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Lime Kiln Canyon Road
Hiking Around Las Vegas, Gold Butte National Monument
Lime Kiln Canyon Road
Lime Kiln Canyon Road
White Rock Rd at Scenic Rd (left) and Lime Kiln Canyon Rd (right)

Overview

Lime Kiln Canyon Road is a 4WD adventure that runs southeast from Mesquite, crosses the Virgin Range, and drops into Grand Canyon - Parashant National Monument. The road is considered to be a graded road, which is true until the next storm or the winter snows, but the road runs over bedrock in places where a grader is not the necessary equipment. Even so, the worst of the road is high in the mountains, and the lower reaches usually are suitable for 2WD, medium-clearance vehicles.

This road can be used as part of a loop circumnavigating Virgin Peak. Starting in Mesquite, drivers can head southeast into Arizona, then loop back over Whitney Pass and return through Gold Butte National Monument to Mesquite. Otherwise, drivers can just continue south into the wilds of the Great-Back-of-Beyond.

Link to map.

Lime Kiln Canyon Road

Watch Out

Other than the standard warnings about driving in the desert, ... this road is narrow, steep, and rocky such that that 4WD is always useful and sometime required, but it should be safe. Drive slowly on blind curves and over blind hilltops.

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 lower parts of the 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.

Lime Kiln Canyon Road
Directional sign just past end of pavement (view SE)

Getting to the Road

Lime Kiln Canyon Road is located about 1-1/2 hours east of Las Vegas, just southeast of the town of Mesquite.

From Las Vegas, drive out Interstate-15 to Mesquite. Take Exit 120 onto Falcon Ridge Pkwy/W Mesquite Blvd, drive straight through the round-about, and continue 0.8 miles to a traffic light at Riverside Road. Turn right onto Riverside and drive south 1.1 miles, just across the Virgin River, to White Rock Road, on the left.

Turn left onto White Rock Road and drive east, then southeast for 1.1 miles to where the pavement curves left to become Scenic Road. Here, at the bend, Lime Kiln Canyon Road continues straight southeast onto the dirt. A directional sign on the right indicates that Lime Kiln Canyon lies 7 miles ahead.

Lime Kiln Canyon Road
Lime Kiln Canyon Rd approaching water facility buildings (view SE)

The Road

From White Rock Road at Scenic Road (Table 1, Site 1861), Lime Kiln Canyon Road runs southeast as a graded, dirt road. In this area, the road can be washboarded, but usually is well maintained.

At about 0.5 miles out, the road passes a water district facility, which is the last of the buildings and the last cell tower along the road. Continuing, the road traverses rolling country as it gently climbs the bajada, and there are a couple of traditional campsites on the right.

At about 2.1 miles out, Lime Kiln Canyon Road crosses a cattle guard and forks (Site 1862). Lime Kiln Canyon Road continues straight (left) while Cabin Canyon Road forks to the right.

Lime Kiln Canyon Road runs more-or-less straight, punctuated by slight bends to the right, then the left, and back right again, consistently trending to the southeast.

Lime Kiln Canyon Road
Lime Kiln Canyon Road at water facility buildings (view SE)

At about 6.0 miles out, Lime Kiln Canyon Road passes a working corral with wet cattle tanks on the right. In this area, watch for cows darting across the road (the other side of the road usually is the safe place), and be sure to watch for birds coming in for water.

At about 7.3 miles out, Lime Kiln Canyon Road begins to wind into the mountains, and at 7.8 miles out, crosses Lime Kiln Wash for the first time. The road climbs onto the east side of the canyon, then drops back into the bottom and generally follows the bottom of the canyon the rest of the way.

The road passes numerous little side roads and plenty of places to pull off and camp. At about 9.8 miles out, the road passes several campsites on the left used by rock climbers tackling the towering limestone faces to the left.

Continuing, the road crosses the wash to the east side, then begins to climb into a side canyon before bending hard to the left and climbing into two sharp switchbacks. The road descends back into the canyon bottom and continues climbing to the south.

Lime Kiln Canyon Road
Lime Kiln Canyon Road (view SE)

At about 11.2 miles out, the road crosses a cattle guard, then runs up into a narrow gorge where the road is pinched between towering cliffs. This is a bad spot for washouts, and just beyond, the road cuts up to the right and climbs a steep section with boulders embedded in the roadway.

