birdandhike.com logo
Home | Wilderness | Hiking | Arrow Canyon Wilderness | Backroads
Arrow Canyon Road
Backroads Around Las Vegas, Arrow Canyon Wilderness Area
Arrow Canyon Access Road
Arrow Canyon Access Road
Highway 168 at Warm Spring Road (getting close!)

Overview

Arrow Canyon Road runs 2.0 miles from Highway 168 to the edge of the Arrow Canyon Wilderness Area in Lower Arrow Canyon and provides hiking access to the spectacularly deep-and-narrow Arrow Canyon. This road is graded and maintained past a residence to a municipal water facility, but after that, the road is an unmaintained two-track. Hikers in sedans can drive out 0.5 miles and park past the water facility, and under good conditions, the entire road is suitable for 2WD high-clearance vehicles, but the road washes out and can require 4WD.

There has been a history of access issues with a land owner along the road. The road provides legal access across private property (evidenced by the BLM signs), but try not to annoy the land owner.

Link to map.

Arrow Canyon Access Road
Approaching Arrow Canyon Access Road (view W)

Watch Out

Other than the standard warnings about hiking and driving in the desert, ...this is an easy drive if the first crossing is okay, but the first wash crossing usually is the worst for sand and steep slopes. Beyond there, only the last wash crossing might cause 2WD problems. Other than the first wash crossing, there are no sandy spots on this road.

While out, please respect the land and the other people out there, and try to Leave No Trace of your passage. Also, even though this road is short, be sure to bring what you need of the 10 Essentials. Be aware of the weather report and stay out of this area if rain is expected; you don’t want to get caught in a flash flood. It is my understanding that the homeowner does not like company, so wave politely and drive on by at a speed that does not cause a dust cloud.

Arrow Canyon Access Road
Arrow Canyon Road (view SW from pavement)

Getting to the Roadhead

This road is located on Highway 168 northwest of Moapa and Glendale, about 1 hour from Las Vegas. From town, out to the Arrow Canyon Wilderness Area. For the quickest route, drive north on Interstate-15 to Glendale (Table 1, Site 0879). Exit the interstate and drive northwest on Highway 168. Drive about 11 miles to a dirt road on the left with a traditional western ranch entrance (Site 1170). This is the Arrow Canyon Access Road.

For a more scenic drive, exit Interstate-15 onto Highway 93 (Site 0674). Drive north to Highway 168 (Site 0877). Turn right onto Highway 168 and drive southeast 13 miles to the Arrow Canyon Access Road (Site 1170).

Arrow Canyon Access Road
Signs at ranch entrance

The Road

From the pavement (Site 1170), the road runs southwest under an old-style ranch entrance, but without a gate. A small sign on the fence announces "The Bradys." BLM signs at the entrance state "Access to Arrow Canyon" and "All Vehicle Use Limited to Designated Roads and Trails." Just beyond the entrance, a BLM carsonite sign reads "Designated Route, Route Ends 1.8 miles ahead."

At about 0.28 miles out, the road forks (Site 1171). The Access Road stays to the right, while the left is the driveway to the big house. This left and others are coated with red gravel: STAY OFF THE RED ROADS!

Arrow Canyon Access Road
BLM access signs at ranch entrance

Staying to the right, the road runs out around the private property and over a hill. At the top the hill, a Municipal Water Facility comes into view. Continue down the hill towards the facility. At 0.5 miles out, turn right onto a two-track road marked with a carsonite "Designated Route" sign, which is just before the gates and "No Parking" signs (Site 1172). In a sedan, park along the road just before the "no parking" signs.

The two-track leads out around the west (right) side of the facility fencing and continues south towards the wash. Just beyond the facility, there is another designated route carsonite sign.

Arrow Canyon Access Road
BLM "Designated Route" sign inside ranch entrance

At 0.74 miles out, the road crosses Arrow Canyon Wash. Except for near the end of the road, this is the only questionable spot for drivers in 2WD vehicles. The road dips steeply into the wash, turns upstream a few yards, and then climbs steeply out. Because of the sharp turns, drivers can't get up any momentum in the wash bottom. I've seen this with soft sand in the bottom of the wash creating a 2WD trap, and I've seen it with hardpack gravel, making it a breeze in 2WD. Drivers in a 2WD vehicles should check the road before driving into the wash to make sure you can make it back out (both ways).

Beyond the first wash crossing, the road is fairly good. There are a few bumps, but generally the road is fine and the base is firm. At about 0.80 miles out, the road passes a campsite on the left.

Arrow Canyon Access Road
Roads with red gravel are private property

The road crosses the wash a couple of times. At 1.63 miles out, the road is on the south side of the wash and passes a short spur road to the left that leads to a large parking area and campsite. Beyond this point, the road get rougher, so some drivers might want to stop at the campsite and hike the rest of the way.

Continuing, the road runs into the rocky wash and eventually climbs out in a rough spot to the south side. After that, a good road runs out another 2 minutes and ends at a cable fence with a carsonite sign announcing the end of the road and the beginning of the Arrow Canyon Wilderness Area (Site 0632). There is one nice campsite here, and space for another.

