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Many Falls Canyon
Hiking Around Las Vegas, Lake Mead National Recreation Area
Many Falls Canyon
Seven Falls Canyon
Hikers at parking area (view W)

Overview

This hike is an off-trail scramble in the River Mountains that runs through a deep and narrow canyon blocked by many pour-overs, that is, blocked by "many falls." The exact number of pour-overs depends on how, exactly, they are counted, but regardless, this canyon makes for a good scramble on volcanic rock.

Some of the pour-overs are Class 2, but many are Class 3 and Class 4. Some of the pour-overs can be bypassed, but make no mistake, this is a scrambling route.

This hike is described as a return route from Seven Falls Canyon, therefore it is described in reverse, that is, from out in the desert back to the trailhead.

Link to map.

Seven Falls Canyon
Hikers departing the trailhead (view W)

Watch Out

Other than the standard warnings about hiking in the desert, ...this is a scrambling route with plenty of Class 3 and Class 4 pour-overs. Be extra careful when high enough to fall and get hurt as a rescue from this canyon would be difficult and uncomfortable. A rope might be useful at some of the pour-overs, but experienced hikers probably won't need one.

While hiking, please respect the land and the other people out there, and try to Leave No Trace of your passage. Also, this hike goes into difficult country, so be sure to bring the 10 Essentials.

Seven Falls Canyon
Canyon narrows (view SW)

Getting to the Trailhead

This hike is located in Lake Mead National Recreation Area, not far from the Visitor Center and directly up the hill from Boulder Beach.

From town, drive out to the Boulder Beach area at Lake Mead. From Lakeshore Road at Mile Post 2, drive up to the Brown Tank Trailhead. Park here; this is the trailhead.

Seven Falls Canyon
Canyon forks (Wpt. 02; view W)

The Hike

From the saddle at the head of Seven Falls Canyon (Table 1, Waypoint 13), the route runs southeast along the ridgeline following a game trail past a few highpoints and into the next major saddle (Wpt. 14).

Hikers ascending Seven Falls Canyon who wish to minimize unnecessary hiking might consider leaving Seven Falls Canyon at the last bend in the canyon (Wpt. 12). These hikers can either hike south and up a side-wash directly onto a saddle (Wpt. 14), or hike east-southeast on faint game-trails over a low saddle directly into Many Falls Wash (Wpt. 17). [Note: I have no personal knowledge of these alternatives.]

Many Falls Canyon
Seven Falls Canyon (Wpt. 13; view E from saddle)

From this saddle (Wpt. 14), the route continues southeast following game-trails on the south side of the ridge to avoid highpoints. The game-trail becomes faint in a rocky gully, but the best game-trail continues across the gully, dropping in elevation only 3-4 feet, to continue across the hillside on the contour. The terrain is a bit dicey here (scree on bedrock), so scan the hillside ahead looking for the game-trail before getting into the gully.

The game-trail improves and continues across the hillside into the next saddle (Wpt. 15), then continues southeast along the north side of the ridge. At this point, the route is high on the ridge above Many Falls Canyon. Hikers can choose any point to descend into the wash below, but a low ridge (Wpt. 16) make a good route into the bottom of the canyon (Wpt. 17).

Many Falls Canyon
Hikers on game-trail (between Wpt. 14 and Wpt. 15; view ESE)

In the bottom of the canyon, the route runs east and downhill where the hiking is easy until reaching the first pour-over (Wpt. 18). The 2nd, 3rd, and 4th pour-overs (Wpt. 19-21) come in quick succession, followed by relatively easy hiking. Another set of three pour-overs (5th, 6th, 7th; Wpt. 22-24) is quickly followed by another (8th; Wpt. 25) pour-over.

Relatively easy hikes is again interrupted by the 9th pour-over (Wpt. 26) where the canyon turns to run north. Scrambling northward, the relatively easy passage is again interrupted by the 10th pour-over (Wpt. 27), and this is quickly followed by a series of three pour-overs (11th, 12th; 13th; Wpt. 28) and finally two more pour-overs (14th, 15th; Wpt. 29) before hikers drop out of the narrow canyon at the confluence with Seven Falls Canyon (Wpt. 02).

