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Interstate 15 -- Southbound from Gold Butte to Las Vegas
Backroads Around Las Vegas
Interstate 15
Interstate-15
Highway 170 merging onto Interstate 15

Overview

Interstate 15 southbound, as described here, runs south from Highway 170 (Bunkerville Road) to downtown Las Vegas (intersection of I-15 and Hwy 95; the downtown Las Vegas Spaghetti Bowl). The interstate is nothing special, just another interstate highway, but it traverses big desert with grand views and provides access to wild and amazing outdoor recreation.

There are two truck parking areas with dumpsters where Gold Butte campers can stop and throw away trash without having to take it all the way home.

Link to map.

Interstate-15
Interstate 15 climbing onto Mormon Mesa

Watch Out

Other than the standard warnings about hiking in the desert, ... this is a safe road, except of course, for drunks and whack-nuts doing stupid things at 80 mph.

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

Interstate-15
Approaching Truck Parking area

The Road

From Highway 170 (Table 1, Site 0684), Interstate 15 runs northwest climbing steeply to the top of Mormon Mesa. Just atop the mesa, there is a truck parking area with two dumpsters where campers from Gold Butte National Monument can stop and drop off their campsite garbage.

Continuing west, the highway crosses Mormon Mesa. At the far west side of the mesa, there is another truck parking area with a second chance to use a dumpster.

Descending steeply off the west side of Mormon Mesa, the interstate heads towards the Muddy River crossing. Shortly before getting to the Muddy, Exit 91 leads to the first gas station since Gold Butte. This is a good place to stop for gas, as well as food and a clean restroom. This exit also provides access to Moapa National Wildlife Refuge.

Interstate-15
Exit to Truck Parking

Continuing, the interstate runs southwest climbing out of the Muddy River Valley and enters the Moapa River Indian Reservation. At Exit 75, drivers can get off the interstate to buy gas, firewood, smokes, drinks, and even do a little gambling at the Moapa Tribal Plaza. Drivers can also continue east from this exit to Valley of Fire State Park and Lake Mead National Recreation Area.

Beyond the Tribal Plaza, the interstate continues southwest across the open desert. Climbing over a low pass, the highway drops in to Dry Lake Valley. At the far west end of Dry Lake Valley, Exit 64 to Highway 93 leads to the eastern Nevada cities of Pioche and Ely, as well as a big truck stop with gas and food. This is also the new industrial expansion area for Las Vegas, and drivers will see several gas-fired power plants, manufacturing facilities, and a strip mine for limestone (to produce cement).

Beyond Highway 93, the interstate climbs over Apex Summit and drops into the Las Vegas Valley, this lights of which can be seen from not far past the summit.

