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Narrows Road North
Backroads Around Las Vegas, Gold Butte
Narrows Road North
Narrows Road North
Fisherman's Cove Road at Narrows Road North (view SW)

Overview

Narrows Road North is a 7.1-mile two-track that runs north-south between Fisherman's Cove Road to the north and Gold Butte Wash Road to the south. About half of Narrows Road North lies within the boundaries of Lake Mead NRA, but it starts and ends on BLM land.

Much of the road runs across a broad bajada with long views east to the mountains and west and south to Lake Mead. The road dips steeply to cross two major washes, but the last quarter-mile is the most interesting. Here, the very narrow road descends steeply across cliffs into Mud Wash, then runs downstream through water flowing from Red Bluff Spring. Gold Butte Wash Road branches off to the left, and Narrows Road North ends shortly at the top of Mud Wash Narrows, which is back inside Lake Mead NRA and is closed to vehicles.

This road provides access to no particular destination, but it is part of the Fisherman's Cove--Sand Wash--Mud Wash Loop that starts and ends at Whitney Pocket.

Link to road map.

Narrows Road North
Beginning of Narrows Road North (view E)

Watch Out

Other than the standard warnings about hiking in the desert, ... this road is fairly safe (except maybe the cliffs), but it runs into 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 main roads, but be prepared to survive alone for a day or more on side roads. Cell phones should work towards the middle of the road.

I drove my jeep down the three sets of cliffs using 4WD to improve control, but it probably wasn't necessary. Road conditions change; use your own good judgement.

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.

Narrows Road North
Designated road sign (NPS Road 114)

Getting to the Roadhead

Narrows Road North is located out in Gold Butte northeast of Lake Mead, about 2-1/4 hours northeast of Las Vegas.

From Las Vegas, drive out to Gold Butte. From Whitney Pocket, turn around and drive north on the paved Gold Butte Road for 1.5 miles (just past the last big red sandstone crag on the left) to Black Butte Road, an unmarked dirt road on the left.

Make a hard left turn onto Black Butte Road and drive southwest, passing Falling Man Trailhead, for 3.5 miles to Sand Wash Road, on the right.

Continue west on Sand Wash Road for 5.9 miles to where it ends at an intersection with Narrows Road North. This is the north end of Narrows Road North.

Narrows Road North
Across the wash, the road climbs gradually (view E)

The Road

From Fisherman's Cove Road (Table 1, Site 1762), Narrows Road North turns left and runs east to dip through a gravel wash. Across the wash, the road climbs gently, then bends right to climb somewhat steeply across the hillside. Approaching the top of the hillside, the road climbs more steeply across rocks, then hops over a step to gain the flat top of the "mesa."

Atop the mesa, the road runs southwest across open desert flats sparsely vegetated with creosote, white bursage, and little more. Much of this part of the road is fairly straight and smooth, although the road crosses some shallow washes.

Eventually, the road runs out to the far edge of the "mesa" and descends steeply into the first canyon. Running down the edge of the canyon, the road bends left, crosses the wash, and begins to climb steeply up the other side. Along this hillside, the road passes boundary signs and enters Lake Mead NRA.

Narrows Road North
The road climbs more steeply across the hillside (view S)

Still climbing steeply, the road makes a sharp, hairpin turn to the left and continues climbing steeply towards the top of the next "mesa." Just before reaching the top of the hill, another boundary sign marks the exit from Lake Mead NRA.

Now running southeast, the road dips through one deep wash as it heads for the other side of this "mesa." At the far side of the mesa, Narrows Road North drops steeply into Sand Wash to connect with the North Fork of Sand Wash Road (Site 1763).

Turning right, the road runs down the wash about 0.5 miles before turning sharply left (Site 1631) and climbing steeply out of the wash. The road climbs the cliffs out of the wash to an intersection with the South Fork of Sand Wash Road (Site 1632).

Narrows Road North
At the top of the hillside, there is a short step up (view S)

From Sand Wash Road (Site 1632), Narrows Road North continues south across the bajada.

For about 3.5 miles, the road runs southeast across the bajada with grand views east to the high peaks of northern Gold Butte and to the south and west towards the Overton Arm of Lake Mead and mountains beyond. The vegetation is Mojave Desert Scrub dominated by sparse creosote bushes.

At about 3.5 miles out, the road bends left around the edge of a towering cliff and becomes pinched between the wall above and the cliffs below. There is some historic fencing along the outside edge of the road, which provides some feeling of security, but it wouldn't stop a run-away vehicle. It would be difficult to back out from this area, so it might be worth getting out and walking the road to make sure it is passable.

Narrows Road North
Broad, flat bajada (view SW)

The road drops steeply into Mud Wash (Site 1633). In the wash, hikers can walk upstream, through a fence, into the Red Bluff Spring area. The BLM has been trying to restore the spring area, and the fence is intended to keep vehicles, cows, and feral burros out of the riparian area to let the vegetation recover. Unfortunately, thoughtless people keep cutting the fence. Drivers crush the vegetation, and livestock eats the rest, so the area isn't as nice as it could be for the plants and animals that live there. Tadpoles have a hard time with people who drive through their breeding pools too.