For hikers, this is the Arrow Canyon Trailhead, and the best of the narrows starts about 1 mile up the canyon.

For a different perspective on the road, see the Arrow Canyon Road - Outbound Photos webpage.

Arrow Canyon Access Road
Approaching the water facility (view S)
Arrow Canyon Access Road
Turning right before water facility; no parking here (view S)
Arrow Canyon Access Road
Two-track turns off before Water facility (view S)
Arrow Canyon Access Road
Designated Route sign past water facility (view S)
Arrow Canyon Road
Approaching 2WD parking area (view SW)
Arrow Canyon Road
2WD parking area (view W from road)
Arrow Canyon Road
2WD parking area and information sign (view W)
Arrow Canyon Road
A few cedar-posts along the road
Arrow Canyon Road
Road drops into wash (0.74 miles out; view S)
Arrow Canyon Access Road
Road climbs out of wash (before floods; 0.74 miles out; view SW)
Arrow Canyon Road
Turn off to first camp area (0.79 miles out; view SW)
Arrow Canyon Road
Road (0.98 miles out; view SW)
Arrow Canyon Access Road
Road (1.02 miles out; view W)
Arrow Canyon Access Road
Road (1.21 miles out; view SW)
Arrow Canyon Road
Road crosses wash to N side (1.35 miles out)
Arrow Canyon Access Road
Before flood: crossing wash to S side (1.41 miles out; view SW)
Arrow Canyon Road
Exiting wash to S side (1.43 miles out; view SW)
Arrow Canyon Access Road
Road (1.49 miles out; view W)
Arrow Canyon Road
Road (1.55 miles out; view W)
Arrow Canyon Access Road
Before flood: road at turn to second camp (1.63 miles out; view W)
Arrow Canyon Road
After flood: road at turn to second camp (1.63 miles out; view W)
Arrow Canyon Access Road
Big campsite on spur road (1.63 miles out; view S)
Arrow Canyon Access Road
Big campsite on spur road (1.63 miles out; view S)
Arrow Canyon Access Road
Road (1.71 miles out; view SW)
Arrow Canyon Road
Start of serious washout (1.74 miles out; view SW)
Arrow Canyon Road
Washed out road (1.76 miles out; view SW)
Arrow Canyon Road
Washed out road (1.77 miles out; view SW)
Arrow Canyon Road
Washed out 4WD wash crossing (1.79 miles out; view SW)
Arrow Canyon Road
Washed out wash crossing requires 4WD (1.80 miles out; view SW)
Arrow Canyon Access Road
Easy road past the rough spot (1.85 miles out; view W)
Arrow Canyon Access Road
Arriving at trailhead parking (1.97 miles out; view W)
Arrow Canyon Access Road
Trailhead Parking (view W; don't drive a sedan here - towed out)
Arrow Canyon Road
Trailhead parking (1.97 miles out; view W)
Arrow Canyon Access Road
Trailhead Parking (view W)
Arrow Canyon Road
Cable fence at end of the road (view W; 1.98 miles out)
Arrow Canyon Road
Trailhead Parking (view W)
Arrow Canyon Road
Trailhead Parking and campsite (view W)
Arrow Canyon Access Road
Trailhead Parking (view W)
Arrow Canyon Access Road
Trailhead Parking (view W)
Arrow Canyon Access Road
Cable fence at end of the road
Arrow Canyon Access Road
Campsite at end of the road (view N)
Arrow Canyon Access Road
Campsite at end of the road (view E)

Table 2. Backroad 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
0632 Arrow Canyon, Lower Parking 699387 4066791 36.72773 114.76724 1,929 GPS
0674 I-15 at Hwy 93 689188 4028063 36.38091 114.89089 2,215 Yes
0877 Hwy 93 at Hwy 168 683266 4074374 36.79930 114.94584 2,532 Yes
0878 Hwy 168 at Warm Springs Rd (W) 702121 4067952 36.73761 114.73635 1,831 Yes
0879 I-15 at Hwy 168 (Glendale) 716889 4059763 36.66059 114.57340 1,542 Yes
1169 Hwy 168 at Warm Springs Rd (E) 702841 4067680 36.73501 114.72836 1,816 Yes
1170 Hwy 168 at Arrow Canyon Access Road 701747 4068077 36.73882 114.74050 1,823 Yes
1171 Red Driveway (Keep out) 701357 4067847 36.73683 114.74493 1,850 GPS
1172 Municipal Water Facility 701185 4067605 36.73469 114.74691 1,867 GPS
1173 Road Drops into Wash 701188 4067293 36.73188 114.74696 1,857 GPS
camp camp 701131 4067211 36.73115 114.74763 1,853 GPS
camp camp 699898 4066808 36.72778 114.76152 1,879 GPS
rough spot rough spot 699652 4066771 36.72749 114.76429 1,879 GPS

Happy Hiking! All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate.
copyright; Last updated 161209

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

 

Google Ads