garnet Valley Road Map.

Garnet Valley Road
Garnet Valley Road (view S from Scanlon Road)

Watch Out

Other than the standard warnings about driving in the desert, ... this is a fairly safe road without unusual hazards, but vehicles will receive a good dose of desert pin-striping. Keep hands, arms, and clothing inside the vehicle or understand the meaning of the other name for catclaw acacia: wait-a-minute bush.

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. Cell phones don't work here. Consider signalling the tourist helicopters that traverse the area coming and going from the Grand Canyon.

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.

Garnet Valley Road
Guzzler on hillside across the valley (view SW)

Getting to Garnet Valley Road

Garnet Valley Road is located out in Gold Butte National Monument at the northeast end of Lake Mead, about 5 hours northeast of Las Vegas.

From Las Vegas, drive out Gold Butte Road 21 miles to Whitney Pocket at the end of the pavement. Continue south on the unpaved Gold Butte Road 20 miles to Gold Butte Townsite.

From the townsite, the main road continues southwest as Scanlon Road. Drive south on Scanlon Road 9.8 miles to Garnet Valley Road, on the right.

Garnet Valley RoadGarnet Valley Road (view S)

The Road

From Scanlon Road (Site 1725), Garnet Valley Road quickly passes the first of three quail guzzlers (0.2 miles out), this one on the hillside across the valley to the right. At about 0.7 miles out, the road winds up the wash through a narrow spot in the canyon, then emerges into Garnet Valley.

The road remains narrow, winding among rocks and catclaw acacia bushes, and eventually reaches an obscure fork (Site 1726) where the canyon splits. The more obvious Ruby Spring Road stays left and runs southeast up a side canyon to dead-end at Ruby Spring. Ruby Spring produces little water, but there is enough to attract bees, birds, feral burros, and even cows early in the year.

Garnet Valley Road
Washed out section along Garnet Valley Road (view S)

At the obscure fork (Site 1726), Garnet Valley Road turns hard to the right and backtracks down the wash a few yards, then quickly bends back hard to the left and continues up Garnet Valley.

At about 1.4 miles out, Garnet Valley Road passes below a second guzzler on the hillside to the left. For hikers intending to climb Bonelli Peak, park here at a wide spot in the road (Site 1727) that serves as parking for guzzler maintenance. Park here; this is the trailhead.

I've not driven past the trailhead, but continuing, the road follows the bottom of Garnet Valley, becoming more and more obscure. At 2.8 miles out, the road passes the third guzzler, and at 3.8 miles out, the road ends at a spring. Animal trails visible on aerial photos suggest water is present.

Garnet Valley Road
Entering the narrow section (view W)
Garnet Valley Road
Lots of catclaw acacia along the road (view W)
Garnet Valley Road
Tight turn with overhanging catclaw acacia (view W)
Garnet Valley Road
Overhanging catclaw acacia (view SW)
Garnet Valley Road
Obscure fork in the road (view S)
Garnet Valley Road
Continuing up the main Garnet Valley (view SW)
Garnet Valley Road
Obscure road (view SW)
Garnet Valley Road
Second guzzler (on the left; view SE)
Garnet Valley Road
Vehicle parked at Bonelli Peak Trailhead (view W)
Garnet Valley Road
Vehicle parked along road at Bonelli Peak Trailhead (view SW)
Returning down Garnet Valley Road
Garnet Valley Road Garnet Valley Road
Garnet Valley Road Garnet Valley Road
Garnet Valley Road Garnet Valley Road

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
0131 Scanlon Rd at Garnet Valley Road 747500 4008078 36.18770 114.24774 2,978 Yes
0132 Garnet Valley Rd at Ruby Spring Road 747671 4006420 36.17273 114.24637 3,236 Yes
0133 Garnet Valley Rd at Bonelli Trailhead 747652 4006248 36.17118 114.24663 3,268 Yes

Happy Hiking! All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate.
copyright; Last updated 150822

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