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Lonesome Wash Overlook
Hiking Around Las Vegas, Lake Mead National Recreation Area
Lonesome Wash Overlook
Lonesome Wash Overlook
Lonesome Wash Overlook Trailhead Parking (view S)


This short route follows on old two-track road up a canyon 0.7 miles to an overlook with grand views south and east across the El Dorado Wilderness Area and down towards the Colorado River. This route is too short to be considered a destination hike, but it makes a nice chance to stretch one's legs while out 4-wheeling in this wild and lonesome country.

Link to map.

Lonesome Wash Overlook
No vehicles sign (view SW)

Watch Out

Other than the standard warnings about hiking in the desert, ...this hike is entirely safe, but even so, it is remote, so be extra careful.

Getting to the trailhead requires 10.2 miles in the dirt, the last of which is worse than the initial several miles, but should be passable in a 2WD-HC vehicle -- use good judgement in the washes without 4WD.

While hiking, please respect the land and the other people out there, and try to Leave No Trace of your passage. Also, even though this hike is short, it goes into remote country, so be sure to bring what you need of the 10 Essentials. This hike goes into the El Dorado Wilderness Area, so pay extra attention to respecting the land.

Lonesome Wash Overlook
Vehicle barricades (view SW)

Getting to the Trailhead

This hike is located southeast of Las Vegas towards the town of Nelson and just outside Lake Mead National Recreation Area on the northwest side of the El Dorado Wilderness Area.

From Las Vegas, drive south on Highway 95 towards Searchlight to Nelson Road (Highway 165) (Table 1, Site 0913), on the left. Drive east on Nelson Road for 3.6 miles a graded powerline road (Site 1507) on the left (between the 2nd and 3rd sets of high-tension powerlines). Turn left into the dirt and drive north 3.9 miles to a 4-way intersection (Site 1508). Turn right and drive 2.2 miles to a fork (Site 1510). Stay right and continue 0.6 miles to a fork (Site 1511). Stay right and continue 1.0 miles to a fork (Site 1512). Stay right and continue 2.4 miles to the trailhead parking (Site 1513), on the right, adjacent to a large El Dorado Wilderness Area sign. Park here; this is the trailhead.

Lonesome Wash Overlook

The Hike

From the trailhead (Table 2, Waypoint 01), the route runs southwest up a side canyon, passing parking barricades and wilderness area signs. The route follows an old road, and there are no turnoffs, so it is easy to follow. At about 150 yards out, the canyon bends to the left (Wpt. 02) to run more directly south.

The canyon winds about a bit, but generally runs south to a saddle where the old road ends at a turn-about (Wpt. 03). Hikers can stop here, but walking a bit over the edge makes for a somewhat better view and less wind, if that is a concern. Here, at nice sitting rocks on the hillside (Wpt. 04), the route ends with grand views down Lonesome Wash Canyon.

When rested, return to the trailhead by following your footprints back to the trailhead (Wpt. 01).

Lonesome Wash Overlook
Entering El Dorado Wilderness Area (view SW)
Lonesome Wash Overlook
Old road in canyon (view S)
Lonesome Wash Overlook
Tortoise bones on the edge of the road ...
Lonesome Wash Overlook
... probably run over by an illegal off-road driver
Lonesome Wash Overlook
Hikers on the old road
Lonesome Wash Overlook
Sadly, bones of a larger tortoise on the right (view S)
Lonesome Wash Overlook Lonesome Wash Overlook
Lonesome Wash Overlook
Hills and side canyons (view E)
Lonesome Wash Overlook
Approaching the highpoint (view S)
Lonesome Wash Overlook
Turn-about at the end of the old road (view S)
Lonesome Wash Overlook
Hikers on the edge (view S)
Lonesome Wash Overlook
Lonesome Wash Canyon (view SE)
Lonesome Wash Overlook
Hikers at Lonesome Wash Overlook (view SE)
Lonesome Wash Overlook
Eating lunch and enjoying the scenery (view SE)
more to come ...

Returning to the trailhead

Lonesome Wash Overlook
Hiker on trail (view N)
Lonesome Wash Overlook
Looking north down the canyon
Lonesome Wash Overlook
Returning to the trailhead (view N)
Lonesome Wash Overlook
Trailhead (view N)

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) Verified
1507 Nelson Road at Powerline Road 691763 3964434 35.80712 114.87768 2,552 Yes
1508 Powerline Rd at El Dorado N Rd 694004 3970347 35.85995 114.85146 2,103 Yes
1509 El Dorado N Rd at El Dorado W Rd 696513 3968513 35.84293 114.82414 2,294 Yes
1510 El Dorado N Rd at Fork 696903 3968327 35.84118 114.81987 2,310 Yes
1511 El Dorado N Rd at Mojave Overlook Rd 697500 3967586 35.83438 114.81345 2,362 Yes
1512 El Dorado N Rd at Forlorn Hope Spring Rd 697878 3966051 35.82047 114.80964 2,461 Yes
1513 Lonesome Wash Overlook Trailhead 699086 3963004 35.79278 114.79704 2,662 Yes
1514 El Dorado N Rd End 699997 3962286 35.78612 114.78715 2,759 Yes

Table 2. Hiking Coordinates Based on GPS Data (NAD27; UTM Zone 11S). Download Hiking GPS Waypoints (*.gpx) file.

Wpt. Location UTM Easting UTM Northing Elevation (ft) Point-to-Point Distance (mi) Cumulative Distance (mi) Verified
01 Trailhead 699078 3962999 2,662 0.00 0.00 GPS
02 Bend in the Canyon 698983 3962932 2,676 0.08 0.08 GPS
03 End of Old Road 698994 3962103 2,771 0.60 0.68 GPS
04 Overlook 698984 3962072 2,758 0.02 0.70 GPS
01 Trailhead 699078 3962999 2,662 0.70 1.40 GPS

Happy Hiking! All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate.
copyright; Last updated 140207

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