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Anniversary Narrows - Alternate Access
(aka Lovell Wash Narrows, Anniversary Mine)
Hiking Around Las Vegas, Lake Mead National Recreation Area
Lovell Wash and Anniversary Mine
Anniversary Narrows Alternate
Trailhead parking along Anniversary Mine Road (view N)

NOTE: March 2016: This alternate route into Anniversary Narrows is closed. More information. If you value public lands, this is getting ugly. If you vote, you need to vote Democratic because the Republicans want all public lands sold off -- and more places will be closed to public access.

Overview

Since 2011, access to Anniversary Narrows via the regular route has alternately been improved and closed. Being a resourceful group, hikers have found ways to access the narrows and other parts of the Muddy Mountains Wilderness affected by the closures. As we say: we are hikers, so we hike -- even farther when necessary.

The 4.5-mile round-trip alternative presented here (hiking around the mine area to the east) has been used by hikers for some time, but it is relatively long and much harder than the regular route (especially compared to driving to the mouth of the narrows). It is, however, much more interesting than the original. This alternative crosses private land, but far from where the owner's activities currently take place. Onsite personnel say they know that hikers use the route, but seem unconcerned.

Link to map.

Anniversary Narrows Alternate
The route starts up the wash heading towards the saddle

 

Watch Out

Other than the standard warnings about hiking in the desert, ...this is an old mining district. While mines are inherently interesting, they are always dangerous. It is never safe to enter old mines. If rain threatens, stay out of the narrows because of flash floods.

While hiking, please respect the land and the other people out there, and try to Leave No Trace of your passage. Be sure to bring what you need of the 10 Essentials. The active mining area is on private property. Please respect private property and help ensure continued good relations between the land owner and hikers.

Getting to the Trailhead

This hike is located along Northshore Road in Lake Mead National Recreation Area, about 1 hour northeast of Las Vegas.

Anniversary Narrows Alternate
Starting up the wash (view N)

From town, drive out to Lake Mead, then drive north on Northshore Road for 16.0 miles to the 16.0 Mile (Anniversary) Trailhead. From the trailhead, hikers can walk or drive 2WD-HC vehicles farther out Anniversary Mine Road. [Note: this changes frequently.]

At about 0.93 miles from the pavement, Anniversary Mine Road crosses a wash. Park here in the wide spot on the east side; this is the trailhead for the alternate route to Anniversary Narrows when the Regular Route is blocked.

Hikers can also continue to Ore Car Mine parking and stop there, using mining roads to start the hike rather than the wash.

The Hike

From the parking area along Anniversary Mine Road (Table 1, Waypoint 20), hikers depart the roadway to the right following a fairly broad, sandy wash. Illegal off-road drivers have driven a short way up the wash, but they are soon blocked and are making a mess turning around.

Anniversary Narrows Alternate
Fairly broad, sandy wash (view N)

The route follows the main wash to a fork (Wpt. 21), then stays left. In fact, at every question, the route stays left in the main wash. When hiking up the wash, keep track of the saddle, ahead on the horizon, where the route crosses the ridgeline.

The route runs through a tight, narrow section of wash and eventually arrives at the edge of private land (Wpt. 22), which is marked by a large cairn on the right side of the wash. Shortly there after, the wash is blocked by bulldozer debris and hikers are forced to climb out of the wash, preferably to the right where hikers get their first view of the mining operation off to the left.

Continuing north, quickly, across the cleared area, the route runs up into a little canyon. Staying left, soon the construction works are passed and hikers encounter a scenic little canyon with interesting geological artifacts along the way.

The route follows the wash upstream. Nearing the saddle, a use-trail on the west side of the gully (left) makes for easier hiking onto the saddle (Wpt. 24).

