Bitter Springs Back Country Byway

4.4/5 (13 reviews)
Las Vegas, Nevada (Clark County)
Last Updated: 01/06/2019

Trail Information


The Bitter Springs Back Country Byway is located approximately 40 miles east of Las Vegas, south of Interstate 15 and West of the Valley of Fire state Park. The byway connects Interstate 15 to North shore road that surrounds Lake Mead by following old mining roads and washes through the Muddy Mountains. A major site to be seen is the multicolored sandstone formations known as the Buffington Pockets. Tracks from the Old Spanish trail(later known as the Mormon trail), a path created by Spanish explorers in 1776 and later by settlers and miners heading west, can be seen crossing the trail. This area has attracted people throughout time due to the springs and water holes. Evidence of this can be seen in the petroglyphs, pictographs, rock art and ant hill shaped roasting pits. Settlement in the area created mining ventures. Old borax mines can be seen, where sandstone was quarried. There is plenty of extraordinary views and landscapes to be seen along the byway. Wildlife in the area includes wild horse and bighorn sheep. Bring your camera, sun screen and plenty of water. Nearby is the Valley of Fire state park that has it own scenic views, campgrounds and facilities.

Trail Difficulty and Assessment

Trail Navigation

This trail starts just off the Valley of Fire road and winds through the Muddy Mountains and ends at the North Shore Road. This is a trail that starts on slight paved road then to graded dirt road with washboards and progresses to rocky terrain then to rock and gravel road. Towards the end of the trail, there is thick soft sand. It is highly recommended that 4WD vehicle be used. The weather can cause some parts to become more rocky and washed out. Cellphone service was not available for the trip. We currently use Verizon. As always, please tread lightly. Bring plenty of water and sunscreen.

Trail Reviews

4.4/5 (13)
Rated 5/5
Visited: 08/21/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

fantastic trail! I did this in about 6hrs solo, with about 1hr of that for lunch and exploring the mine entrances. Beautiful scenery and different types of scenery and terrain to keep it interesting! Mountains, valleys, dry river beds, and much more. Saw loads of animals and explored the entrances of a few mines right off the trail. Plenty of campsites for overnight or just to stop and cook lunch. The one tough rock garden/obstacle has a bypass so any 4x4 with ATs and decent clearance will do just fine. This is my favorite trail so far and will definitely be back.
Rated 5/5
Visited: 03/15/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

This is a great trail. Beautiful scenery and we ran into wild horses and big horn sheep and of course Bitter Springs. Plenty of camping spots as well.
Official Crew
Rated 5/5
Visited: 01/22/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

This is a great trail to get out and enjoy the scenery. Ran from West to East so hit the mountain views first and then later the general desert landscape with finishing up in the wash by the bridge. This has a little of everything: rocky trail, sandy wash, red rock mountains, a few small obstacles here and there and a good amount of distance. I believe I clocked about 27 miles or so. Good run and no issues in my stock '21 Jeep JLU rubicon on 33s.
Rated 3/5
Visited: 01/09/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

Trail review is spot on, but to add: The most scenic part of the route is the first one quarter, it is also the best place for some four wheel fun on the rocks. The other three quarters is typical desert/mountain scenery. I do feel that most any high clearance vehicle can probably make the trip if they stick to the main road and are patient. This is a good summer run as you can do Bitter early in the morning, then at the end continue on and do Echo Wash down to the water.
Rated 5/5
Visited: 12/18/2021
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

Trail was great, plenty of places to stop and walk around. Trail is simple and easy for someone who is new to off-roading to get in some basic practice.

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