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Ruby Spring Road
Backroads Around Las Vegas, Gold Butte National Monument
Ruby Spring Road
Garnet Valley Road
Approaching Ruby Spring Canyon (view S)

Overview

Ruby Spring Road is located out at the far southwest end of Gold Butte National Monument, a side road off Scanlon Road. Little used, this pleasant two-track road forks off from Garnet Valley Road and runs 0.5 miles to end just below Ruby Spring, which stopped flowing years ago.

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

Ruby Spring Road provides access to the dry spring, plus a nice hike in the canyon above.

Link to Ruby Spring Road Map.

Garnet Valley Road
Obscure fork in the road (view S)

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 getting there. Near the spring, the brush is thick, so keep an eye out for snakes resting in the shade.

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
Ruby Spring Road (view SE from Garnet Valley Road)

Getting to Ruby Spring Road

Ruby Spring 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 to Gold Butte and then south on 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. Turn right and drive south on Garnet Valley Road for 1.2 miles to a fork (Table 1, Site 1726), which is easy to miss.

Ruby Spring Road

The Road

From the obscure fork on Garnet Valley Road (Site 1726), Ruby Spring Road naturally continues southeast out of Garnet Valley and into the side canyon, so drivers who miss the fork will continue on Ruby Spring Road.

The two-track Ruby Spring Road runs up into Ruby Spring Canyon. Because the land is formed of decomposed granite, the road surface is fairly smooth and without rocks, and the roadbed is firm.

The road winds about the bushes and under a couple of tree-size catcalw acacias, and at about 0.5 miles out, ends at the mouth of a narrowing in Ruby Spring Canyon (Site 1849). The dry Ruby Spring and cement watering trough are located a few yards up the brushy canyon.

Ruby Spring Road Ruby Spring Road
Ruby Spring Road Ruby Spring Road
Ruby Spring Road Ruby Spring Road
Ruby Spring Road
Ruby Spring Road
Ruby Spring Road
Approaching the end of the road (view SE)
Ruby Spring Road
End of the road (view SE)

Returning down Ruby Spring Road

Ruby Spring Road
Ruby Spring Road approaching Garnet Valley Road (view SW)
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 UTM Easting UTM Northing Latitude (N) Longitude (W) Elevation (ft)
1726 Garnet Valley Rd at Ruby Spring Rd 747657 4006435 36.17286 114.24652 3,236
1849 Ruby Spring Road End 748290 4006126 36.16993 114.23959 3,426

Happy Hiking! All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate.
copyright; Last updated 170907

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