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Rockefeller Mine Road
Rockefeller Mine Road
Rockefeller Mine Road
Cottonwood Cove Rd at Rockefeller Mine Rd (view E)

Overview

Rockefeller Mine Road is an occasionally graded dirt road that runs 10.6 miles from the paved Cottonwood Cove Road to the south edge of the Ireteba Peaks Wilderness Area. The road provides sightseeing, hunting, hiking, camping opportunities, and even access to historic mining sites in this wild and remote part of Lake Mead National Recreation Area. In addition, the road provides access hiking and hunting inside the wilderness area.

The road is in fair condition overall (graded in Sept. 2012), but it is rough in places. Assuming good weather, the road is suitable for experienced drivers of 2WD high-clearance (2WD-HC) vehicles, but soft sand can be found, so 4WD would be safer.

Link to map.

Rockefeller Mine Road
Start of Rockefeller Mine Rd (view NE)

Watch Out

Other than the standard warnings about the desert ... Rockefeller Mine Road generally is a good road, but it runs out into wild and remote country. There are no services or developments of any kind. Cell phones don't work. Bring water and food, a good spare tire, a shovel, tools, a tow rope, bailing wire, and anything you might need to survive a night stuck out in the desert. Old mines are never safe.

While out and about, please respect the land and the other people out there, and try to Leave No Trace of your passage. This road runs out to the edge of Wilderness, so pay particular attention to respecting the land. Be sure to bring the 10 Essentials. All motor vehicles, including ATVs, must be street legal.

Rockefeller Mine Road
Lots of Teddybear Cholla out here (view NE)

Getting to the Roadhead

This road is located in Lake Mead National Recreation Area, about 1 hour south of Las Vegas and just east of Searchlight.

From town, drive south on Highway 95 to Searchlight (Table 1, Site 0927). In downtown Searchlight, turn left onto Cottonwood Cove Road (this road is the eastern extension of Highway 164, which technically only runs west from Searchlight).

Drive east on Cottonwood Cove Road for 6.8 miles to the Lake Mead Entrance Station. Pay the entrance fee, then continue 1.0 miles (total of 7.8 miles) to an unmarked side road to the left that angles away from the pavement. This is Rockefeller Mine Road (Site 1320).

Rockefeller Mine Road
Lake Mead NRA boundary (view NE)

The Road

Rockefeller Mine Road (Site 1320) angles away from the pavement heading east-northeast, then bends to run more to the northeast. In about 0.8 miles (Site 1321), signs announce the boundary of Lake Mead National Recreation Area, and this is where the first Rockefeller Mine Road sign appear.

The road continues northeast to pass dark, rocky ridge, then curves hard to the right and runs to the east. The road winds down a hill to cross a broad wash, the passes Solicitor Mine Road (Site 1353; 2.55 miles out) to the left.

The road climbs out of the wash, winds around a bit more, and passes Indigo Road (Site 1354; 2.94 miles out) to the left.

The Road  From the 4-way intersection (Site 1301), Pine Spring Road runs west climbing towards the foothills of the South McCullough Range. The road is a bit rough in places, but the roadbed is firm and passable in a 2WD-HC vehicle. The landscape in this area grows thick with blackbrush and joshua trees.  The road climbs gradually onto a broad ridgetop with grand views in all directions. At about 1.0 miles out, the road forks. The road to right quickly forks again, but all three roads converge at about 1.1 miles out. Staying left on the main road is a fine way to go. There are no campsites or other attractions on the roads to the right.
Rockefeller Mine Road (view N)

The road runs down ridgelines to the northeast, eventually arriving at Copper Mountain Road (Site 1322; 4.86 miles out). Copper Mountain Road continues down the wash to the shores of Lake Mojave, while Rockefeller Mine Road curves to the left and runs up the wash.

Rockefeller Mine Road runs northwest climbing gradually toward the mountains. At the base of a rocky mountain, the road bends hard to the right (Site 1355; 7.70 miles out). Closed road to the left invite hikers into the wildness and an old mining district.

The road runs north, over a saddle, and down the other side, eventually curving gradually to the left and running uphill. At the base of a small hill, the Dangl Mine Road (Site 1356; 9.55 miles out), now closed to vehicles, forks to the left. The Dangl Mine Site is a point of interest where miners left an adit, now collapsed, and an old road that invites further investigation.

Rockefeller Mine Road
Just past 2-mile curve (view E)

Rockefeller Mine Road runs northwest a short distance to a 4-way intersection (Site 1323; 9.66 miles out). Rockefeller Mine Road continues straight northwest. To the left, Camp Dupont Mine Road runs west-northwest to a mining district, and to the right, Opal Mountain Road runs east towards Lake Mojave.

Continuing on Rockefeller Mine Road, the road eventually bends to left, running more to the west. At the base of a small hill, a played-out adit was used by miners as living quarters (Site 1357; 10.37 miles out). There are several adits and an 8-ft-deep pit in the area, so be careful walking around.

