Grand Wash Bay

Scout Route
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Grand Wash Bay Road is an astonishing out-and-back trip into extremely remote terrain, beginning in the Gold Butte National Monument, passing through the Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument, and ending in the Lake Mead National Recreation Area. This washboard dirt road is 25 miles one-way, with non-stop scenic views for the entire trip. Users should be aware that reaching the end of this road requires nearly 100 miles of fuel range round trip, as the closest fuel services reside in Mesquite.

Also known as Grand Gulch Road or Tassi Ranch Road, Grand Wash Bay Road starts in Nevada, with limited cellular service. The road travels through a thin joshua tree forest following Horse Spring Wash to the Arizona state line. Five miles in the trail enters the Arizona Strip, and cellular service becomes non-existent. Passing through BLM land, the road is marked as County Road 113. While generally very well maintained and graded, expect washboard sections and loose gravel. Campsites within the BLM area are few and far between, but just before entering the Lake Mead Recreational Area, there's a large campsite with fantastic views of Grand Wash and the Grand Wash Cliffs. The ground is very rocky with a lot of thorny vegetation, thus vehicle camping or rooftop tents are best.

After passing into the Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument boundary, the road changes numbers to 1213. It drops down the ridge following Grand Wash. Traveling in the wash is consistently rough and bumpy and is the most challenging section of the trail as you make your way through a mix of soft sand, golfball-sized gravel, and sporadic river rock up to 12 inches in diameter. Typically, the road is well-packed, and larger rocks are easy to avoid. Still, users should be aware that conditions can drastically change after each rain event, creating deep washouts and pushing large rocks to the middle of the road, even when the storm is more than 30 miles away. Flash floods are a genuine concern in several sections of this trail. The trail exits the wash and travels through a few wide canyons before coming to the historic Tassi Ranch, a well-preserved homestead on the edge of Tassi Wash. A quarter mile south of the ranch, on the other side of the wash, there's a clean restroom at the old Tassi Airstrip. The road continues another 4 miles across Pigeon Point, ending at the banks of Grand Wash Bay. This now-empty valley once housed millions of gallons of water for Lake Mead, as evident from the white bathtub ring on the canyon walls. Several shady campsites at the end of the road provide a quiet night of sleep for dreary travelers before turning around and returning the way you came.

This road is suitable for any high clearance vehicle with rugged offroad tires, such as all-terrain tires. Although the road can be traveled in 2WD, a 4WD or AWD vehicle is highly recommended due to the rigorous strain the rough terrain puts on your suspension components and the drastic conditions that can happen with any weather event. Low-profile tires are not recommended, and all users should carry at least one full-size spare.