Rocky Gap/Potato Ridge Road

Las Vegas, Nevada (Clark County)

Last Updated: 01/17/2019
4.5 / 5 ( 13 reviews )
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Status:
Open
Typically Open: Year Round
Difficulty: 5-6
( DIFFICULT )
Length: 8.18 miles
Highest Elevation: 6420 feet
Duration: About 3 hours
Shape of Trail: Straight Through
Best Direction to Travel: East
Nearest Town: Las Vegas
Nearest Town w/ Services: Las Vegas
Official Road Name: 45549
Management Agency: Bureau of Land Management
District:

Highlights

Highlight: Rocky Gap/Potato Ridge Road
Rocky Gap (also known as Potato Ridge), a favorite of local off-roaders, is located in the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation area that starts just off of Scenic Loop Drive and continues to Lovell Canyon Road. This can be a challenging off-road trail depending on the season and the vehicle driven. There are bypasses for all of the obstacles except for one particularly rocky wash, which gives the trail its name. There is beautiful scenery to be seen during the drive. Evergreens, canyon and rocky landscapes are just some of the views.

Video

Route Information

Advanced Rating System

Recommended Vehicle:
Lightly Modified 4X4 (Small Lift and Larger Tires)
Concerns:
Summary:
The trail gets its rating from the rock obstacles.

Technical Rating

MANDATORY
5
DIFFICULT
OPTIONAL
6
DIFFICULT
Rocky or undulated road surface. Potential rocks and/or tree stumps less than 24" tall and/or vertical ledges less than 24" tall and/or near vertical ledges or waterfalls less than 54" inches. Tire placement becomes more difficult. Can be steep and off-camber.
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Community Consensus

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Description

Rocky Gap (Potato Ridge) Road is located in the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area starts as a dirt road and gains in altitude from either direction. There are multiple optional washes with rock gardens to explore and have fun in. A majority of the road is comprised of dirt and gravel with scattered small to medium rocks. There are multiple intersecting washes filled with rock gardens to be explored. Near the middle of the trail, there is a rock garden that cannot be bypassed. The trail continues to change with the seasons and the traffic. 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 in the summer.

Waypoints

1. Trailhead (0 mi)
A large area to air down and prepare for the trail. This area can fit up to approximately 20 vehicles.
2. Y Intersection (0.4 mi)
Turn right/east onto Rocky Gap Road. This is the beginning of the trail.
3. Y Intersection (0.6 mi)
Turn right/south to continue on Rocky Gap Road. Continuing straight will follow Hairgrass Road that ends shortly.
4. Y Intersection (0.7 mi)
Turn left/east to continue on Rocky Gap Road. Continuing straight will follow Tufted Hairgrass Road that continues back to Lovell Canyon Road.
5. Campsite (0.9 mi)
Nice camping area to the right/south of the road with plenty of room for at least 3-5 vehicles. Fire rings have been built.
6. Y Intersection (2 mi)
Follow the trail to the right/east to continue on Rocky Gap Road. Turning left/north is an optional rocky wash to explore and play in.
7. Entrance To Red Rock National Conservation Area (2.3 mi)
Sign noting entrance to Red Rock National Conservation area.
8. Rainbow Wilderness Area (2.4 mi)
Sign noting entrance to Rainbow Wilderness Area National Landscape Conservation System.
9. Rock Garden Mandatory (2.6 mi)
Entrance to the Rock Garden. There are no bypasses. A ground guide is recommended. A stock Jeep can make it through the garden but may experience scraping.
10. End of Rock Garden (2.6 mi)
This is the end of the mandatory rock garden.
11. Scenery (4.3 mi)
Scenic views from the trail.
12. Picnic Area (5.1 mi)
Small picnic area with nice views and shade in the summer. Not much room for camping.
13. Scenery (5.8 mi)
More examples of the scenic landscape to be enjoyed from the trail.
14. Scenery (6.2 mi)
More examples of the scenic landscape to be enjoyed from the trail.
15. Camping/picnic Site (7 mi)
Large area for camping and a good place for a picnic on a nice day.
16. Endpoint (8.4 mi)
The trail ends in the Red Rock National Conservation Area at the Willow Spring picnic area. This is a good place to air up the tires and prepare for the drive home. The trail becomes paved and joins the Scenic Loop Drive.

Directions to Trailhead

Starting Point: Las Vegas

Rocky Gap/Potato Ridge Road can be run east to west starting in Red Rock Canyon National Conservation area or west to east starting in Lovell Canyon. These directions are for starting in Lovell Canyon. From Las Vegas, take I-15 south to SR-160/Blue Diamond Road and travel west approximately 21 miles to the town of Mountain Springs which is the summit of SR-160 crossing the Spring Mountains. Continue 3 miles past the summit to the Lovell Canyon turnoff on the right/north. Turn right/north on Lovell Canyon Road and drive 7.5 miles to a clearing on the right/east which is a good location to air down and prepare for the trail. After airing down, continue 0.4 miles to Red Rock Summit Road / Rocky Gap 4X4 / USFS Road 45549 on the right/east, this is the official start of the trail.

Camping

Dispersed
There are scattered locations for tent camping. Fire rings have been built at multiple sites. No amenities or facilities.
Camping: Rocky Gap/Potato Ridge Road

Trail Reviews (19)

Questions & Answers (1)

Q: Why is this trail rated 2 when the "rock garden" which can't be bypassed is rated a 7? The map shows it as easy, but it's not for a novice without a spotter as you mention.
–Brian Hoag (06/17/2018)
A: Brian, thanks for the question as well as your trip report. The trail has a rating from 2-7. There are parts, of the trail that lead to the rock garden, that is nothing but dirt and gravel. This gives the trail the rating of 2. The rock garden portion is what gives the trail a rating of 7. Again, thanks for your question and your trip report.
–James and Mimi Nicholson (06/18/2018)

Writer Information

James and Mimi Nicholson

Mapping Crew - Nevada

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.
For individual use only, not to be shared.