Rainbow Gardens and Lava Butte Loop

3.4/5 (11 reviews)
Las Vegas, Nevada (Clark County)
Last Updated: 12/28/2019

Trail Information


Approximately 30 minutes from Las Vegas and located in the Sunrise Management Area, the Rainbow Gardens and Lava Butte loop is a scenic trail will allow for an enjoyable and relaxing drive. Along the trail, scenic views of the Lava Butte which is made of volcanic rock can be seen. As you continue on the trail, views of the southern part of the Vegas valley, Henderson and the Las Vegas strip can be seen. On the return part of the loop, you will be able to enjoy the scenery of the Rainbow Gardens road which is comprised or red, tan and white hills.

Trail Difficulty and Assessment

Trail Navigation

Trail Reviews

3.4/5 (11)
Rated 3/5
Visited: 02/17/2023
Difficulty Accuracy: Harder

This trails bears very little resemblance to the description given here. This was a pleasant surprise making the run in a Jeep. The only other driver we saw during the trip was in a Raptor and well suited, if a little overqualified for what the trail has actually become. It's the nature of unmaintained roads to degrade over time, which is great but this listing definitely needs updating. The south bound leg has enough erosion and wear that it's become at least a 2 or 3. There were two areas on the southbound leg that climbing the now smooth exposed stone or steep rutted road would be difficult, if not impossible with 2WD. The result too is that higher clearances are an absolute necessity. The opportunities to bottom out in what are now deeply eroded ruts are numerous. Don't hit this trail expecting a 1, it's just not anymore. That said, the drive was well worth it. The first two-thirds of the south bound leg are fun and there are some great scenic views. The very southern end of the southbound leg is improved road (already eroded and heavily rutted) with fencing to constrain driving to the road. I'd recommend taking the southbound leg and using the recently cut Hollywood Blvd at the south end to change to Kodachrome Road for the trip back north. You know, or just head back into town on Hollywood.
Rated 4/5
Visited: 10/06/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Harder

My wife and I had quite the adventure today. No issues, but the trail was a little more challenging than we anticipated. Looks like, perhaps, from recent rains that have eroded some sections. Telling indicator of recent rain here were several patches of GREEN grass in some of the deeper notches along the trail, and a pond of standing water on the east side I’d definitely bump this up to a 2. The first drop into the wash (following from first waypoint) was a bit harrowing as I hadn’t yet disconnected the sway bar. After disconnecting, the rest of our trail run was fun and uneventful… but there were still several areas to pay attention to. All-in-all, a great afternoon on the trail.
Rated 3/5
Visited: 10/02/2020

Ran Lava Butte. Dirt roads, super easy and mostly not very interesting. There was one section of winding trail that gets you up close to some of the rock formations. It's an alternate way back from Kodachrome though and different views.
Rated 4/5
Visited: 06/10/2020

Great views. Easy trail but enjoyed it
Official Crew
Rated 3/5
Visited: 12/28/2019

We ran the Lava Butte portion of this trail as a second half of our loop. We ran and mapped Kodachrome Road first then walked around the river area before taking this very easy route back to the road. Very scenic area with some interesting geology.

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