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Ninetynine Mine Road
Backroads Around Las Vegas, Red Rock Canyon NCA
Ninetynine Mine Road

Overview

Ninetynine Mine Road is a side-road off Cottonwood Valley Road that runs 2.6 miles out to the Ninetynine Mine. The road is rough, rocky, and requires a 4WD vehicle in one section not far from Cottonwood Valley Road.

The road provides access to hiking, biking, hunting, and camping opportunities along the east side of Mt. Potosi, and it provides access to the trailhead for the tough hike to the Carol Lombard Crash Site high in the cliffs on the side of Mt. Potosi

Link to map.

Ninetynine Mine Road
Forest Road 800B (Ninetynine Mine Road) highway sign (view SW)

Watch Out

Other than the standard warnings about driving in the desert, ...this road is getting to be a pretty rough and requires a 4WD vehicle. Cell phones work in some areas. This is a major mountain biking area, so keep an eye out for inattentive bikers careening down the road.

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

Getting to the Roadhead

From Las Vegas, drive west on Highway 160 (Pahrump Highway) to the Cottonwood Valley Trailhead, then drive south on Cottonwood Valley Road for 4.6 miles to Ninetynine Mine Road (Table 1, Site 0488) on the right.

Note that Cottonwood Valley Road and Ninetynine Mine Road require a 4WD vehicle.

Ninetynine Mine Road
Starting into 4WD section (view SW)

The Road

From Cottonwood Valley Road, the road intersection onto Ninetynine Mine Road is washed out and blocked by a deep erosion gully, requiring drivers to cross the gully a fair ways north or south of Ninetynine Mine Road.

From Cottonwood Valley Road at Ninetynine Mine Road (Site 0488), Ninetynine Mine Road runs southwest. The start of the road is a long, deep rut, and drivers have been making a new road to the side of the original. After joining the original road, the road begins to climb a hillside. The road looks bad, as it is rutted with lots of loose rock and requires 4WD. Fortunately, this section is short, and at the top, drivers can shift out of 4WD for the duration of the road.

At about 0.66 miles out, Ninetynine Mine Road merges with FR-800C (Site 1125), which comes in from the left. Ninetynine Mine Road continues straight across gentle terrain, now designated as Road FR-800C.

Ninetynine Mine Road
4WD section (view SW)

At about 1.29 miles out, Ninetynine Mine Road merges with FR-800 (Site 1126), which comes in from the left. Road FR-800 is an official, designated road, but it seems unused to the left. Ninetynine Mine Road continues straight across gentle terrain, now designated as Road FR-800.

At about 1.48 miles out, the Dawn Mine Road (FR-800D) forks to the left (Site 1127). From the intersection, the mine tailings can be seen about 1/2-mile distant. Dawn Mine Road is barricaded halfway to the mine, but hikers can continue on foot. Mines are never safe to enter, and this one seems to have bad air, possibly the lingering stench of a hiker never recovered from the mine.

Ninetynine Mine Road
4WD section (view SW)

At the Dawn Mine Road fork (Site 1127), Ninetynine Mine Road bends hard to the right and continues across gentle terrain, now heading more to the northwest. The road runs into a wash along the base of the mountain, then at 2.25 miles out arrives at another fork in the road (Site 1128).

The road to the right is Road FR-800A. It is a fine road up onto the ridge (skyline), but degrades considerably going down the other side and should not be used as a "short cut" to Cottonwood Pass except by drivers on ATVs.

Ninetynine Mine Road
4WD section (view SW)

Ninetynine Mine Road continues past Road FR-800A curving gently to the west. At about 2.43 miles out, the road arrives at the Ninetynine Mine (Site 1129). All three access roads are closed, but it is a short, 1 minute walk to the tailings pile. There is some old trash in the area, but nothing of value remains. The mine openings are interesting, but not safe to enter.

Ninetynine Mine Road continues past the mine for about 0.2 miles to where is was blocked off by the Forest Service (Site 0869; about 2.61 miles out). During Fall 2012, however, there was no sigh of barricades at this point, and there were designated road sign farther up the road. I'm not entirely sure about the legalities of driving farther up the road, so it might be safest for drivers to park at the mine and walk farther up the canyon. This is the trailhead for the route to the Carol Lombard Crash Site., and the old A-frame cabin us just up the road and around the corner to the left.

Ninetynine Mine Road
Easy road after 4WD section (view SW)
Ninetynine Mine Road
Easy road (view SW)
Ninetynine Mine Road
99 Mine Rd at Road FR-800C
Ninetynine Mine Road
Rocky, but easy road (view NW)
Ninetynine Mine Road
99 Mine Rd at Road FR-800 (view NW)
Ninetynine Mine Road
99 Mine Rd approaching Dawn Mine Road (FR-800D; view NW)
Ninetynine Mine Road
99 Mine Rd at Dawn Mine Road (FR-800D; view NW)
Ninetynine Mine Road
Start of Dawn Mine Road (FR-800D; view W from 99 Mine Rd)
Ninetynine Mine Road
Dawn Mine Road (FR-800D; view W from 99 Mine Rd)
Ninetynine Mine Road
99 Mine Rd (view NW from Dawn Mine Road intersection)
Ninetynine Mine Road
Rocky, but easy road (view NW)
Ninetynine Mine Road
Rocky, but easy road (view NW)
Ninetynine Mine Road
Not-so-rocky, easy road (view NW)
Ninetynine Mine Road
99 Mine Rd entering wash at base of mountain (view NW)
Ninetynine Mine Road
99 Mine Rd at Road FR-800A (view NW)
Ninetynine Mine Road
99 Mine Rd approaching Ninetynine Mine (view NW)
Ninetynine Mine Road
Ninetynine Mine (view SW from 99 Mine Rd)
more to come ...

Returning Down the Worst of the Road

Ninetynine Mine Road Ninetynine Mine Road
Ninetynine Mine Road Ninetynine Mine 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
0488 Cottonwood Rd at 99 Mine Rd 641404 3978040 35.93830 115.43239 4,697 Yes
0869 Lombard Rd Trailhead (est) 638269 3979617 35.95296 115.46685 5,693 Yes
1125 FR800B at FR800C 640480 3977749 35.93581 115.44268 4,903 GPS
1126 FR800C at FR800 639653 3978240 35.94035 115.45176 5,122 GPS
1127 FR800 at FR800D 639436 3978467 35.94243 115.45413 5,190 GPS
1128 FR800 at FR800A 638752 3979427 35.95118 115.46153 5,504 GPS
1129 FR800 at 99 Mine Rd 638509 3979531 35.95215 115.46421 5,607 GPS

Happy Hiking! All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate.
copyright; Last updated 150120

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