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River Mountains Loop

Take a break from the slot machines for this 34 mile paved loop trail that offers incredible desert and lake views.
Rating: 5 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Moderate
Length: 34 miles
Duration: Half day
Family Friendly

Overview :  You don't have to be into gambling to love Las Vegas. Odds are, you'll be surprised by the quality and diversity of outdoor activities... more »

Tips:  - No matter what time of year you visit the trail, you will need lots of water. Take double what you normally might. The low humidity,... more »

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Points of Interest

This is the best place to start your River Mountain Loop excursion for numerous reasons.
1. It has a huge parking lot.
2. This is where the milepost numbers begin. (mile 0)
3. It is one of the closest trailheads to Las Vegas
4. There is an endless buffet awaiting your return, in the casino.

2. Boulder City...

The city that built Hoover Dam

Near the end of Yucca Street, you will find the Bootleg Canyon Park trailhead. This area is part of Boulder City, Nevada but is not very near to any stores or restaurants.

4. River Mountain Trail parking

This trailhead is near the heart of Boulder City.

5. trail and flood control ditches become one

In two spots, the trail is used as a flood control ditch and vice-versa. This means that when it is raining or sprinkler systems are running, there is water on the trail. It also means there is the distinct possibility of major flooding during severe rainstorms. In addition, this also means that there are low bridges and steel barriers that... More

6. Hoover Dam Inn

In addition to the Railroad Pass Casino, this is one of the closest trailside accommodations available throughout the loop trail.

7. Pacifica Way trailhead

8. Trail junction and trailhead

In exixtence since 1936 and originally dubbed "Boulder Dam Recreation Area," the Lake Mead National Recreation Area spans two states and two reservoirs. It offers both desert and lakeshore recreational opportunities including camping, hiking, boating, and fishing.

10. RV campground

Lake Mead National Recreation Area's campgrounds offer restrooms, running water, dump stations, grills, picnic tables and shade. RV's, trailers and tents are welcome.

11. Flash flood area

Needless to say, this is not where you want to be in the case of a flash flood. If in doubt, look for high ground rather than using the culvert/tunnel.

12. Trail on old road

Remnants of an old road run alongside the trail at this point. Fortunately, the road is no longer open and the trail is plenty wide here.

13. Steep climb starts/ends

If you are riding the trail counter-clockwise, this is the first of many fairly steep climbs.

14. Trailhead and equestrian access

15. Ride on road for this portion of loop.

The trail joins a two-lane road in this area. For about two miles, trail users share the road with motorists. Although the motor traffic is light, caution is advised.

16. Back on trail as it passes under Lake Mead Parkway

If you are traveling counter-clockwise on the trail, you will be leaving Lake Mead Parkway, crossing under the road, and back onto the trail at this point.

17. steep climb

Put your bike into low gear and enjoy the climb. It gets pretty steep around this point. If you are going downhill, keep your speed in check.

18. Trail junction

A local access trail joins the River Mountain Loop at this point.

19. fauna

If you're on the trail in the morning or early evening, you may encounter some of the area locals such as coyotes, deer, bighorn sheep, or a desert tortoise.

20. Views of Lake Mead

Portions of the River Mountain Loop trail afford panoramic views of Lake Mead and the surrounding countryside.

21. Educational signs

Throughout the loop, you will find interesting historical, geographical, and environmental information posted on trailside signs.

22. flora

Enjoy the sun-loving plants that abound in various spots along the trail. Learn about gypsophiles and their unique relationship with the particular soils, sunshine, and dry weather in the Lake Mead area.