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Rattlesnake Wash Road
Backroads Around Las Vegas, Gold Butte National Monument
Rattlesnake Wash Road
Rattlesnake Wash Road
Scanlon Road at Rattlesnake Wash (view S)

Overview

Rattlesnake Wash Road is a two-track located out at the far southwest end of Gold Butte National Monument, a side road off Scanlon Road. Little used, most of Rattlesnake Wash Road is fairly smooth and without too many rocks because it runs down the gravel wash. The road turns steeply out of the wash and climbs somewhat steeply in places over somewhat rougher terrain to Rattlesnake Spring, which is actually an old water tank and cattle watering trough.

Rattlesnake Wash Road might be passable in a 2WD-HC vehicle, but it is safer in a short-wheel-base 4WD vehicle because the road is a bit sandy in places. Also, 4WD is required to get to it.

From Scanlon Road, the road runs 1.3 miles to dead end at the watering trough, the only point of interest on this road. Don't expect to see any rattlesnakes.

Link to Rattlesnake Wash Road Map.

Rattlesnake Wash Road
Rattlesnake Wash Road (view W 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 parts are somewhat sandy and vehicles might receive desert pin-striping.

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.

Rattlesnake Wash Road
Designated road marker (it is actually 1.3 miles)

Getting to Rattlesnake Wash Road

Rattlesnake Wash 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 8.7 miles to Rattlesnake Wash Road, on the right.

Rattlesnake Wash RoadRattlesnake Wash (view W)

The Road

When Scanlon Road crosses Rattlesnake Wash (Site 1807), Rattlesnake Wash Road turns right to run down the wash. For the first 1.0 miles, the road simply follows the wash, winding among trees and bushes, but it should be easy driving.

At about 1.0 miles out, Rattlesnake Wash Road abruptly turns right (Site 1808) out of the wash and heads north. Most drivers likely will miss the turn the first time through, and if so, the wash passes a cliff on the right, then bends right and pinches down to a narrower, brush filled canyon. Turn around and drive back past the cliff, now on the left, and the road to the north is obvious.

From the turn, Rattlesnake Wash Road climbs out of the wash and winds up the hillside for 0.3 miles to end (Site 1809) adjacent to the rusting water tank. The road appears to continue, and everyone tries, but it only continues a couple of yards before ending at the edge of a steep wash bank. It is easier to turn around by the water tank.

Rattlesnake Wash Road Rattlesnake Wash Road
Rattlesnake Wash Road Rattlesnake Wash Road
Rattlesnake Wash Road
Rattlesnake Wash (view W)
Rattlesnake Wash Road
Rattlesnake Wash Road turns right before a rounded crag (view W)
Rattlesnake Wash Road
Going too far in the wash, the wash pinches out. Back up.
Rattlesnake Wash Road
Rattlesnake Wash Road turns out of the wash (view N)
Rattlesnake Wash Road
Rattlesnake Wash Road climbs somewhat steeply (view N)
Rattlesnake Wash Road
Traversing more gentle terrain (view N)
Rattlesnake Wash Road
Grand scenery (view W) from road down Twin Springs Wash
Rattlesnake Wash Road
Traversing more gentle terrain (view N)
Rattlesnake Wash Road
Winding across hillsides (view N)
Rattlesnake Wash Road
The water tank comes into view (view N)
Rattlesnake Wash Road
Approaching a steeply angled section of road
Rattlesnake Wash Road
Arriving at the old water tank and watering trough
Rattlesnake Wash Road More to come ...

Returning Down Rattlesnake Wash Road

Rattlesnake Wash Road
Departing the spring area
Rattlesnake Wash Road
Heading down the hillside
Rattlesnake Wash Road
Arriving back at Rattlesnake Wash
More to come ...
More to come ...

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

Site Location Latitude (N) Longitude (W) Elevation (ft) Point-to-Point Distance (mi) Cumulative Distance (mi)
1807 Scanlon Road at Rattlesnake Wash Road 36.19821 114.25732 2,938 0.00 0.00
1808 Rattlesnake Wash Road leaves Wash 36.19507 114.27316 2,732 1.02 1.02
1809 Rattlesnake Wash Road Ends 36.19807 114.27426 2,811 0.27 1.29

Happy Hiking! All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate.
copyright; Last updated 170908

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