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
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