Climbing rather steeply across rocky terrain, the road climbs into an area of red sandstone, then winds to the left traversing steep hillsides. The red soils hint at the top of the pass, to which the road arrives at 12.0 miles out. The pass (Site 1863) is marked only with a Grand Canyon - Parashant National Monument boundary sign.

The road descends south into the monument. Shortly beyond the pass, a wide spot on the left serves as a place to stop and gaze upon the scenery or to turn around and head back to Mesquite.

Lime Kiln Canyon Road
Lime Kiln Canyon Road (view SE)
Lime Kiln Canyon Road
Lime Kiln Canyon Road at cattle guard and intersection (view SE)
Lime Kiln Canyon Road
Fork in the road: Lime Kiln Canyon continues straight (view SE)
Lime Kiln Canyon Road
Lime Kiln Canyon Road (view SE)
Lime Kiln Canyon Road
Lime Kiln Canyon Road at Arizona state line (view SE)
Lime Kiln Canyon Road
Arizona state line sign (view SE)
Lime Kiln Canyon Road
Caution signs (view SE)
Lime Kiln Canyon Road
Lime Kiln Canyon Road (view SE)
Lime Kiln Canyon Road
Lime Kiln Canyon Road at cattle pens (view SE)
Lime Kiln Canyon Road
Cattle tank with water - watch for birds (view SW)
Lime Kiln Canyon Road
Lime Kiln Canyon Road approaching the mountains (view SE)
Lime Kiln Canyon Road
Caution sign: curves and mountain grades (view SE)
Lime Kiln Canyon Road
Lime Kiln Canyon Road approaching the mountains (view SE)
Lime Kiln Canyon Road
Lime Kiln Canyon Road starting into the mountains (view SE)
Lime Kiln Canyon Road
Campsite (view S)
Lime Kiln Canyon Road
Lime Kiln Canyon Road winding into the mountains (view S)
Lime Kiln Canyon Road
Lime Kiln Canyon Road (view S)
Lime Kiln Canyon Road
Lime Kiln Canyon Road at rock climber campsites (view S)
Lime Kiln Canyon Road
Lime Kiln Canyon Road getting steeper (view SW)
Lime Kiln Canyon Road
Lime Kiln Canyon Road at blind curve on hill (view W)
Lime Kiln Canyon Road
Lime Kiln Canyon Road (view S)
Lime Kiln Canyon Road
Crest of the mountain range comes into view (view S)
Lime Kiln Canyon Road
Approaching cattle guard and narrow rocky gap (view S)
Lime Kiln Canyon Road
Cattle guard before narrow rocky gap (view S)
Lime Kiln Canyon Road
Narrow rocky gap where road can be washed out (view S)
Lime Kiln Canyon Road
Passing narrow rocky gap, road gets steep with boulders (view S)
Lime Kiln Canyon Road
One of several large rocks in the road (hidden in shadow)
Lime Kiln Canyon Road
Steep, narrow, and rocky road (view S)
Lime Kiln Canyon Road
Steep, narrow, and rocky road (view SW)
Lime Kiln Canyon Road
Steep, but not so narrow and rocky road (view S)
Lime Kiln Canyon Road
Winding across red sandstone rocks (view S)
Lime Kiln Canyon Road
Steep road on red sandstone rocks (view SE)
Lime Kiln Canyon Road
Steep road on red sandstone rocks (view S)
Lime Kiln Canyon Road
Rocky section on red sandstone rocks (view SE)
Lime Kiln Canyon Road
A bit of easier road (view S)
Lime Kiln Canyon Road
Approaching Lime Kiln Pass (view S)
Lime Kiln Canyon Road
Grand Canyon-Parashant boundary sign atop Lime Kiln Pass (view S)
Lime Kiln Canyon Road
Grand Canyon-Parashant Nat. Mon. boundary sign (view S)
Lime Kiln Canyon Road
Just over the pass, a place to park or turn around (view SE)
Lime Kiln Canyon Road
The Great-Back-of-Beyond lies just over the ridge (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)
1771 Highway 170 at Lime Kiln Canyon Road 759391 4075095 36.78800 114.09319 1,631
1861 White Rock Road at Lime Kiln & Scenic Roads 760332 4074038 36.77823 114.08302 1,706
1862 Lime Kiln Road at Cabin Canyon Road 762378 4071428 36.75416 114.06101 2,118
1863 Lime Kiln Road at Parashant Boundary 767250 4058682 36.63806 114.01096 4,891

Happy Hiking! All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate.
copyright; Last updated 171224

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