Continuing downstream, Narrows Road North passes Gold Butte Wash Road (Site 1634), which branches to the left. Narrows Road North continues downstream and ends at the top end of Mud Wash Narrows (Site 1635). This is the trailhead for hikes down the narrows.

Narrows Road North
More broad, flat bajada (view SW)
Narrows Road North
Road dips through a shallow wash (view SW)
Narrows Road North
More broad, flat, sparsely vegetated bajada (view SW)
Narrows Road North
Road begins to dip into the first deep wash (view SW)
Narrows Road North
The road is a bit steep, rocky, and tipped outward (view SW)
Narrows Road North
Below the slope, the road runs down towards the wash (view SW)
Narrows Road North
Running above the wash (view SW)
Narrows Road North
The road turns and dips across the wash (view SSW)
Narrows Road North
The wash flashflooded recently (view SSW)
Narrows Road North
Climbing steeply towards Lake Mead boundary signs (view SW)
Narrows Road North
Lake Mead boundary signs (view SW)
Narrows Road North
The road bends steeply left, then climbs towards the crest (view E)
Narrows Road North
Approaching the crest of the hill and Lake Mead boundary signs
Narrows Road North
Atop the next bajada flats (view SE)
Narrows Road North
Crossing a shallow, but steep-edge wash (view SE)
Narrows Road North
Stopping to survey the road into Sand Wash (view SE)
Narrows Road North
Trace of road into Sand Wash (view SE)
Narrows Road North
Trace of road down and out of Sand Wash (view SE)
Narrows Road North
Designated road sign in Sand Wash (N Fork Sand Wash Rd; view SW)
Narrows Road North
Road in Sand Wash (N Fork Sand Wash Rd; view SW)
Narrows Road North
Road exiting Sand Wash (N Fork Sand Wash Rd; view SW)
Narrows Road North
Side canyon out of Sand Wash (N Fork Sand Wash Rd; view SE)
Narrows Road North
Side canyon out of Sand Wash (N Fork Sand Wash Rd; view E)
Narrows Road North
Side canyon out of Sand Wash (N Fork Sand Wash Rd; view E)
Narrows Road North
Approaching top of Sand Wash hillside (view SW)
Narrows Road North
North Fork of Sand Wash Road at Narrows Road North (view S)
Narrows Road North
Narrows Road North sign (view S)
Narrows Road North
Narrows Road North sign (view S)
Narrows Road North Narrows Road North
Narrows Road North Narrows Road North
Narrows Road North Narrows Road North
Narrows Road North
Designated road sign (view SE)
Narrows Road North
Looking back at designated road sign (view NW; NPS Road 114)
Narrows Road North
Approaching post-and-cable fence (view SE)
Narrows Road North
Post-and-cable fence (view SE)
Narrows Road North
Washout near end of post-and-cable fence (view SE)
Narrows Road North
Another washout (view SE)
Narrows Road North Narrows Road North
Narrows Road North
Bending left into Mud Wash (view SE)
Narrows Road North
Dropping towards Mud Wash (view SE)
Narrows Road North
Lake Mead boundary sign (view SE)
Narrows Road North
Dropping towards Mud Wash (view SE)
Narrows Road North
Mud Wash (view SE)
Narrows Road NorthReally starting down into Mud Wash (view E)
Narrows Road North
Historic fencing along edge of the cliff (view E)
Narrows Road North
Historic fencing along edge of the cliff (view E)
Narrows Road North Narrows Road North
Narrows Road North
Descending steep, narrow road towards Mud Wash (view E)
Narrows Road North
Descending steep, narrow road towards Mud Wash (view E)
Narrows Road North
Approaching end of Narrows Road North (view E)
Narrows Road North
Too tight turn at end of Narrows Road North (view E)
Narrows Road North
Mud Wash (view W down Mud Wash; winter)
Narrows Road North
Mud Wash (view W towards Narrows Road North)
Gold Butte Wash Road
Mud Wash (view W down Mud Wash; spring)
Narrows Road North
Road runs in water from Red Bluff Spring (view W; winter)
Gold Butte Wash Road
Road runs down muddy wash (view W; spring)
Gold Butte Wash Road
Road runs in water from Red Bluff Spring (view W; spring)
Gold Butte Wash Road
Narrows Road North approaching Gold Butte Wash Road (view W)
Narrows Road North
End of Narrows Road North (view W)

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

Site Location UTM Easting UTM Northing Elevation (ft) Point-to-Point Distance (mi) Cumulative Distance (mi) Verified
1762 Fisherman's Cove Rd at Narrows Road North 744074 4045862 1897 0.00 0.00 GPS
1763 Narrows Road North at Sand Wash 743209 4043003 1565 2.70 2.70 GPS
1631 Sand Wash Road exits wash 742660 4042813 1511 0.38 3.08 GPS
1632 Sand Wash Road at Narrows North Road 742553 4042511 1571 0.33 3.41 GPS
1633 Narrows Road North at Mud Wash 745695 4038334 1574 3.53 6.94 GPS
1634 Narrows Road North at Gold Butte Wash Road 745549 4038288 1556 0.13 7.07 GPS
1635 Narrows Road North at Narrows Trailhead 745462 4038279 1556 0.07 7.14 Map

Happy Hiking! All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate.
copyright; Last updated 160909

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