|Typically Open:||Year Round|
|Highest Elevation:||3719 feet|
|Duration:||About 1 hour 58 minutes|
|Shape of Trail:||Straight Through|
|Best Direction to Travel:||South|
|Nearest Town w/ Services:||Boulder City|
|Official Road Name:||Goldmine Trail|
|Management Agency:||US National Park Service|
|District:||Lake Mead National Recreation Area|
Nelson Goldmine Trail is an off-road trail that features great scenic views, multiple rock obstacles, abandoned mining equipment and some murderous history. The area known as Nelson, Nevada was originally called Eldorado in 1775 by the Spaniards who made the original discoveries of gold in the area that is now Eldorado Canyon. The town was the site of one of the first major gold strikes in Nevada and one of the biggest mining booms in state history. Gold and silver were discovered here around 1859. The rush to the canyon began in 1861, several mining camps were established in the canyon and a steamboat landing at the mouth of the canyon on the Colorado River which was named Colorado City. Among the early mines established was the notorious Techatticup Mine in the middle of the canyon. Management and labor disputes and disagreements over ownership resulted in wanton killings so frequent as to be routine and ordinary. Despite the sinister reputation of the mine, it along with others in the town produced several million dollars in gold, silver, copper and lead. The mines in the canyon were active from about 1858 until 1945. The community called Nelson was named after Charles Nelson, a camp leader who was slain in his home along with four other people in 1897 by a renegade Indian.
Rocky or undulated road surface. Potential rocks and/or tree stumps less than 24" tall and/or vertical ledges less than 24" tall and/or near vertical ledges or waterfalls less than 54" inches. Tire placement becomes more difficult. Can be steep and off-camber.Read more about our rating system
A large open area on the right off of NV 165 in Nelson, NV. Great place to air down, disconnect sway bars and grab a drink before starting the trail. The beginning of the trail will be on Aztec Wash Road.
Turn left/east to continue on Nelson Goldmine trail/Aztec Wash Road.
Turn right/south to continue on Nelson Goldmine trail. Following the trail to the left/east will follow Aztec Wash Road down to the Colorado River.
On the passenger side of the trail, you will be able to observe an abandoned structure/home.
Follow the right trail to bypass the rocky obstacle. Staying to the right will take the easiest path over the obstacle.
Here you will encounter the first of the two bigger rock obstacles. Taking the far left line is the easiest. The right line is moderate and the middle line is the hardest. Waypoints 6 and 7 are the reason for the higher difficulty rating of the trail.
Here you will encounter the second of the bigger rock obstacles. Taking the right line is easier as the rocks form a slight ramp. The left line is the more difficult choice as there is a step that can cause high centering.
This is a smaller rock obstacle compared to waypoints 6 and 7. The right line is the easier of the two choices. Be observant, there is a small cavity that a smaller tire may fall into. The left line has a small step to climb.
Continue straight/west to continue on Nelson Goldmine trail. The turn to the left/south is the turn for the goldmine. Unfortunately, the trail is closed and blocked with a gate. See pictures on waypoint 13.
Continue straight/west to follow Nelson Goldmine trail. The trail becomes Delphi Drive. Turning on either of the other turns will follow the trail into the mountains or desert.
Turn left/south to continue on Nelson Goldmine trail. The trail becomes Nelson Cutoff Road in either direction.
This is the end of the trail. A nice wide flat dirt road where you can air up before heading home.
Here are some pictures of the closed trail/gate to Nelson Goldmine.
Here are some scenic views from the trail of the mining equipment.
Starting Point: Las Vegas
There are no camping or lodging sites along this trail. Camping areas can be found on some of the washes/trails that are close by, such as Aztec Wash.