Anniversary Narrows Alternate
Interesting erosion pattern along the wash (view N)

From the saddle, the route continues down the canyon on the other side. Parts are a bit steep and narrow, and there is one point where a few boulders block the bottom of the wash, but generally the hiking is easy. Eventually, Lovell Wash comes into view, and then the canyon opens widely at the confluence (Wpt. 25).

From the confluence, the route turns upstream, quickly passing a wilderness boundary marker and entering the narrows (Wpt. 07). After spending time wandering up the narrows, the wash opens (Wpt. 08) and hikers can continue into the Muddy Mountains Wilderness for as far as is desired.

When returning, after exiting the narrows, the route turns left up the side canyon (Wpt. 25) where the confluence is big enough to park a few trucks in the shade. From there, follow your footprints back to the trailhead.

Anniversary Narrows AlternateIllegal off-road drivers have stopped here (view E) Anniversary Narrows Alternate
Fairly broad, sandy wash (view N)
Anniversary Narrows Alternate
Colorful green mudstones
Anniversary Narrows Alternate
Scenic wash
Anniversary Narrows Alternate Anniversary Narrows Alternate
Anniversary Narrows Alternate Anniversary Narrows Alternate
Anniversary Narrows Alternate Anniversary Narrows Alternate
Anniversary Narrows Alternate
Approaching narrow section (view N)
Anniversary Narrows AlternateNarrow section with mudstone walls (view NW)
Anniversary Narrows Alternate
Route stays left in main wash
Anniversary Narrows Alternate
Large cairn marks property boundary (view NW)
Anniversary Narrows Alternate
This red-banded green sill is on private land (view N)
Anniversary Narrows Alternate
Bulldozed dirt fills in the wash forcing an exit right (view N)
Anniversary Narrows Alternate
Looking west towards mine activities
Anniversary Narrows Alternate
The route crosses a cleared area (view N)
Anniversary Narrows Alternate
Route runs into canyon, staying left (view N)
Anniversary Narrows Alternate
End of the bulldozer work (view NW)
Anniversary Narrows Alternate Anniversary Narrows Alternate
Anniversary Narrows Alternate
Use-trail when approaching the saddle (view NW)
Anniversary Narrows Alternate
Saddle (view NW)
Anniversary Narrows Alternate
Canyon continues past the saddle (view NW)
Anniversary Narrows Alternate
Canyon past the saddle (view NW)
Anniversary Narrows Alternate Anniversary Narrows Alternate
Anniversary Narrows Alternate Anniversary Narrows Alternate
Anniversary Narrows Alternate
A couple of boulders block the canyon (view NW)
Anniversary Narrows Alternate
Most of the canyon is easy walking (view NW)
Anniversary Narrows Alternate
First view of Lovell Wash (view NW)
Anniversary Narrows Alternate
Confluence with Lovell Wash (view NW)
Anniversary Narrows Alternate
Lovell Wash (view NE from confluence)
Anniversary Narrows Alternate
Wilderness boundary marker at mouth of Anniversary Narrows)
Anniversary Narrows Alternate
Anniversary Narrows (view NE, upstream)
Anniversary Narrows Alternate
Anniversary Narrows (view NE, upstream)

Table 1. 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
20 Alt. Trailhead 707464 4008978 1,774 0.00 0.00 GPS
21 Wash Forks 707586 4009841 1,855 0.66 0.66 GPS
22 Entering Private Land 707349 4010070 1,927 0.26 0.92 GPS
23 Crossing Bladed Area 707254 4010302 2,037 0.22 1.14 GPS
24 Saddle 706961 4010527 2,204 0.27 1.41 GPS
25 Lovell Wash 706470 4010536 1,958 0.42 1.83 GPS
07 Narrows, Lower End 706556 4010679 1,964 0.11 1.94 GPS
08 Narrows, Upper End 706884 4011022 2,067 0.32 2.26 GPS
20 Alt. Trailhead 707464 4008978 1,774 2.26 4.52 GPS

Happy Hiking! All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate.
copyright; Last updated 160306

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