Wheeler Pass

4.6/5 (20 reviews)
Wheeler Pass is located approximately 50 miles Northwest of Las Vegas in the Spring Mountain National Recreation area. Wheeler Pass Road was previously known as the road from Bennett's Ranch to Indian Creek. Bennett's Ranch was settled in 1875 in the Pahrump Valley. Indian Creek was a ranch owned... Read More
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Highlights of Wheeler Pass

Altitude Category Icon Altitude
Camping Category Icon Camping
Desert Category Icon Desert
Forest Category Icon Forest
Iconic Category Icon Iconic
Rock Category Icon Rock
Sand Category Icon Sand
Scenic Category Icon Scenic
Highest Elevation
7683 ft
Shape of Trail
Straight Through
Typically Open
Year Round
Best Direction
N/A
Official Trail Name
45601
Nearest Town
Las Vegas
Nearest Services
Las Vegas
Management Agency
Toiyabe National Forest
District
Spring Mountains Recreation Area

Overview

Wheeler Pass is located approximately 50 miles Northwest of Las Vegas in the Spring Mountain National Recreation area. Wheeler Pass Road was previously known as the road from Bennett's Ranch to Indian Creek. Bennett's Ranch was settled in 1875 in the Pahrump Valley. Indian Creek was a ranch owned by a small group of Indians. Now known as Indian Springs. Its history includes being a station on the Tonopah and Las Vegas railroad. Currently, it is part of the Creech Air Force base. As you travel towards the trailhead, you may encounter wild horses on the roads and the surrounding areas. On the trail, travelers will pass the Charcoal kilns. The Tecopa Charcoal Ovens in Wheeler Wash were built in 1875 by Nehemiah (“Red”) Clarke. Per information on a sign posted at the site in the past: These beehive-shaped structures are the remains of three charcoal making kilns and one Lime Kiln built for Jonas Osborne in 1877. He designed and built a big furnace to smelt over 20 tons of silver and lead ore each day in the boomtown of Tecopa, California in January of 1878. Forty-four men attempted to keep the furnace working by cutting and hauling the ore, and feeding and constantly repairing the furnace. It completely failed and was abandoned in the fall of 1878. As this area of the Spring Mountains had the best and closest source of wood, the kilns were set up here and the charcoal produced was carried by horse-drawn wagons about 50 miles to the Tecopa Smelter. Evidence shows only tree limbs were cut in fuel and no extensive tree cutting was done. A single kiln has an estimated capacity of 35 cords of wood which would produce 50 bushels of charcoal, enough charcoal to produce one tone of silver-lead ore. Wood for the kilns was provided by Harsha White, who operated a sawmill in Clark Canyon, and was in partnership with Nehemiah Clarke. Unfortunately, the kilns have not been able to withstand time, weather, and vandalism. The remnants can still be seen. Don't forget to bring sunscreen, water, snacks and your camera.

Trail Difficulty and Assessment

Trail Guide Overview
25 Waypoints
77 Trail Photos
2 Trail Concerns
20 Community Reviews
1 Video
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