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Mud Spring No. 2 Route
Hiking Around Las Vegas, Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area
Mud Spring No. 2 Route
Mud Spring No. 2 Route
Hiker departing trailhead (view west)

Overview

This short route runs about 800 feet up a wash to a spring with velvet ash trees, desert willow trees, cattails, and other wetland vegetation. The spring is located in the desert flats below the Red Rock Escarpment, west of Blue Diamond (south end of the Red Rock Cliffs). Access is from Highway 160 using Black Velvet Road and Lone Grapevine Road, both of which should be suitable in a carefully driven sedan. This is a quiet place to stop, relax, "smell the roses," and listen to the songs of frogs and birds.

Link to map.

Mud Spring No. 2 Route
Wash below spring (view west)

Watch Out

Other than the standard warnings about hiking in the desert, ...this hike is short and safe with no unusual hazards. Without a high-clearance vehicle, be sure to drive carefully.

While hiking, please respect the land and the other people out there, and try to Leave No Trace of your passage. Also, even though this hike is short, be sure to bring what you need of the 10 Essentials.

Mud Spring No. 2 Route
Water in the wash (view west)

Getting to the Trailhead

This hike is located in Red Rock Canyon NCA, but not in the Scenic Loop fee area.

From the Red Rock Visitor Center area, drive west then south on West Charleston Blvd. (Hwy 159) past Blue Diamond Town to Highway 160. Turn right onto Highway 160 and drive west for 4.7 miles to the paved Late Night Trailhead on the right. From the end of the paved parking area, follow Black Velvet Road for 1.3 miles to either of two roads to the left. These roads are two forks of Lone Grapevine Road. Follow Lone Grapevine Road west for 0.5 miles to a 2-3 car parking area (Site 1084) on the right at the edge of a bluff overlooking the wash. Park here; this is the trailhead.

Mud Spring No. 2 Route
Seep at base of red mud cliff (view north)

The Hike

From the trailhead (Table 2, Waypoint 01), the route runs down off the bluff on either of two use-trails to the west. On the flats below, the use-trails fade and the route drops into the wash. During cooler months, water flows past this point.

Following the wash upstream, the sides of the wash steepen, and then the route passes a red mud-cliff on the right. At the base of the cliff, notice a hard layer of white rock. This layer is impermeable to water, and hikers may see water seeping out of the red mud at this point. Impermeable rock layers like this usually are the cause of springs at Red Rocks, and at this point, the process is more visible than elsewhere.

Mud Spring No. 2 Route
Mud Spring No. 2 (view west)

Continuing a few steps past the red mud cliff, the wash bends to the left. At the base of the brushy cliff to the right, notice the moss, rushes, and other riparian vegetation tucked among rabbitbrush. This is Mud Spring No. 2. The riparian vegetation ends (Wpt. 04) just a minute or two upstream from the spring.

When ready to head back, follow your footprints in the wash back to the trailhead, but while out here, consider visiting other springs in the area, such as Lone Grapevine Spring and Wooden Fence Spring.

Mud Spring No. 2 Route
Red mud cliff (view north); the spring is to the left of here
Mud Spring No. 2 Route
Wash with water (view south); the spring is to the right of here
Mud Spring No. 2 Route
Hiker in the wash above the spring (view north)
Mud Spring No. 2 Route
Mud Spring No. 2 (view west from wash)
Mud Spring No. 2 Route
Looking for tadpoles (view east)
Mud Spring No. 2 Route
Pool of water in the wash (view east)

Table 2. Hiking Coordinates and Distances based on GPS Data (NAD27; UTM Zone 11S). Download Hiking GPS Waypoints (*.gpx) file.

Wpt. Location Easting Northing Elevation (ft) Point-to-Point Distance (mi) Cumulative Distance (mi) Verified
01 Trailhead 640524 3987781 3,796 0.00 0.00 GPS
02 Wash 640453 3987811 3,792 0.07 0.07 GPS
03 Mud Spring No. 2 640340 3987790 3,796 0.08 0.15 GPS
04 End of Riparian Vegetation 640320 3987727 3,809 0.05 0.20 GPS
01 Trailhead 640524 3987781 3,796 0.25 0.40 GPS

Happy Hiking! All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate.
copyright; Last updated 120427

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