About this time, an old travel trailer can be seen ahead on a hill. At a fork in the road (Site 1358; 10.47 miles out), the road to the left runs through a fence and past a "no trespassing" sign to the trailer, while the Rockefeller Mine Road curves hard to the right. The road ends shortly at barricades in the bottom of a wash (Site 1360; 10.61 miles out) at the edge of the Ireteba Peaks Wilderness Area. From this point, the Ireteba Wash Hike runs north into the wilderness area.

Rockefeller Mine Road
Beginning to cross wash (view NE)
Rockefeller Mine Road
Approaching Solicitor Mine Road (view NE)
Rockefeller Mine Road
Solicitor Mine Road (view NW)
Rockefeller Mine Road
Above the wash (view E)
Rockefeller Mine Road
Approaching Indigo Road (view ENE)
Rockefeller Mine Road
Indigo Road (view NNE)
Rockefeller Mine Road
Running down long ridgeline (view NE)
Rockefeller Mine Road
Running down long ridgeline (view NE)
Rockefeller Mine Road
Approaching Copper Mountain Road (view NE)
Rockefeller Mine Road
Copper Mountain Road (view NE)
Rockefeller Mine Road Rockefeller Mine Road
Rockefeller Mine Road Rockefeller Mine Road
Rockefeller Mine Road Rockefeller Mine Road
Rockefeller Mine Road
Climbing towards the mountains (view NW)
Rockefeller Mine Road
Approaching hard bend to the right (view NW)
Rockefeller Mine Road
Approaching bend to the right (view W)
Rockefeller Mine Road
Past bend to the right (view N)
Rockefeller Mine Road
Starting towards a saddle (view N)
Rockefeller Mine Road
Climbing towards a saddle (view N)
Rockefeller Mine Road
Past saddle (view N)
Starting towards a saddle (view N)
Past saddle (view N)
Rockefeller Mine Road
Long, smooth road
Rockefeller Mine Road
Climbing towards the hills again (view NW)
Rockefeller Mine Road
Climbing towards the hills again (view NW)
Rockefeller Mine Road
Dangl Mine Rd and collapsed adit (view SW)
Rockefeller Mine Road
4-way intersection (view NW)
Rockefeller Mine Road
Camp Dupont Mine Road (view WNW)
Rockefeller Mine Road
Rockefeller Mine Rd at Opal Mountain Road (view NE)
Rockefeller Mine Road
Opal Mountain Road (view NE)
Rockefeller Mine Road Rockefeller Mine Road
Rockefeller Mine Road (view NW)
Rockefeller Mine Road
Rockefeller Mine Road (view WNW)
Rockefeller Mine Road
Rockefeller Miner's Living Quarters (view SW)
Rockefeller Mine Road
Approaching fork in the road (view NW)
Rockefeller Mine Road
Side road to Rockefeller Mine trailer (view NW)
Rockefeller Mine Road
Rockefeller Mine Road dropping towards wash (view NE)
Rockefeller Mine Road
End of road at Ireteba Wilderness and Ireteba Wash Hike (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
0927 Hwy 95 at Hwy 164, Searchlight 688813 3926424 35.46519 114.91921 3,500 Yes
1320 Cottonwood Cove Rd at Rockefeller Mine Road 701103 3928204 35.47882 114.78341 1,982 GPS
1321 Rockefeller Mine Road at NPS Bndry 701793 3929277 35.48835 114.77554 1,896 GPS
1322 Rockefeller Mine Road at Copper Mtn Rd 706344 3932940 35.52041 114.72448 1,161 GPS
1323 Rockefeller Mine Road at Opal Mtn Rd 702755 3937877 35.56564 114.76280 1,768 GPS
1353 Rockefeller Mine Road at Solicitor Mine Rd 703517 3931017 35.50368 114.75612 1,651 GPS
1354 Rockefeller Mine Road at Indigo Road 703917 3931197 35.50521 114.75167 1,648 GPS
1355 Rockefeller Mine Road at Mine Rd 703005 3935464 35.54384 114.76065 1,702 GPS
1356 Rockefeller Mine Road at Dangl Mine Rd 702852 3937748 35.56446 114.76177 1,711 GPS
1357 Rockefeller Mine Road at Miner's Quarters 701986 3938594 35.57226 114.77110 1,924 GPS
1358 Rockefeller Mine Road at Side Road 701894 3938733 35.57352 114.77208 1,896 GPS
1359 Rockefeller Mine Road at End of Road 701659 3938710 35.57337 114.77468 2,009 GPS
1360 Ireteba Wash Trailhead Parking 702075 3938802 35.57411 114.77007 1,857 GPS
1361 Camp Dupont Mine Road at Wash 701700 3938148 35.56830 114.77437 1,956 GPS
1362 Camp Dupont Mine Road at Dupont Mine 701307 3938280 35.56957 114.77867 2,031 GPS
1363 Opal Mtn Rd at Lake Mojave 711146 3937839 35.56355 114.67029 706 GPS

Happy Hiking! All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate.
copyright; Last updated 121024

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