Portland Mine Road

Scout Route
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Portland Mine Road travels nearly 25 miles through the Black Mountains. It is a straight-through trail connecting Cottonwood Cove Road and Katherine Landing, creating an all-dirt route from Dolan Springs to Bullhead City. Different maps label this road with names such as Jones Road or Lost Cabin Wash Road.

The trail is multiple vehicles wide and traverses in or across many coarse, sandy desert washes. The northern portion of the road, until reaching Jeep Cove, is a well-maintained, relatively smooth BLM road. South of this point, the road transitions to a Lake Mead National Recreation road and becomes extremely rough, loose, exposed rocks up to grapefruit and football-sized. The road surface hardens a bit but also presents long sections of washboard. Heavy rains can easily damage the road, but it is generally repaired quickly by NPS staff, BLM staff, or cattle ranchers who often use the road. The road can be traveled in either direction, but users should be aware that beginning the road from the south requires passing through an NPS Entrance Station, which requires a pass. Traveling the road from north to south does not require a pass.

Portland Mine Road provides scenic views of the Black Mountains, Spirit Mountains, and desert vegetation such as Spanish Dagger. The road also travels past its namesake large open pit of the 1920s gold mine.

Although there are many open desert areas along the road to camp on, far better campsites are found along intersecting roads such as Jeep Cove and Cottonwood Cove Road.

This road can be extremely rough and bumpy, but it is still suitable for any high clearance vehicle and can easily be traveled in 2WD during dry conditions. Due to the remoteness and harsh terrain, 4WD and rugged offroad tires are highly recommended. Airing down, although not necessary, greatly improves the ride quality.