Pets allowed
Allowed with Restrictions
Elevation Gain
338.00 ft (103.02 m)
Trail type
2.40 mi (3.86 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

Owl Canyon (or White Owl Canyon) is a minor drainage along the western shore of Lake Mead. A short hike leads to a beautiful slot canyon, 100 feet in depth at its deepest, where owls have been found to occasionally nest. The trail begins at the westernmost parking lot in the “33 Hole Overlook” area. At the trailhead you’ll find several shaded picnic areas with tables - a great place to have a bite to eat before or after the hike.

Begin by descending steeply from the parking lot. This is the most challenging part of the trail and may detour some (such as elderly hikers) from what is otherwise an easy hike. After the descent the trail mellows out as it crosses the bottom of the valley and wash, heads up a small knob, then turns left toward Owl Canyon in the distance. The walls begin to narrow as you approach the canyon until you find yourself in the beautiful slot.

Keep an eye open for bird nests (including owls) as you work your way through the gorgeous canyon. You’ll soon come to a tunnel (culvert) that passes underneath Lakeshore Road. Continue though the tunnel.

You’ll begin to leave the most scenic part of Owl Canyon as you continue onward, eventually coming to another tunnel (dual culverts) that lead underneath the River Mountains Loop Trail bike path. Emerging on the other side of the bike path you’ll find that the canyon opens up into a wash. This is your turnaround point. Unless wanting to explore further, return the way you came back to the parking lot and trailhead.


Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass

National Park Pass

Open Year-round



Scenic slot canyon. Owls occasionally nest in the area.


Nearby road noise.

Trailhead Elevation

1,246.00 ft (379.78 m)

Highest point

1,431.00 ft (436.17 m)


Vault toilet
Near lake or river
Family friendly
Bird watching

Typically multi-day


Permit required



Nearby Adventures

Lake Mead National Recreation Area
Lake Mead National Recreation Area
Lake Mead National Recreation Area

Nearby Lodging + Camping


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