Interstate-15
Truck Parking area
Interstate-15
First of two dumpsters at Truck Parking area
Interstate-15
Glendale (gas and toilet) 18 miles; Las Vegas 66 miles
Interstate-15
Exit 100 too Carp and Elgin 1/2 miles ahead
Interstate-15
Approaching Exit 100 too Carp and Elgin
Interstate-15
Exit 100 too Carp and Elgin
Interstate-15
Second Truck Parking on Mormon Mesa 1 mile
Interstate-15
Second Truck Parking on Mormon Mesa 1/2 mile
Interstate-15
Exit to second Truck Parking on Mormon Mesa
Interstate-15
Truck Parking on Mormon Mesa with dumpster
Interstate-15
Continuing across Mormon Mesa
Interstate-15
Caution steep downhill of Mormon Mesa
Interstate-15
Exit 93 to Overton and Logandale 1 mile ahead
Interstate-15
Descending steeply off the west edge of Mormon Mesa
Interstate-15
Approaching exit to Lost City Museum and others
Interstate-15
Approaching Exit 93 to Logandale and Overton
Interstate-15
Exit 93 to Logandale and Overton
Interstate-15
Exit 91 to Glendale and Moapa 1 mile ahead
Interstate-15
Exit ahead to Moapa River Indian Reservation
Interstate-15
Exit 91 to Glendale and Moapa ahead
Interstate-15
Approaching Exit 91 to Glendale and Moapa
Interstate-15
Exit 91 to Glendale (gas, food, and clean restroom) and Moapa
Interstate-15
Interstate 15 crossing Muddy River bridge
Interstate-15
Exit 88 to Hidden Valley ahead
Interstate-15
Exit 88 to Hidden Valley
Interstate-15
Mile 88 exit to truck parking without dumpsters
Interstate-15
Mile 88 truck parking without dumpsters
Interstate-15
Exit 84 to Byron (no facilities) 1/2 miles ahead
Interstate-15
Approaching Exit 84 to Byron (no facilities)
Interstate-15
Exit 84 to Byron (no facilities)
Interstate-15
Exit 84 to Byron (no facilities)
Interstate-15
Interstate 15 entering Moapa River Indian Reservation
Interstate-15
Exit 80 to Ute (no facilities) 1/2 miles ahead
Interstate-15
Approaching Exit 80 to Ute (no facilities)
Interstate-15
Exit 80 to Ute (no facilities)
Interstate-15
Interstate 15 southbound across big, open desert
Interstate-15
Exit 75 to Valley of Fire and Lake Mead 1 miles ahead
Interstate-15
Exit 75 to Valley of Fire and Lake Mead 1/2 miles ahead
Interstate-15
Exit ahead to Valley of Fire and Lake Mead
Interstate-15
Exit 75 to Valley of Fire, Lake Mead, and Tribal Plaza
Interstate-15
Exit 75 to Valley of Fire, Lake Mead, and Tribal Plaza
Interstate-15
Exit 75 to Valley of Fire, Lake Mead, and Tribal Plaza
Interstate-15
Getting close to Las Vegas (32 miles)
Interstate-15
Interstate 15 exiting Moapa River Indian Reservation
Interstate-15
Interstate 15 southbound across big, open desert
Interstate-15
Exit 64 to Highway 93 northbound, Pioche, and Ely 1 mile ahead
Interstate-15
Exit ahead to Apex and Caliente
Interstate-15
Exit ahead to Great Basin National Park
Interstate-15
Approaching Exit 64 to Highway 93 northbound, Pioche, and Ely
Interstate-15
Exit 64 to Highway 93 northbound
Interstate-15
Getting closer to Las Vegas (20 miles)
Interstate-15
Check Station: All commercial vehicles exit (usually closed)
Interstate-15
Interstate 15 southbound at Apex Summit
Interstate-15
First distant view of the Las Vegas Valley
Interstate-15
Approaching Exit 58 to Apex and Nellis AFB
Interstate-15
Exit 58 to Apex and Nellis AFB
Interstate-15
Getting closer to Las Vegas (14 miles)
Interstate-15
Near Nellis AFB, watch for low-flying aircraft
Interstate-15
Exit 54 to Speedway and Hollywood Blvds. (Nellis AFB) 1/2 mile
Interstate-15
Exit 54 to Speedway and Hollywood Blvds. (Nellis AFB)
Interstate-15
Exit 52 to Highway 215 westbound 1/2 miles ahead
Interstate-15
Exit 52 to Highway 215 westbound 1/4 miles ahead
Interstate-15
Approaching Exit 52 to Highway 215 westbound
Interstate-15
Exit 52 to Highway 215 westbound
Interstate-15
Exit 48 to Craig Road 1/2 miles ahead
Interstate-15
Approaching Exit 48 to Craig Road
Interstate-15
Exit 48 to Craig Road
Interstate-15
Exit 42 ahead to Hwy 95 (Phoenix and Reno)
Interstate-15
I-15 at Hwy 95 (Downtown Las Vegas Spaghetti Bowl; view S)
Interstate-15
Exit 42 to Hwy 95 (Phoenix and Reno)
Interstate-15
Exit 42 to Hwy 95 (Phoenix and Reno)
Interstate-15
Exit 42 to Hwy 95 (Phoenix and Reno)

Table 1. Highway Coordinates Based on GPS Data (NAD27; UTM Zone 11S). Download Highway GPS Waypoints (*.gpx) file.

Wpt. Location Latitude (N) Longitude (W) Elevation (ft) Point-to-Point Distance (mi) Cumulative Distance (mi) Verified
0800 I-15 at Hwy 93-95 36.17427 115.15402 2,040 00.00 00.00 Yes
0801 I-15 at Lake Mead Blvd 36.19585 115.13784 1,950 01.80 01.80 Yes
1637 I-15 at Speedway Blvd 36.28269 115.02537 2,051 08.90 10.70 Yes
0674 I-15 at Hwy 93 (Apex) 36.38089 114.89084 2,215 10.70 21.40 Yes
1027 I-15 at Valley of Fire Rd 36.50222 114.76074 2,017 11.40 32.80 Yes
0879 I-15 at Hwy 168 (Glendale) 36.66065 114.57337 1,542 15.20 48.00 Yes
1638 I-15 at Hwy 169 (Overton) 36.67075 114.52082 1,759 03.00 51.00 Yes
0684 I-15 at Hwy 170 36.77063 114.23374 1,804 18.50 69.50 Yes

Happy Hiking! All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate.
copyright; Last updated 171214

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