CARPENTER CANYON, NV
Trail Rating: 1 (Click for ratings scale)
Distance: Approximately 12 miles
Vehicle Types: Off-Road Vehicles, Dirtbikes, ATV's, UTV's
Notes: Looking to escape the Vegas heat and find respite from the constant hustle and bustle of the city? But just for the day? Or overnight? Carpenter Canyon is the place for you!
Gather your hiking (or camping) essentials, pack your fishing pole (yes, you heard right), grab a camping chair and hit the road west bound on Blue Diamond Highway towards Pahrump. As you're beginning to enter Pahrump, watch the street signs closely or you'll miss the Carpenter Canyon Road turnoff on your right. If you get into town, you've gone too far, so hang a U-turn. Once you hit the dirt, prepare yourself for approximately 12 miles of rough road as you head towards Carpenter Canyon. Trust us. The long drive up there is well worth it! The trail near the mouth of the canyon does get a bit narrow with overgrowth, so if you're wary of pin-striping, this may not be the trail for you. If you've got some trusty passengers willing to help you navigate through it, then you're set.
As you drive up Carpenter Canyon, you'll see a trickle of water down the middle of the trail. With an elevation of about 7,000 ft, you'll also notice a steep decline in temperature. Roll those windows down, soak in the fresh mountain air and prepare yourselves for a site rarely seen in Las Vegas. The sun beams crisply cut through the towering trees overhead and bounce off the year-round water-shed that carves its way through the canyon. It's absolutely breathtaking. And it's right here within an hour of Las Vegas, NV. Park your vehicle and hike up the canyon a bit farther, following the stream to the waterfall at the top. Be sure to take time to explore the pools of water along the way. Break out that fishing pole we recommended you bring along. Watch closely and you'll see the small trout population in those waters. Then find that inner kid in you and walk (or attempt to walk) along the downed trees. Pick a wildflower for someone special. Sit on a boulder and soak in the scenery. If you decide to stay overnight, there are a handful of off-grid campsites at the mouth of Carpenter Canyon. Listen to the creek as it lulls you to sleep. Then wake up refreshed, ready for another day of adventure!
As always, be sure to pack out whatever it is that you pack in. Leave no trace. Protect and keep nature wild. Then go back again and again to enjoy it as the seasons change!
Trail conditions are always changing, so be careful out there and TREAD LIGHTLY. Leave no trace. Pack in. Pack out.
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