Continuing down the gravel wash, the route eventually returns to the trailhead (Wpt. 01).

Many Falls Canyon
Hikers at saddle above Many Falls Canyon (Wpt. 15; view E)
Many Falls Canyon
Game-trail above Many Falls Wash (view E)
Many Falls Canyon
Hikers descending into Many Falls Wash (view NE)
Many Falls Canyon
Hikers in Many Falls Wash (view E)
Many Falls Canyon
Hiker in Many Falls Wash (view E)
Many Falls Canyon
1st Pour-Over (Wpt. 18; view down)
Many Falls Canyon
1st Pour-Over (Wpt. 18; view up)
Many Falls Canyon
2nd Pour-Over (Wpt. 19; view down)
Many Falls Canyon
2nd Pour-Over (Wpt. 19; view across)
Many Falls Canyon
2nd Pour-Over (Wpt. 19; view up)
Many Falls Canyon
Hikers in Many Falls Wash with nature art (view E)
Many Falls Canyon
Hikers in Many Falls Wash (view E)
Many Falls Canyon
8th Pour-Over (Wpt. 25; view down)
Many Falls Canyon
Colorful pour-overs in volcanic rock (view E)
Many Falls Canyon
9th Pour-Over (Wpt. 26; view down)
Many Falls Canyon
9th Pour-Over (Wpt. 26; view down)
Many Falls Canyon
9th Pour-Over (Wpt. 26; view up)
Many Falls Canyon
Small arch on northwest skyline
Many Falls Canyon
Small arch on northwest skyline (zoom)
Many Falls Canyon
Hikers descending steep wash (view N)
Many Falls Canyon
14th and 15th pour-overs (view down)
Many Falls Canyon
Colorful pour-overs in volcanic rock (view S)
Many Falls Canyon
Hikers in wash below the narrows (view NE)
Many Falls Canyon
Hikers in wash passing gravel quarry (view E)
Many Falls Canyon
Hikers returning to the trailhead (view E)
more to come ...

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
12 Wash Forks 695176 3989038 2,245 . . GPS
13 Saddle 694908 3989052 2,383 0.00 0.00 GPS
14 High Saddle 695203 3988870 2,330 0.12 0.22 GPS
15 Saddle 695360 3988838 2,298 0.12 0.34 GPS
16 Depart Game-Trail 695467 3988803 2,283 0.07 0.41 GPS
17 Bottom of Canyon 695483 3988896 2,207 0.06 0.47 GPS
18 1st Pour-Over 695926 3989075 1,995 0.39 0.86 GPS
19 2nd Pour-Over 695973 3989034 1,966 0.05 0.91 GPS
20 3rd Pour-Over 695994 3989032 1,954 0.02 0.93 GPS
21 4th Pour-Over 696011 3989040 1,930 0.01 0.94 GPS
22 5th Pour-Over 696184 3989085 1,856 0.14 1.08 GPS
23 6th Pour-Over 696203 3989073 1,849 0.02 1.10 GPS
24 7th Pour-Over 696220 3989062 1,838 0.02 1.12 GPS
25 8th Pour-Over 696300 3989091 1,804 0.07 1.19 GPS
26 9th Pour-Over 696534 3989055 1,708 0.20 1.39 GPS
27 10th Pour-Over 696577 3989185 1,657 0.14 1.53 GPS
28 11th-13th Pour-Overs 696602 3989196 1,639 0.04 1.57 GPS
29 14th-15th Pour-Overs 696623 3989208 1,625 0.02 1.59 GPS
02 Confluence 696654 3989234 1,581 0.05 1.64 Yes
01 Trailhead 697353 3989405 1,473 0.53 2.17 Yes

Happy Hiking! All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate.
copyright; Last updated 130203

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