Arrow Canyon Wilderness is a serene destination in southern Nevada. The wilderness area is made up of 27,530 acres with elevations ranging from 2,000 to 5,200 feet. Visitors to this little-known remote area can expect to see very few other visitors. Arrow Canyon is a slot canyon, a feature that is rare in Nevada. It reaches just 18 feet wide at its most narrow point with its cliff walls towering 300 feet overhead.
Visitors make their way to Arrow Canyon Wilderness to enjoy many recreational activities. The canyon and caves provide a great climbing opportunity with grades ranging from 5.8 to 5.12. The Arrow Canyon Trail is a six-mile hike that leads hikers through the most narrow section of the canyon. Prehistoric and historic features awe wilderness area visitors. Petroglyphs and fossils can be seen in the cliff walls. Rock foundations and cave shelters can also be observed while exploring the canyon.
Visitors will want to avoid the canyon when there is rain in the forecast. The slot canyon is prone to flash flooding. The road leading to the parking area may become too muddy even for four-wheel-drive after heavy rainfall. Vehicles and bikes are not allowed in the wilderness area. Visitors must park on the highway or in the parking area and walk-in.
Arrow Canyon Wilderness is about 45 minutes away from the fabulous Las Vegas, though while there, you’ll feel remote and away from the bustle. If accessing the canyon from US Highway 93, you’ll want to park alongside the highway. If you have 4WD, you can drive in about a mile further. If coming from Highway 168, you’ll take a gravel road to a municipal well where you can park. Those with 4WD vehicles can drive an additional 1.5 miles from the well to a parking area.
No vehicles or bikes are permitted in the wilderness area. Visitors must park outside of the wilderness area either along the road or in the parking area accessible only with 4WD. If parking on the shoulder of the highway, be sure to pull far enough off the road to avoid getting a ticket.
This BLM property is very remote. Cell phone service is intermittent at best and can vary depending on the provider. There are very few towns nearby, with Glendale being one of the closest at nearly 40 miles away. Before heading out to Arrow Canyon Wilderness, you’ll want to ensure you have enough gas to make it back to town.
Las Vegas KOA is about 50 miles southwest of Arrow Canyon Wilderness. Not far from the famous Las Vegas Strip or downtown, the Las Vegas KOA offers RVers many comforts and amenities during their stay. Guests at the KOA will be able to experience and enjoy both leisure and Las Vegas entertainment.
The KOA has many campsite options for RV guests. Pull-through, back-in, and front-in sites are offered, including some with patios. The campground is big rig friendly with sites as long as 70 feet. With 30 and 50 amp options, you can make sure to reserve a site that suits your needs.
Campground amenities include WiFi, a dog park, a pool, showers, and laundry facilities. For those wanting to enjoy some of the entertainment or nightlife that Las Vegas has to offer, there is a shuttle that guests can take to the Las Vegas strip or downtown.
The Arrow Canyon Trail is an out and back trail that is just over 6 miles long. To reach the trailhead, a four-wheel-drive or high-clearance vehicle is necessary. If you have a 4WD vehicle, you should be able to make it to the parking area. Without 4WD, you can park by the well or on the shoulder of the highway. You’ll need to walk from there or risk getting stuck.
While hiking the trail, there is about a 200-foot elevation gain. The canyon walls are 300 feet high at the tallest point and are only 18 feet apart at the most narrow. Flash flooding can occur here, be aware of the weather before making the hike.
Arrow Canyon is a great climbing location. Climbing grades at Arrow Canyon range from 5.8 to 5.12, with the most challenging routes within two caves.
The climbing routes vary with some vertical and other routes that overhang features within the caves. No new bolting is permitted while climbing. Climbing is recommended during the fall or spring to beat the heat of the summer and the cold desert winter temperatures.
Lots of different species of wildlife can be seen around the rocks, ridges, and vegetation. Bighorn sheep roam the area and are occasionally seen near the cliffs. A desert tortoise may be spotted as it slowly moves along the terrain. Birdwatchers will be pleased to see the many birds that visit the Arrow Canyon Wilderness. Golden eagles, great-horned owls, and Say’s phoebes are just a few of the many types of birds that have been recorded in the area. There is poisonous wildlife at Arrow Canyon. While exploring the canyon, be cautious of rattlesnakes when disturbing rocks.
Non-commercial hunting and trapping are permitted on this BLM property. Whether you’re looking to hunt big game such as bighorn sheep or small game like coyotes, fox, or migratory birds, the wilderness area has an abundance of wildlife.
Ensure you’re familiar with hunting rules and have obtained any necessary tags or permits. Hunting rules, limits, and other regulations are enforced by the Nevada Department of Wildlife.
There are many historic and prehistoric features at Arrow Canyon Wilderness. Many petroglyphs and fossils can be seen on the cliff walls by hikers and climbers. Broken arrowheads and stone scrapers have been found in the wilderness area.
Agave roasting pits, rock foundations, and shelter caves can be seen by those exploring the canyon. Be sure to keep an eye out for these historical features and artifacts during your visit. The canyon holds religious significance to the Paiute Tribe, so be respectful and don't take anything with you.
Stunning scenery, colorful skies, and wildlife await visitors to Arrow Canyon. Whether you're an amateur or professional, photographers of any skill level should bring their camera for their visit.
Capture the colorful desert sunset or the tortoise you may see creeping along the rocks. While hiking the canyon, snap a picture at the most narrow point. The photo opportunities are endless at Arrow Canyon Wilderness.