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Trail difficulty
Green
Elevation Gain
1,300.00 ft (396.24 m)
Trail type
Loop
Distance
34.00 mi (54.72 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.

The River Mountains Loop Trail is a 34-mile long paved multi-use trail creating a circle from Henderson/East Las Vegas to Lake Mead to Boulder City. Completed in 2012, the trail offers a route that is perfect for cyclists or walkers/joggers and that runs adjacent to quite a few other areas of interest.

Several trailheads provide parking and varying amenities for accessing the trail. Much of the path is along rolling hills or across the mountainous fringes of Lake Mead, meaning that there are constant inclines and declines, though the route rarely becomes steep. Milemarkers line the trail, zeroing out just above Railroad Pass Casino between Boulder City and Henderson and increasing in a clockwise direction.

Pets are allowed on leash. Sometimes equestrian trails will parallel the paved path, and other times equestrians may be present on the path. Trail hours are from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. There is often loose gravel on the trail, so be cautious on downhill slopes with turns. The trail crosses over and through several wash areas, so it's best to avoid riding during or after wet conditions. There is almost no shade, and there are few water fountains along the route. The desert heat can be extreme, so be prepared. For additional information about the trail, visit RiverMountainsTrail.org

While it is possible to cover the entire length of the loop trail, the trail and its points of interest are divided into three main sections here:

Henderson

Much of the trail here meanders along the base of the mountains with views over the Las Vegas Valley, including the Strip and Mount Charleston across the valley and Frenchman Mountain to the immediate north.

The trailhead opposite 1699 Equestrian Drive in Henderson (near Interstate 515) has parking, water fountains, bathrooms and a cycling tool use station. 

The trailhead at 1020 Golda Way in Henderson (near E Lake Mead Parkway) has parking, water fountains and bathrooms.

Areas of interest along the Henderson portion include the Lake Las Vegas development, the Three Kids Mine, an important Manganese mine during the World War eras that is currently slated to become a development called Lakemoor Canyon once the toxic tailings are cleaned from the site, and the River Mountains Bike Shop, which offers services and bicycle rentals.

Lake Mead National Recreation Area 

Dropping from the mountains to just above the shores of Lake Mead, this stretch goes from uninterrupted trail through the mountainous hills along E Lake Mead Parkway to the heavily used portions along the recreation area.

Boulder Beach Campground is a large RV-friendly campground on the water lying inside the Lake Mead National Recreation Area fee area.

The Historic Railroad Trailhead & Alan Bible Lake Mead Visitor Center has parking with bathrooms, and water is available at the visitor center along with a bicycle tool station. This lot is outside of the Lake Mead NRA fee area, and it can get very crowded on weekends. 

Boulder City 

This stretch of the trail is entirely climbing or descending to reach the portion's high point at the Bootleg Canyon Park Trailhead. Much of the trail through Boulder City is in a wide paved flood wash, and signs mark connections to other area trails.

The trailhead at 600 Pacifica Way in Boulder City offers parking but no amenities.

The trailhead at Bootleg Canyon Park also has access to a series of mountain bike trails and a zip-line adventure.

The trailhead behind Railroad Pass Casino at 2800 South Boulder Highway in Henderson is adjacent to a full service gas station and mini mart.

Areas of interest include Bighorn Park, where bighorn sheep can sometimes be spotted in late afternoon.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Winter
Spring
Fall

Congestion

Moderate

Parking Pass

None

Open Year-round

Yes

Pros

Paved the entire way. Varied scenery.

Cons

Few trailheads. Almost no shade.

Pets allowed

Allowed with Restrictions

Features

Family friendly
Near lake or river

Access

Vehicle

Typically multi-day

No

Location

Field Guide

Nearby Lodging + Camping

Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area

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