Pine Nut Road

Las Vegas, Nevada (Clark County)
Last Updated: 10/13/2016
Nearby Trails
Status: Open
Difficulty: 1-3
Length: 6.2 miles
Highest Elevation: 6799 feet
Duration: About 1 hour 10 minutes
Shape of Trail: Out & Back
Best Direction to Travel: N/A
Nearest Town: Las Vegas
Nearest Town w/ Services: Las Vegas
Official Road Name:
Management Agency: Desert National Wildlife Refuge
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Highlight: Pine Nut Road

A Short road off of Mormon Well road located in the Desert National Wildlife Refuge that climbs from the valley floor into the pines at the top and ends with a great campground. One of the camp sites has a nice view of the desert below. There are multiple weather stations to explore. Plenty of hiking options from the campground, including a trail to Sheep Peak.


Route Information

Technical Rating: (1-3)

Dirt road. Rutted, washes, or gulches. Water crossings up to 6" depth. Passable mud. Grades up to 10 degrees. Small rocks or holes. 4WD recommended but 2WD possible under good conditions and with adequate ground clearance and skill. No width problems for any normal vehicle. Vehicle passing spots frequently available if less than two vehicles wide.

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Pine Nut Road is located in the Desert National Wildlife Range just off the Mormon Well Road. The length of the trail is approximately 12 miles roundtrip. 2 wheel drive, high clearance vehicles can finish the route. 4 wheel drive may be needed if the road is wet or washed out. Keep a watch for slightly larger rocks scattered throughout the road. Cellphone service was not available for most of the trip. We currently use Verizon. As always, please tread lightly. Bring plenty of water and sunscreen.


1. Trailhead

Approximately 15.1 miles on Mormon Well Road will lead to the turn for Pine Nut Road. It is on the left/west side of the road and has a very visible sign. For further information on Mormon Well and how to get to the trailhead, click on the link:

2. Scenery (0.1 mi)

Here are some examples of the desert landscape to be seen from the trail.

3. Weather Station (1.3 mi)

Just off the road, to the right/east is a weather monitoring station.

4. Camping area (2.5 mi)

Just off the road to the right/east is a small somewhat flat area that can be used for camping.

5. Old Weather Station (3.5 mi)

Off to the left/west of the road is the remnants of an older weather station.

6. Old Weather Station (4.8 mi)

Off to the left/west of the road is the remnants of another older weather station.

7. Weather Station (6.1 mi)

Just off the road, to the right/east is another weather monitoring station.

8. Campground / Endpoint (6.2 mi)

Just after passing the weather station in the trees, the road opens up into a multiple spot camping area and is the end of the trail. There some nice views to be seen of the mountains and the plains below. The area can fit 5 vehicles and tents easily.

Directions to Trailhead

Trailhead Coordinates: 36.501590, -115.165215
Take US 95 North from Las Vegas to Corn Creek Road. Turn right/east on Corn Creek Road. A visitor center is approximately 4.8 miles from US 95. This is a good place to air down, use the restroom and look at the maps. Near the sign/map is a place to register informing the park staff you are entering the refuge for the day. From there, follow Mormon Well Road for approximately 15.1 miles. The turn to Pine Nut Road is on the left/west side of the road. It is marked with a visible sign.


Open camping area at the end of the trail. Can easily fit 5 vehicles plus tents. Great views of the desert. All camping is primitive. No amenities. Camping is allowed in the Desert National Wildlife Refuge year round. Car camping is allowed within 50 feet of the road. Please follow the link for more information on the Desert National Wildlife Refuge:
Camping: Pine Nut Road

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Writer Information

James and Mimi Nicholson

Mapping Crew - Nevada
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We are James and Mimi Nicholson, married for 19 years, living in Nevada. We are not new to Off-roading; having owned Jeeps for 18 years. We started with a 1979 CJ-5. Other 4 wheel vehicles owned include CJ-7, Cherokees, Grand Cherokee and a Liberty. We like to overland, camp, whitewater raft and kayak. We have been off-roading in Oregon, Washington, Georgia, South Carolina, California, Arizona, Utah, Louisiana, Texas and Nevada Our focus while off-roading is safety, treading lightly and simply enjoying the outdoors with friends and family. Our current rig: 2015 Jeep Wrangler JKU Tank Rubicon. AEV 3.5" lift with 315/75/16 GY Duratracs with level 8 Tracker wheels. C gussets, control arm skids, ACE rock sliders, Engo 10,000 winch, OR-Fab tire/can carrier. M.O.R.E. skid plate, Gobi stealth roof rack. S-pod. ARB OBA. Adams front and rear drive shafts.


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Trail Reviews (1)

Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Mimi and I decided to get out of town for the day and check on the status of a few trails. We have had a lot of rain lately and wanted to make sure the trails were not damaged or closed due to the weather. So, we headed for the Desert National Wildlife Refuge and hit the trails for a fun day exploring the area.