Historic Railroad Trail

Las Vegas + Southern Nevada, Nevada

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Historic Railroad Trail


  • Parking is available at the Historic Railroad Trailhead, though the lot tends to fill up quickly. - Historic Railroad Trail
  • The trail is popular for walkers and mountain bikers, and it tends to follow a scenic route.- Historic Railroad Trail
  • A short path to the old Railroad Trail begins at the far end of the parking area.- Historic Railroad Trail
  • The trail begins in the direction of the Hoover Dam Lodge.- Historic Railroad Trail
  • Occasional interpretive signs about the history of the railroad and the creation of the dam and lake pop up along the path. - Historic Railroad Trail
  • The first of five tunnels along the trail. Cycling the level grade is a popular activity.- Historic Railroad Trail
  • The Historic Railroad Trail as it overlooks Lake Mead.- Historic Railroad Trail
  • The interior of the tunnels. Bats migrate seasonally into the crevices inside the tunnels.- Historic Railroad Trail
  • Lake Mead's was created to develop water and power infrastructure. The lake today reflects this activity.- Historic Railroad Trail
  • A cyclist approaching one of the five railroad tunnels.- Historic Railroad Trail
  • A runner passing through one of the railroad tunnels.- Historic Railroad Trail
  • A covered bench, vault toilet, and drinking fountain lie at the end of the out-and-back trail. From here, cyclists and hikers have the option to continue slightly further to reach the dam.- Historic Railroad Trail
  • The spur trail beyond the bench and fountain is significantly less scenic than the previous length of trail.- Historic Railroad Trail
  • Beyond a parking area lie a series of steps leading the final portion of the Hoover Dam.- Historic Railroad Trail
  • The final 80-foot decline in elevation is down a series of switchback steps that lead to the dam parking area.- Historic Railroad Trail
  • A footpath leading onto the dam itself lies at the end of the out-and-back trail.- Historic Railroad Trail
Overview + Weather
Scenic. Flat and easy hike.
No shade. Limited parking.
Las Vegas + Southern Nevada, NV
Pets allowed: 
Yes, with restrictions
Highest point: 
1,577.00 ft (480.67 m)
Net Elevation Gain: 
10.00 ft (3.05 m)
Year round: 
Parking Pass: 
Preferable Season(s):
Winter, Spring, Fall
Suitable for:
Biking, Hiking
Trail difficulty: 
Total Distance: 
7.60 mi (12.23 km)
Total elevation gain: 
10.00 ft (3.05 m)
Trail type: 
Trailhead Elevation: 
1,570.00 ft (478.54 m)
Typically multi-day: 
Current Local Weather:
Adventure Description

Adventure Description

Pro Contributor

The Historic Railroad Trail is a path that follows the last preserved section of railroad bed that once served the construction of the Hoover Dam and the creation of Lake Mead. The trail is popular among mountain bikers and cyclists as well as walkers and joggers due to its generally flat grade that passes through five manmade tunnels along its path. There is an area just past the final tunnels with a covered picnic bench and a vault toilet that serves as a logical turnaround point at about 2.2 miles into the out-and-back trail. At this point, cycilsts and hikers have the option to proceed about 1.5 miles further to reach the dam parking area and the walkway across the dam itself. This additional section, however, climbs about 25 feet before dropping about 300 feet in elevation to reach the dam. The tunnel section of the trail is scenic, with views over Lake Mead and the tunnels, while the second portion is mostly just a trail to access the dam. Note that there is very little shade on the hike outside of the tunnels, and the area can get hot. Be prepared when attempting this hike. 

Mexican free-tail bats that migrate to the area and tend to live inside tunnels 1 through 3 from May to October each year. Though they may be hard to see, if you are inside the tunnels at a quiet moment, you may be able to hear the bats.

Leashed dogs are allowed on the trail. The trail is open daily from sunrise to sunset, with gates at either end locked during closed hours. There are vault toilets and interpretive signs in the parking area. Slightly uphill at the Alan Bible Lake Mead Visitor Center you can find water and rangers who are willing to provide information on the Lake Mead area. Often the small parking area at the trailhead fills up, and it may be necessary to drive uphill and park at the visitor center. The trail lies just outside the Lake Mead National Recreation Area boundary, and parking at the trailhead is free. 

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