Mormon Well Road

Las Vegas, Nevada (Clark County)
Last Updated: 02/16/2018
4/5 (1 review)
Nearby Trails
Status: Open
Difficulty: 1-3
Length: 32 miles
Highest Elevation: 6600 feet
Duration: About 4 hours
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: Mormon Well Road

Mormon Well Road is mostly a rough dirt road with stretches strewn with small rocks and gravel. The scenery will change from desert to mountain to canyons. The plant life varies from desert brush to Yucca trees to Pine trees. During the drive you will pass through Peek a Boo Canyon known for a window formed in the cliff wall. Yucca forest is another change of scenery to be seen during the drive. This a great drive to see the different desert landscape in the surrounding area and a place to escape the Vegas heat in the summer.


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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Mormon Well Road is located in the Desert National Wildlife Range. The length of the trail is approximately 70 miles connecting US 95 to US 93 and on to State road 168. A 2 wheel drive high clearance vehicle can finish the route when dry, but may have trouble if wet. 4 wheel drive may be needed if the road is wet or washed out. Speed along the trail can vary from 10 mph to 20 mph. 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

After leaving the highway and driving approximately 4.8 miles on a dirt road, a visitor center will be on the left side. This is a good place to air down, gather some information and use the facilities. There is also a gift shop.

2. T Intersection (0.1 mi)

Turn right/east. As seen in the picture, the sign give the mileage for most of the trails in the Refuge.

3. Gass Peak Turn (4.5 mi)

There is a turn off to the right/east that goes to Gass Peak. Gass Peak forms the northern edge of the Vegas Valley. For more information on Gass Peak:

4. Campground/ Photo Area (9.2 mi)

A nice flat area off the trail, normally used for taking photographs of the desert landscape.

5. Yucca Forest (10.7 mi)

After passing through Yucca Gap, the road enters Yucca forest. As you drive down the trail, there will be Yucca trees as far as you can see.

6. Campground/ Photo Area

A nice flat area off the trail, normally used for taking photographs of the desert landscape

7. Pine Nut Road Turn (15.1 mi)

Go straight. There will be a turn on off to the left that becomes Pine Nut road. Approximately 6 miles long, it ends at a remote primitive campground. From there, you may choose to hike to Sheep Peak.

8. Peek A Boo Canyon (15.6 mi)

Shortly after passing Pine Nut Road, the trail enters Peek a Boo Canyon. There will be limestone cliffs on either side. There are many caves to be seen on the cliff walls. On the right as you are heading North towards the end of the canyon is a hole in the cliff wall. It is easier to see when travelling South.

9. Desert Pass Campground (26.1 mi)

Desert Pass Campground(also known as Mormon Pass campground) is the next area seen while driving the trail. There are multiple campgrounds and picnic areas. The area is surrounded by Ponderosa Pines which provide some shade. There are 2 restrooms available.

10. Mormon Well Spring (27.3 mi)

A concrete spring just off the trail.

11. Y Intersection (31.6 mi)

Go straight/north. The turn to the right is an optional small rocky obstacle, see below for description and pictures.

12. Rocky Obstacle (31.6 mi)

Small rocky obstacle that is followed by a 2 foot climb up a gravel shelf. This is optional. The first picture is the view pointing north. The second picture is the view pointing south. The third picture is the gravel shelf at the end.

13. Endpoint (31.7 mi)

Mormon well road will pass into a wash area full of gravel and combine with Sawmill Road. The road becomes more rocky and rough. 4WD is recommended from this point on due to deep gravel and large rocks. You can continue on Sawmill Road heading east towards US 93.

Directions to Trailhead

Trailhead Coordinates: 36.437653, -115.358440
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.


Desert Pass campgrounds have 6 campsites available. Overnight camping is allowed. Restrooms at the campgrounds. Multiple picnic tables and fire pits available. No fees. Camping is allowed in the Desert National Wildlife Refuge year round. Car camping is allowed within 50 feet of the road. Camping is primitive. No amenities other than at the Desert Pass campgrounds. Please follow the link for more information on the Desert National Wildlife Refuge:
Camping: Mormon Well 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.


Questions & Answers (2)

Q: Hello, Is there an OHV staging area near the visitors center ? - Trish
–Tricia Randall Ashby (06/26/2018)
A: There is no designated area for staging. There is a decent sized dirt shoulder . There is not a lot of room for trailers. Thanks for the question
–James and Mimi Nicholson (07/02/2018)
Q: Do you think I would be able to tow my rpod trailer with A ram 1500 2wd to desert pass campground coming in from the 95? My camper maybe has a ground clearance of maybe 1ft due to the drainage piping
–Dylan (07/25/2017)
A: As long as the weather is nice, you should have no problems. I have seen multiple campers parked at the campground during the summer.
–James and Mimi Nicholson (07/27/2017)

Trail Reviews (9)

Status: Open
Offroaded on:
My first off-road adventure since getting a Jeep. Went out with a group and was with it to obtain their knowledge and pointers for off-roading. The trail is an easy one starting off the 95, over the Desert Pass and coming down to the 93. Airing down made it less bumpy and 4 wheel drive wasn’t necessary. There is a nice campground on top of the pass and the weather is cooler.

Status: Open
Offroaded on:

Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Completed HWY 95 to HWY 93 version of Mormon Wells with a detour added in for Pine Nut to check out the campsites there. Vegas temps were right around 114 and our Ram Rebel registered a low of 86 at the backside of Pine Nut before turning around to complete Mormon Well. Adding in Pine Nut and stopping for pictures along the way had our trip time at just over 6.5 hrs from trailhead to completion. Would highly recommend allowing extra time for pictures and taking in the scenery as it changes throughout and is absolutely stunning in places.

Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Drove the Mormon Well Rd in its 47 mile pavement to pavement entirety. Shot a timelapse video of the drive so you can see what the trail looks like when the weather is nice and it's dry. Started in Desert Wildlife Refuge visitor center in Corn Creek and headed north to Rt 93. Speeds on the trail were variable anywhere from 5mph crawl over sharp pointy rocks to 60mph cruises on smooth sections. Great drive, beautiful weather and beautiful scenery.

Status: Open
Offroaded on:

Status: Open
Offroaded on:

Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Our Local 4X4 Group had a run scheduled for 7-2-16 but because of the rain in town we decided to push it a out a day. Our last trip out to Mormon Wells we had got caught in a storm & a rig got washed away, recovered safely with no damage or injury. We did call the Desert Wild Life office before we left to make sure the road was opened. 8 rigs headed out 7-3-16 8:30am a beautiful sunny Sunday morning to escape all the hustle & bustle of the city. Road wasn't as smooth as usual because of the rain but nothing washed out or damaged. We did have fun playing in a few mud puddles but the road was clear enough a 2wd would make it through with no issues.

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.

Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Took a trip on Mormon Well Road to escape the rush of Las Vegas and to enjoy the different types of desert landscape seen on the trail. The weather was great for November. Cool, slightly windy with the sun shining. Towards the end of the trip, we did notice some light snow coating the sides of the trail.