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The most complete guide to Southern Nevada's mining history.
Destination: Mormon Well Trail
Meeting Place: Love's Travel Stop
12501 Apex Great Basin Way, North Las Vegas, NV 89105
Southwest corner of I-15 and 93.
Stack the vehicles here: 36°22'55.77"N 114°53'47.44"W
Meeting: As early as you'd like.
Departing: Promptly at 9:00 AM
Distance from meeting to off road trail: 28 miles
Distance of off road trail: 48 miles
Trail Start: 36°46'3.03"N 114°56'28.63"W
Trail End: 36°26'1.32"N 115°21'23.01"W
Return to NW Las Vegas: 18 miles
Total mileage: 94 miles
Partly sunny. A slight chance of thunderstorms in the morning. A chance of thunderstorms in the afternoon. Highs 101° to 105° on the west side of the valley. Highs 105° to 108° on the east side. 10-15° cooler at elevation. South winds 10 to 15 mph decreasing to less than 10 mph in the afternoon. Chance of thunderstorms 40 percent.
If you plan on attending, please send an email to: John@VegasUnderworld.com
There has been another change of plans. Because there's a good chance more people will attend, I think the previous meeting spot would be too crowded. The new meeting spot brings us closer to the trail and has better options for fuel and supplies.
The 93 and I-15 interchange will have nightly closures between June 27 and 30. If the project remains on schedule it won't alter our plans, but these are interchange improvements. There may be delays, continued lane closures, and may not route the same.
With the new meeting location, we should reach the trail around 9:30. The trail is about 48 miles long. With stops, we expect this to be a full day, but our goal is to always have everyone back on pavement by sunset. This time of year, sunset is after 7PM. Unless someone breaks down, achieving that goal should not be a problem.
The highest point of this trail is right around 6700 feet and starts from 2500 feet. That's an elevation increase of 4200 feet, spanning over 16 miles. At those altitudes, we can expect temperatures to be 10 to 15 degrees cooler. Even with cooler temperatures, 16 miles uphill in first or second gear can test a vehicles endurance. You should also take into consideration that 16 miles uphill means 32 miles downhill. We won't be reaching free fall speeds, but you'll be needing your brakes more. You'll want to remedy any repairs and complete scheduled maintenance before attempting this trail. If your vehicle is in good repair, this should be a pleasant day.
This is one of those trails that is long, extremely remote, and best traveled in groups. If you've wanted to run this trail, but didn't have company, this is a great opportunity to safely enjoy this historic route. The last time we ran this trail, we didn't follow our own advice and visited after fresh snow at elevation. When we descended below the snow level, we spent the next 10 miles in mud. Then, our alternator began to have intermittent issues. Because of our fear of being stranded, we didn't get to enjoy the trip.
Depending on the weather, the day could be scenic with light to moderate trail conditions. If you're looking for a challenging trail with an increased chance of getting it stuck, this isn't that trail. I would consider this more of a scenic trail and a great opportunity to meet some good people. If there has been recent rain, trail conditions could be hazardous. We won't be cancelling this event because of weather. If trail conditions are hazardous, we'll be able to rely on each other for safety and recovery. Nobody gets left behind.
Highlights of this trail include: yucca and Joshua tree forests, limestone canyons with arches and caves, pioneer corral, natural springs, and fossil beds. Some of the wildlife we've seen along the trail have been: fox, coyote, bighorn sheep, burro, wild horse, deer, and elk. We haven't seen them in this area, but mountain lions are known to live in the higher elevation forests.
Transportation, equipment, meals and supplies will not be provided. We will be stopping for lunch, but lunch will not be provided. This is not a cookout event. There will be no grill or fire for cooking. Only bring enough food and drinks for yourself and your party. We will not stop between meeting and destination. Make sure you stop for gas before meeting.
Bring your radios. To avoid interference from others, a privacy tone has been added. If you have not reprogrammed your radios, I can do that for you when we meet. If this will be your first group event and own your own communications radio equipment, please email in advance for frequency programming.
If you'd like to own your own radios, the inexpensive ones used by most are the Baofeng 888S which can be purchased from Amazon. If you've been to more than one of these events, you really should have your own radios so our loaners are available to first time participants.
The entire trail system is within the National Wildlife Refuge. Local and state firearm laws apply. If you choose to exercise your right to carry, be aware that all structures within the National Wildlife Refuge are considered Federal Buildings. Firearms are prohibited in any Federal Building which includes the Visitors Center.
This will be an above ground event. Space will not be a problem. Invite as many guests as you'd like. There are no known open mine shafts or points of entry. No age or pet restrictions for this event, but snakes are out of hibernation and mountain lions frequent this area. Keep children and pets close.
Attending this and any site group event is with the understanding, agreement, and acceptance of the event liability and waivers.
Saturday. July, 7, 2018
Mormon Well Road
The previous meeting location has been changed. Make sure you read this page for the latest information.