Gass Peak Road is a great day trip through the Desert National Wildlife Refuge with beautiful desert and mountain landscapes. This trail will loop behind the Gass Peak mountain range and finish in North Las Vegas with spectacular views the Vegas Valley and the world famous Las Vegas Strip. If one is inclined, there is an option to hike to Gass Peak, one of the highest summits in the Vegas area for a breathtaking view of Las Vegas. There is also an underground cave to explore if you are brave enough. Plenty of small wildlife to be seen while driving this trail. This is a fairly easy and relaxing trail ride on a mostly dirt and gravel road.
Trail Difficulty and Assessment
2WD Vehicle with High Clearance
Easy trail of packed dirt with loose rocks and sand.
The hardest part of the trail that you
cannot bypass - you have to drive it.
The hardest part of the trail that is
purely optional - you can bypass it.
Dirt and/or rocky road. Potential rocks and/or tree stumps less than 5" tall and/or vertical ledges less than 5" tall and/or near vertical ledges or waterfalls less than 6" inches. Good tire placement likely. Can be steep, but with good traction.Read More about our Rating System
Gass Peak Road located in the Desert National Wildlife Refuge is a fairly easy trail. It consists mostly of a dirt road with small to medium size gravel. There are portions where the gravel is quite thick. Parts of the road are littered with medium sized rocks. 2WD high clearance vehicle should be able to do this trail, but it is recommended to have 4WD. Especially for thick gravel and wash outs after rain.
Cellphone service was available for some of the trip. We currently use Verizon.
As always, please tread lightly.
Bring plenty of water and sunscreen.
1. Trailhead (0
Turn west/right off of Mormon Wells road to enter Gass Peak Road. As seen in the pictures, there is a fairly large sign pointing the direction.
2. Scenic Landscape (0.1
Just after the trail head, you will begin to see the beautiful desert landscape and big open blue skies. The desert is covered with Joushua trees and distant mountains.
3. Campground (0.3
On the left or north side of the trail is a designated camping area. Fairly flat ground. Can fit 5 vehicles and tents in the space. No facilities or amenities available.
4. Scenic Landscape (5.8
More of the desert vegetation and rocky formations can be seen from this trail.
5. Scenic Landscape (7.9
More views of the desert. We had quite a few sightings of jack rabbits and lizards.
6. Y in Road (8.4
At this Y intersection, continue left/southeast to stay on Gass Peak road.
7. Trail to the Mountain (8.4
If you turn right/south off of Gass Peak road, you will follow the road to a trail head for hiking to Gass Springs.
8. Gass Peak Hike Trailhead/Service Road (8.6
This is the parking area/trail head for those choosing to hike to the Gass Peak. There is a sign that states service road. This is closed to the public.
9. Y Intersection (9.1
Stay right/southeast to continue on Gass Peak Road. The left/north turn will take you to Quail Springs Road and is labled with a sign. The road is approximately 3 miles long and ends in the desert.
10. Scenic Landscape (10.4
Here is another example of the diverse desert landscape. In the pictures, you will see some interesting rock formations.
11. Scenic Landscape (11.4
This is an example of the different types of mountains seen along the trail.
12. Scenic Landscape (13.1
Here are some examples of the different views while standing in the same spot. One direction shows mountains and sandy desert, another shows distant mountains and the last is an example of the desert vegetation.
13. Caves (14.9
On the left/south side of the trail, you will notice 2 holes in the mountain. Upon closer inspection, 1 is a cave that goes into the earth and the other is a shallow hollowing of the mountain. There is barb wire around the cave but, one could enter if they choose. Enter at your own risk.
14. Scenic Landscape (14.9
More examples of the rocky formations seen on the trail.
15. Scenic Landscape (15.7
The pictures show the expanse of the open country and civilization far in the distance.
16. Scenic Landscape (16.4
As you continue on the trail, Las Vegas will become visible in the distance. The pictures show full zoom, mid zoom and no zoom for perspective.
17. Y in Road (16.7
Follow the trail on the left/south to stay on Gass Peak road. It will the more obvious trail. The right turn appears to be an older trail that has been somewhat washed out.
18. End Point/Vegas Valley view (17.8
This is the end point/turn around point. From here you can see more of the Vegas valley.
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.
Please follow the link for more information on the Desert National Wildlife Refuge: http://www.fws.gov/refuge/desert/
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 4 miles. The turn to Gass Peak Road is on the right/east side of the road. It is marked with a visible sign.
Please keep in mind, the speed limit on Corn Creek Road is 35 mph and it is enforced.
This an easy 3 to 3 1/2 hour round trip of approximately 17 miles one way. The reward for going all the way to the southern end is a unique view of the Las Vegas skyline. This day the road was in good condition and the temperature was in the low 80's. Cell phone coverage existed for most of the trip with AT&T service. The climb and descent in elevation is very gentle. Spectacular mountain formations are present along the road. We stayed in 2 wheel high for most of the trip, but did use 4 wheel high in numerous locations. The road is well marked, but their are a couple of Y intersections where a map was very helpful.
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.
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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.
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