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Trail difficulty
Green
Elevation Gain
10.00 ft (3.05 m)
Trail type
There-and-back
Distance
7.60 mi (12.23 km)
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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. 

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Winter
Spring
Fall

Congestion

High

Parking Pass

None

Open Year-round

Yes

Pros

Scenic. Flat and easy hike.

Cons

No shade. Limited parking.

Pets allowed

Allowed with Restrictions

Trailhead Elevation

1,570.00 ft (478.54 m)

Highest point

1,577.00 ft (480.67 m)

Net Elevation Gain

10.00 ft (3.05 m)

Features

ADA accessible
Family friendly
Vault toilet
Near lake or river
Historically significant
Wildlife
Big vistas

Typically multi-day

No

Suitable for

Hiking

Location

Field Guide

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