birdandhike.com logo
Home | Wilderness | Hiking | Mojave National Preserve | Backroads
Black Canyon Road - Southbound
Hiking Around Las Vegas, Mojave National Preserve
Black Canyon Road - Southbound
Black Canyon Road
Cedar Canyon Road at Black Canyon Road (view E)

Overview

Black Canyon Road (southbound) runs north-south through the central portion of the Preserve connecting Cedar Canyon Road with Essex Road and Interstate-40. The northern 9.1 miles are graded dirt, and the remaining 10.7 miles are paved. The dirt portion generally is fine for sedans, but it can be badly washboarded.

This road provides access to several hikes, homes, ranches, and developed and primitive camping areas in Round Valley, Gold Valley, and Fenner Valley. This road also connects with roads leading to the Hole-in-the-Wall Visitor Center and Fire Station.

Link to map.

Black Canyon Road
Black Canyon Road (view S from Cedar Cyn Rd)

Watch Out

Other than the standard warnings about being in the desert, ... the road is easy in a 2WD-HC vehicle, and it should be passable in a carefully driven sedan. If driving a sedan, inquire locally about current conditions and use your own good judgment about the road, as the road is subject to washouts. Much of the dirt road can be driven at 45 mph, but if driving that fast, pay attention to unsigned curves.

Watch for cows on the road, and especially watch for black cows on the road at night!

While out in the desert, please respect the land and the other people out there, and try to Leave No Trace of your passage. Also, the area is remote, so be sure to bring the 10 Essentials.

Black Canyon Road

Getting to the Road

This road is located in Mojave National Preserve, about 2 hours south of Las Vegas.

From town, drive south on I-15 to Mojave National Preserve. From Kelso-Cima Road, turn left onto Cedar Canyon Road. Drive east 6 miles to Black Canyon Road (Table 1, Site 0833) on the right.

From the south, exit I-40 onto Essex Road northbound (Site 1474). Drive north 9.9 miles to Black Canyon Road (Site 0845) on the right.

Black Canyon Road

The Road

On Cedar Canyon Road (Site 0833), Black Canyon Road forms a T-intersection to the right. Black Canyon Road drops into and crosses Cedar Canyon Wash, which can be washed out, and heads south and up a fairly steep canyon. Near the top of the canyon, the road winds through S-curves. When going by, note a bedrock outcrop in the road, as this can be quite a surprise when going down too fast. I was a passenger in a van that nearly crashed here when an idiot driver hit the bumps going downhill too fast.

The road breaks out into Round Valley where the road is broad, fairly straight, and tends to be smooth. At about 2.5 miles out, a side road to the right leads to nice, primitive campsites near a rock outcrop by a working windmill.

Black Canyon Road

Continuing south, Black Canyon Road passes a T-intersection with the north end of Wild Horse Road (Site 0834). This road leads to Mid Hills Campground and will loop back into Black Canyon Road about 7-1/2 miles farther south.

Beyond Wild Horse Road, Black Canyon Road starts down into Black Canyon. The road becomes narrow and winding as it hugs the hillside above Black Canyon Wash. The road can be bumpy with rocks and heavily washboarded.

The road eventually crosses Black Canyon Wash and begins to cross Gold Valley where the road again tends to run broad, smooth, and slightly downhill. At about 8-1/2 miles out, notice Hole-in-the-Wall Campground ahead on the right.

Black Canyon Road

The pavement (Site 1473) begins at 9.0 miles out, and shortly the road arrives at the entrance to Hole-in-the-Wall Campground (Site 0836). This is a nice campground with tent and trailer sites, including a dump station, but no hookups.

Continuing another 1/4-miles, the paved road reaches a 4-way intersection (Site 0836). To the right is Hole-in-the-Wall Visitor Center and picnic area, plus trailheads for several hikes. To the left is the Fire Station and a group and equestrian campground.

Continuing yet another 1/4-miles, the road reaches a T-intersection (Site 1267) where the south end of Wild Horse Road departs to the right. From there, the road runs south, southwest without interruption for 9.5 miles to Essex Road (Site 0845).

Black Canyon Road
Bedrock in the road is a surprise coming back down (view SE)
Black Canyon Road
Crossing Round Valley (view S)
Black Canyon Road Black Canyon Road
Black Canyon Road
Turnoff to Windmill primitive camp area (view SW)
Black Canyon Road
Approaching Wild Horse Road - north end (view S)
Black Canyon Road
Wild Horse Road - north end (view W from Black Canyon Road)
Black Canyon Road
Road sign: Black Canyon Road at Wild Horse Road
Black Canyon Road
Road sign: Wild Horse Road at Black Canyon Road
Black Canyon Road
Dropping into Black Canyon (view S)
Black Canyon Road - Southbound
Watch for wildlife on the road ...
Black Canyon Road - Southbound
... but don't annoy them too much! (Mojave "Green" Rattlesnake)
Black Canyon Road
Rocky bumps in Black Canyon (view S)
Black Canyon Road
Washboarded road in Black Canyon (view S)
Black Canyon Road
Road crosses Black Canyon Wash (view S)
Black Canyon Road
Crossing Gold Valley (view S)
Black Canyon Road Black Canyon Road
Black Canyon Road
Start of the pavement (view S)
Black Canyon Road
Approaching Hole-in-the-Wall Campground (view S)
Black Canyon Road
Hole-in-the-Wall Campground sign (view S)
Black Canyon Road
Hole-in-the-Wall Campground sign (view S)
Black Canyon Road
Approaching Hole-in-the-Wall Visitor Center Road (view S)
Black Canyon Road
Arriving at Hole-in-the-Wall Visitor Center Road (view S)
Black Canyon Road
Hole-in-the-Wall Visitor Center sign (view S)
Black Canyon Road
Hole-in-the-Wall Visitor Center sign (view S)
Black Canyon Road
Hole-in-the-Wall Visitor Center Rd (view W from Black Canyon Rd)
Black Canyon Road
Hole-in-the-Wall Fire Station Rd (view E from Black Canyon Rd)
Black Canyon Road
Hole-in-the-Wall Fire Station sign (view N)
Black Canyon Road
Approaching Wild Horse Road - south end (view S)
Black Canyon Road
Wild Horse Road - south end (view W from Black Canyon Road)
Black Canyon Road
Well-paved road runs into Fenner Valley (view S)
Black Canyon Road Black Canyon Road
Black Canyon Road
Well-paved road crossing Fenner Valley (view SSW)
Black Canyon Road
Black Canyon Road ends a Exxex Road (view SSW)

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
0833 Cedar Cyn Rd at Black Cyn Rd 644718 3893322 35.17422 115.41081 5,007 Yes
0834 Black Cyn Rd at Mid Hills Rd 645618 3889147 35.13646 115.40166 5,282 Yes
0836 Black Cyn Rd at Hole-Wall Rd 646860 3878671 35.04184 115.38989 4,213 Yes
0845 Black Canyon Rd at Essex Rd 644029 3863839 34.90855 115.42348 2,887 Yes
1267 Black Cyn Rd at Wild Horse Rd 646945 3878305 35.03853 115.38903 4,153 Yes
1473 Black Canyon Road at Pavement End 646767 3879247 35.04705 115.39081 4,298 Yes
1474 Essex Road at I-40 653704 3852069 34.80104 115.31978 2,044 Yes

Happy Hiking! All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate.
copyright; Last updated 140904

Backroads Hiking Around Mojave Preserve Hiking Around Las Vegas Glossary Copyright, Conditions, Disclaimer Home

 

Google Ads