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Cedar Canyon Road - Eastbound
Hiking Around Las Vegas, Mojave National Preserve
Cedar Canyon Road
Cedar Canyon Road
Signs along Kelso-Cima Road (view SW)

Overview

Cedar Canyon Road starts as a paved road, but then becomes a graded dirt road that runs east-west across the central part of the Preserve, connecting Kelso-Cima Road with Ivanpah-Lanfair Valley Road. The dirt road generally is fine for sedans, but it can be badly washboarded and a few spots can be a bit washed out and sandy where drivers might be more happy in a 2WD-HC vehicle.

This road provides access to hikes, homes, ranches, and primitive camping areas in Round Valley and Lanfair Valley, and it connects to Caruthers Canyon. This road also connects with roads leading to established campgrounds and the Hole-in-the-Wall Visitor Center.

Link to map.

Cedar Canyon Road
Approaching Cedar Canyon Rd (view SW)

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 east of Black Canyon Road, inquire locally about current conditions and use your own good judgment about the road conditions, as the road is subject to washouts. Much of the road can be driven at 45 mph, but if driving that fast, pay attention to curve-ahead signs.

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.

Cedar Canyon Road

Getting to the Road

This road is located in Mojave National Preserve, about 1-1/4 hours south of Las Vegas.

From town, drive south on I-15 to Mojave National Preserve. The west end of Cedar Canyon Road is accessed from the paved Kelso-Cima Road (Table 1, Site 0832), and the east end is accessed from the dirt Ivanpah Road (Site 1470).

Cedar Canyon Road
Initially, Cedar Canyon Rd is nicely paved (view SE)

The Road

From the pavement on Kelso-Cima Road (Site 0832), Cedar Canyon Road runs east, crosses ungated railroad tracks (look both ways!), and heads up the bajada towards the Mid Hills. For the first 2.3 miles, the road is paved, but parts of the pavement are damaged. After that, the road is entirely graded dirt.

The road passes several minor side-roads as it winds up into Cedar Canyon. Here, drivers will encounter sharp curves that can be badly washboarded and sandy with a few rocks, but should be passable in a carefully driven sedan.

At 6.0 miles out, the road makes a T-intersection with Black Canyon Road (Site 0833), which turns right and heads south into the Hole-in-the-Wall area.

Cedar Canyon Road
In places, the pavement is damaged (view SE)

Continuing east and climbing out the top of Cedar Canyon, the road runs out across Round Valley. The road mostly is wide and smooth, which lulls drivers into excessive speed - pay attention to the "curves ahead" warning signs. Throughout Round Valley, the road passes cattle guards, minor side roads, cows, and ranches, but the main road always is obvious.

At about 9.5 miles out, Government Hole Road (Site 1471) forks off to the right, and at about 10.8 miles out, Rock Spring Road (Site 1448) also forks off to the right. This road leads to the Rock House and Rock Spring Trail.

Just past the turnoff to Rock House Road, the road dips towards a broad wash. On the near side of the wash, 11.2 miles out, the road reaches a T-intersection (Site 1450) with the west end of New York Mountain Road, which runs northeast from here and leads to Caruthers Canyon.

Cedar Canyon Road
Pavement ends (view SE)

Cedar Canyon continues into a broad, sometimes sandy wash, climbs over a low ridge, and crosses another sandy wash. This is the area where drivers in sedans might have trouble.

Beyond the troublesome spots, the road climbs over low hills and begins the long descent into Lanfair Valley. The road runs southeast, but then makes two 90-degree curves, both of which are easy to go into at excessive speed.

After the second curve, the road runs east, passes around a low hill, and resumes heading east until ending at a T-intersection (Site 1470). To the left, Ivanpah Road runs north; and to the right, Lanfair Valley Road runs south.

Cedar Canyon Road
Approaching Cedar Canyon (view E)
Cedar Canyon Road
Entering Cedar Canyon (view E)
Cedar Canyon Road Cedar Canyon Road
Cedar Canyon Road
Approaching Black Canyon Road (view NE)
Cedar Canyon Road
Approaching Black Canyon Road (view NE)
Cedar Canyon Road
Approaching Black Canyon Road (view NE)
Cedar Canyon Road
Approaching Black Canyon Road (view NE)
Cedar Canyon Road Cedar Canyon Road
Cedar Canyon Road Cedar Canyon Road
Cedar Canyon Road
Lightly washboarded road
Cedar Canyon Road
Heavily washboarded road
Cedar Canyon Road
Cattle guard (view SE)
Cedar Canyon Road
Entering Round Valley (view SE)
Cedar Canyon Road
Watch for curve signs (view SE)
Cedar Canyon Road
Watch for moving road hazards (cows) too (view SE)
Cedar Canyon Road Cedar Canyon Road
Cedar Canyon Road
Approaching Rock Spring Road (view ENE)
Cedar Canyon Road
Approaching New York Mtn Road (view ENE)
Cedar Canyon Road Cedar Canyon Road
Cedar Canyon Road
Evening in Lanfair Valley (view SE)
Cedar Canyon Road
Evening in Lanfair Valley (view SE)
Cedar Canyon Road
Evening in Lanfair Valley, watch for curve signs (view SE)
Cedar Canyon Road
Crossing Lanfair Valley (view SE)
Cedar Canyon Road
Approaching Ivanpah-Lanfair Valley Road (view E)
Cedar Canyon Road
Highway sign (view SE)
Cedar Canyon Road Cedar Canyon Road

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
0832 Cima-Kelso Rd at Cedar Cyn Rd 635848 3893416 35.17631 115.50817 3,727 Yes
0833 Cedar Cyn Rd at Black Cyn Rd 644718 3893322 35.17422 115.41081 5,007 Yes
1448 Cedar Cyn Rd at Rock Spring Rd 651435 3891403 35.15594 115.33743 4,880 Yes
1450 Cedar Cyn Rd at NY Mts Rd 651960 3891546 35.15714 115.33163 4,811 Yes
1470 Cedar Cyn Rd @ Ivanpah Rd 665583 3888405 35.12668 115.18277 4,083 Yes
1471 Cedar Cyn Rd @ Government Hole Rd 649263 3891038 35.15297 115.36133 4,988 Yes
1472 Cedar Cyn Rd @ Pavement Ends 639403 3892219 35.16503 115.46934 4,275 Yes

Happy Hiking! All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate.
copyright; Last updated 140204

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