Spring Mountains - Lovell Canyon

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Lovell Canyon is a remote part of the Spring Mountains that few people know about. It is located on the southwest part of this part of the Toiyabe National Forest, directly west and south of Red Rock Canyon. There are dozens of remote camping sites for those who want to get away from the crowds. There are absolutely no facilities here. If you like roughing it, this is the place. The really good part about it is that it is still close to Las Vegas which is only about 40 minutes away.

The road that runs through Lovell Canyon is a good one. It has been there for a very long time and the people who live in these mountains use it. As you turn north from Highway 160 you will enter a kind of a high desert, Joshua-Juniper environment. It is still relatively pristine. The area is relatively well watered by the Pacific storms that pass overhead and is not in the rain-shadow of the Spring Mountains.

As you drive along this road, about 3 miles into it you will start to see a Pinion-Juniper type environment. Just a bit further along, you will come to an overlook, shown above. This takes you deeper into Lovell Canyon.

It must be noted that from the start of this overlook to the bottom, which you see at the top left corner of the photo above, this section of road is one of the premier mountain biking trails anywhere. Top speeds of 45 to 50 miles an hour can be reached on this winding, well paved track. All you need is good brakes.

This little mountain bike run is perfect. The road is decent and as you can see, visibility is really good for quite a distance and you can always see someone coming. You will not need to worry about anyone coming from behind.

This road runs for about 12 miles until it gets to a private ranch. Another road braches off from here and leads through the mountains to Pahrump. To take this road, it is advised that you have a 4-wheel drive truck or an SUV of some kind. Along the way you will the damage which was done by several forest fires. Fortunately I took photos of this area prior to the burns. To the right is an  example of a Mountain Rose in the spring of 1998.

This interesting and unique Sagebrush Ecosystem is under attack from careless and sloppy visitors. The forest fires are to be expected and occur naturally. The litter is careless, unnecessary and unforgivable.

To get there from Las Vegas, drive south on Interstate 15 until you reach State Highway 160, or Blue Diamond Road, as it is known locally. This is also the road to Pahrump Nevada. From the Blue Diamond cutoff, drive west for about 25 miles. On the way you will go through Mountain Springs Summit. About 5 miles past the summit, there is a sign which tells you that you have arrived at the Lovell Canyon Road. Take this road and you will reach Lovell Canyon.

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