|Yucca Forest along the Fifty Trail route, Mormon Wells Road, Desert National Wildlife Refuge Photo|
Total Length: 228.6 miles
Entering Nevada from California the Fifty Trail climbs steadily up to the Mount Charleston Wilderness (nearly 12,000 feet) northwest of Las Vegas via Humboldt-Toiyabe National forest roads then picking up the Bonanza Trail and continuing on network of trails through Spring Mountains National Recreation Area before descending to the desert.
Passing north of Las Vegas in fairly close proximity the trail crosses the Desert National Wildlife Refuge and then follows little used remote roads northeastward to the Utah Border at Dixie National Forest.
MAPS and TRAIL GUIDES:
Forest Service Map Store trail map of Spring Mountain NRA: http://www.nationalforestmapstore.com/product-p/nv-7.htm
Desert Wildlife Refuge topographic map, south half (don’t need the north half): https://www.fws.gov/uploadedFiles/Wilderness%20Map%20-%20South.pdf
Bonanza Trail: https://www.hikingproject.com/trail/7021744/bonanza-trail
Mt. Charleston/Spring Mountains National Recreation Area trails: https://www.gomtcharleston.com/hikes-trails/
HEART OF THE TRAIL:
Wheeler Pass (high point on Wheeler Pass Road), Bonanza Trail, Mount Charleston Wilderness area, Lucky Strike Mine Road to Desert National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center. (50 miles)
5946.2 – (add 0.0) Nevada/California border5994.7 on Old Spanish Highway SSE of Pahrump, Nevada. Follow road walk directions via Wheeler Pass Road to the North Bonanza Trailhead. Google Maps search will provide the route, or refer to the following GPX Track: https://www.wikiloc.com/hiking-trails/fifty-trail-nevada-1-road-walk-death-valley-traverse-waypoint-dvn019-to-bonanza-north-trailhead-via-25192887
5994.7 – (add 48.5) – North Trailhead, Bonanza Trail. Get on trail and head southeast climbing to and paralleling the high ridge
6008.8 – (add 14.1) Trail junction. Stay right and follow Upper Bristlecone Trail southward
6010.2 – (add 1.4) Small stream in east-west valley. Here the Bristlecone Trail turns eastward and follows this stream down to Lee Canyon. Leave trail for a straightforward but rugged bushwhack. Climb westward to the saddle then turn south, following the ridge line to the summit of a secondary peak with Charleston Peak off to the right. On the far side of this peak, intercept the Trail Canyon Trail. (For the timid, continue down Bristlecone Trail to the trailhead and then follow CA 156 north, turn right onto CA 158 at intersection, and follow 158 to the North Loop Trailhead, resuming the trail route there.
6012.0 – (add 1.8) Trail Canyon Trail. To the right is Charleston Peak (take the side trip to the summit if desired). Turn left onto the trail and proceed eastward along the ridge/
6015.2 – (add 3.2) Trail junction. Trail Canyon Trail bears southward. Stay left getting onto the Charleston Peak North Loop Trail which continues generally east-northeastward.
6019.4 – (add 4.2) North Loop Trailhead on CA 158. Turn right onto 158 then soon turn left onto Lucky Strike Mine Road toward Hilltop Campground, Desert Viewpoint, and Angel Peak. Stay on Lucky Strike Mine Road past the side road to the campground. After passing through a youth camp, the road comes to a ‘T’ with the Angel Peak summit towers straight in front of you. To the right is the road to the summit. To the left the road almost doubles back on itself and then curves around a power sub station. Take that, curving around a building and picking up the rough, lightly traveled dirt road behind the substation, heading northeast then making a quick turn north as it begins to descend. Continue on this road, traveling generally northeastward following power lines all the way to US 95.
6034.6 – (add 15.2) Reach US 95. Cross highway, jogging 150 feet to the right, and follow Corn Creek Road into Desert National Wildlife Refuge.
6038.1 – (add 3.5) Just past the Visitor Center Turn right at the ‘T’ onto Alamo Road.
6038.4 – (add 0.3) Turn left onto Mormon Well Road and proceed generally eastward passing Gass Peak Road then bearing more northward. Pass through the Yucca Forest valley then Peek-a-Boo Canyon.
6069.0 – (add 30.6) Sawmill road comes in from the left. Bear right and continue on Sawmill Road/Mormon Well Road. After about 8 miles, leave Desert National Wildlife Refuge, then after two more, cross US 93 and continue on Sawmill Road.
6083.5 – (add 14.5) Turn right onto Nevada 168 eastbound
6085.0 – (add 1.5) Turn left and stay left, picking up Dry Gulch Road/Old highway 93 heading northward
6098.4 – (add 13.4) Slight right approaching Kane Springs Road
6099.3 – (add 0.9) Merge onto Kane Springs Road heading northeast.
6132.9 – (add 33.6) Where Kane Springs Road turns northwestward at Meadow Valley Wash, bear right onto minor dirt road to cross the wash.
6133.2 – (add 0.3) At a ‘T’ turn left to parallel the railroad tracks.
6133.6 – (add 0.4) just beyond a triangular intersection with a dirt road, turn right to cross Railroad tracks. Beyond Tracks Elgin Schoolhouse State Historic Park.
6133.8 – (add 0.2) Just beyond the historic school, turn left onto Pennsylvania Canyon Road.
6144.6 – (add 10.8) At the base of Ella Mountain (looming on the left) road name changes to Ella Mountain Road, makes a sharp right then passes a side road to the mountain. Stay right.
6145.3 – (add 0.7) Another road to the mountain comes in from the left. Stay right to continue on Ella Mountain Road.
6147.2 – (add 1.9) At intersection, turn right onto Fife Road
6150.9 – (add 3.7) At a 5-way intersection with Barnes Canyon Road, bear somewhat left, crossing Barnes Canyon Road, and continue east-southeastward on Fife Road.
6160.1 – (add 9.2) Reach irrigated Clover Valley, follow the irrigated fields east to a sharp left bend. At intersection with Mustang Rd, just before crossing the ditch and railroad Tracks, the road changes name to Hafen Way. Continue straight north as a road intersects from the left immediately after crossing the tracks.
6161.0 – (add 0.9) At a triangular intersection, turn sharp right to continue to follow the Clover Valley ditch and railroad tracks, but a bit later continue straight as tracks bend right.
6163.2 – (add 2.2) Beaver Dam Road comes in from the left at an oblique angle. Merge onto it and continue on Beaver Dam road. Return to the route of the tracks, later jogging across the valley to cross them, then bearing east as the tracks depart northward.
6168.7 – (add 5.5) Turn left onto Enterprise Road. Beaver Dam State Park is straight ahead about 3.4 miles on Beaver Dam Road.
6174.8 – (add 6.1) State border with Utah. End of the Nevada segment. Continue on the same road, now in Dixie National Forest. At this boundary the road name becomes Forest Road 017.