Nelson Goldmine Trail

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4.5/5 (5 reviews)
Nelson, Nevada (Clark County)
Last Updated: 12/19/2022
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Trail Information


Altitude Category Icon Altitude
Desert Category Icon Desert
Mine Category Icon Mine
Rock Category Icon Rock
Sand Category Icon Sand
Wash Category Icon Wash

Nelson Goldmine Trail is an off-road trail that features great scenic views, multiple rock obstacles, abandoned mining equipment and some murderous history. The area known as Nelson, Nevada was originally called Eldorado in 1775 by the Spaniards who made the original discoveries of gold in the area that is now Eldorado Canyon. The town was the site of one of the first major gold strikes in Nevada and one of the biggest mining booms in state history. Gold and silver were discovered here around 1859. The rush to the canyon began in 1861, several mining camps were established in the canyon and a steamboat landing at the mouth of the canyon on the Colorado River which was named Colorado City. Among the early mines established was the notorious Techatticup Mine in the middle of the canyon. Management and labor disputes and disagreements over ownership resulted in wanton killings so frequent as to be routine and ordinary. Despite the sinister reputation of the mine, it along with others in the town produced several million dollars in gold, silver, copper and lead. The mines in the canyon were active from about 1858 until 1945. The community called Nelson was named after Charles Nelson, a camp leader who was slain in his home along with four other people in 1897 by a renegade Indian.

Trail Difficulty and Assessment

Trail Navigation

The Nelson Goldmine Trail heads south out of Nelson heading west through the mountains. During the trail, you will encounter multiple rocky obstacles, drive past a mine to a mountaintop overlook of Lake Mojave, then over the mountain to end at US-95 approximately 12 miles south of the Nelson / US-95 turnoff. The trail is a combination of trails through the Eldorado Mountains to include Aztec Wash trail, Delphi drive and Nelson Cutoff trail.

Trail Reviews

4.5/5 (5)
Rated 4/5
Visited: 12/24/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Easier

The Trail was in Good shape, We entered from Nelson cut off and Finished in Nelson. There is a handful of obstacles and being on 40" Tires made it seem really easy - Very Scenic and the Mines were fun to check out
Rated 5/5
Visited: 11/25/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

One of our favorite trails in Nelson, Nevada. We usually run the Nelson Loop by combining Copper Cache, Rollercoaster and Goldmine trails. Goldmine is great ran east to west where you are able to climb all of the waterfalls but can be ran in either direction. There are really only two obstacles on this trail that give it it's rating. They are both dry waterfalls and are fun weather climbing them or sliding down. The highlight of the trail is stopping at the Oro Plata mine to explore. There is also a pretty dense cacti forest on the east side of the trail.
Trail Review: Nelson Goldmine Trail - Dirty Chuckwalla
Trail Review: Nelson Goldmine Trail - Dirty Chuckwalla
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Rated 4/5
Visited: 09/03/2021

Very nice trail, but the rating suggests the entire trail is difficult, when if fact it is just a few short obstacles. Easy, nice drive until you hit the obstacles, then once they are over... they are over. For my wife and I, the best part was taking a detour up to the Nelson Gold mine for the view. AMAZING view to the East looking at the Colorado River. Seriously.... it was stunning. The trail is worth the drive, but the shortness of the obstacles don't add up for us, but that view made it all worth while. Now, for wheeling fun, head over to way to short, but amazingly fun Copper Cache trail.
Rated 5/5
Visited: 04/09/2020

Very cool trail. One of the most memorable so far. Wasn’t sure what to expect at first. The first half of the trail is pretty easy and out of no where the trail becomes tight. Then you will notice it starting to get rocky and eventually you will end up in a valley. As you approach the first obstacle you think it might be the hardiest part but turns out to be easy compared to what lies ahead. As you realize your climbing a water far it all starts to sink in how this a little creek and seems to still be active at certain times of the year. After the stressful climb you can feel accomplished as you get a chance to relax and check out the awesome view. The chance to soak in all the history and the fact people use to get there some how with way less capable machines makes it so much more amazing. As you wrap it up by the power lines you get to drive fast in some loose sand. Gives you a chance to test your tires in some dunes with out the worry of being stuck. The loose sand is piled up on the sides of the road so you can stay center road if you have a hard time in the sand.
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Not Reported
Visited: 11/08/2017

The road to the mine is now open- we've been up there in recent weeks.There are 2 small buildings in good condition.
Trail Review: Nelson Goldmine Trail - J Hoffman
Trail Review: Nelson Goldmine Trail - J Hoffman

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