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Vermiculite Mine Road
Backroads Around Las Vegas, Gold Butte
Vermiculite Mine Road
Mica Mine Road
Vermiculite Mine Road (view S from Gold Butte Road)

Overview

Vermiculite Mine Road is located out in the heart of Gold Butte. A side road off Gold Butte Road near Gold Butte Townsite, this little used road runs 1.4 miles to dead end at an overlook, passing several spur roads, the historic Vermiculite Mine site, and the Mica Peak Trailhead along the way.

Vermiculite Mine Road is fairly smooth and without too many rocks. It probably is passable in a 2WD-HC vehicle, but it is safer in a 4WD vehicle because of one steep section. There are several side roads, but the "main" road generally is obvious.

Link to Vermiculite Mine Road Map.

Mica Mine Road
Vermiculite Mine Road (view S, arriving from the north)

Watch Out

Other than the standard warnings about driving in the desert, ... 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. 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. 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.

Vermiculite Mine Road
Vermiculite Mine Road (view S, arriving from the south)

Getting to Vermiculite Mine Road

Vermiculite Mine Road is located out in Gold Butte at the northeast end of Lake Mead, about 3 hours northeast of Las Vegas.

From Las Vegas, drive out to Whitney Pocket, then continue south on the unpaved Gold Butte Road towards Gold Butte Townsite.

At 16.5 miles out the dirt road, the road forks. Devils Cove Road goes left, while Gold Butte Road continues to the right.

In about 2 more miles, at 17.9 miles on the dirt, Vermiculite Mine Road turns left. Watch for "designated road" signs.

Mica Mine Road
Vermiculite Mine Road runs across burned desert flats (view S)

The Road

From Gold Butte Road (Site 1696), Vermiculite Mine Road turns left to run south towards Mica Peak, which dominates the southern skyline in this perspective. At about 0.2 miles out, Bills Spring Road branches to the left.

Continuing straight, Vermiculite Mine Road continues south, bending a bit right, paralleling a wash. The road crosses the wash, then forks. Vermiculite Mine Road stays left, while the side road goes right and drops back into the wash.

Staying left, Vermiculite Mine Road climbs steeply across the hillside heading southeast. The road eventually levels out, then forks. Again, Vermiculite Mine Road stays left, while the side road can be seen to split and run in both directions across a hillside; these roads are part of the mine system.

Mica Mine Road
Bills Spring Road branches left (view S)

Climbing more gently across the next hillside, the road runs through a gap and into the Vermiculite Mine site, which still hold some large pieces of rusty equipment.

Just past the mine site, the road bends left where a wide spot on the right serves as a campsite and the trailhead (Site 1696; 1.1 miles out) for Mica Peak via the North Ridge. Vermiculite Mine Road bends left and continues past a designated road sign as a lesser-used road for another 0.3 miles to a dead end at an overlook; an overlook that would not be a vacation destination.

Mica Mine Road
Side road right drops into wash (view S)
Mica Mine Road
Vermiculite Mine Road climbs across steep hillside (view SE)
Mica Mine Road
Vermiculite Mine Road levels out (view SE)
Mica Mine Road
Side road right splits to run both ways on hillside (view S)
Mica Mine Road
Vermiculite Mine Road climbs across gentle hillside (view SE)
Mica Mine Road
Mining equipment just before Vermiculite Mine (view S)
Mica Mine Road
Mining equipment at Vermiculite Mine (view S)
Mica Mine Road
Mining equipment at Vermiculite Mine (view S)
Mica Mine Road
Mining equipment at Vermiculite Mine (view S)
Mica Mine Road
Mining equipment at Vermiculite Mine (view S)
Mica Mine Road
Mining equipment at Vermiculite Mine (view SE)
Mica Mine Road
Vehicle parked at Mica Peak trailhead (view S)
Mica Mine Road
Road departs main mining area to the southeast (view SE)
Mica Mine Road
Passing a designated Road sign (view S)
Mica Mine Road
Overlook at end of Vermiculite Road (view E)
Mica Mine Road
Dark night sky at Vermiculite Mine

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

Wpt. Location Latitude (N) Longitude (W) Elevation (ft) Point-to-Point Distance (mi) Cumulative Distance (mi) Verified
1696 Gold Butte Road at Vermiculite Mine Road 36.29655 114.16610 3,723 0.00 0.00 Yes
1697 Vermiculite Mine Road at Mica Peak Trailhead 36.28548 114.15740 4,029 1.09 1.09 Yes

Happy Hiking! All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate.
copyright; Last updated 170608

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