Sunny Days in Boulder City, NV

Boulder City, NV

We’ve kept pretty busy since flying back from our east coast visit.  The weather has been perfect, with sunny skies and comfortable temperatures each day.  The day after our return to Boulder City we needed to stretch our legs a bit so we decided to hike the the nearby River Mountain Trail up to the top of Black Mountain, a hike we did while here three years ago.

The trailhead is located in a paved parking area on the north side of US-93, just .7 of a mile from the traffic light in Boulder City.

The trail goes along a drainage canal in a neighborhood for about a quarter mile before it heads across the desert toward the River Mountains.

After meandering through a canyon the trail heads steeply uphill in a series of switchbacks.

Once up on the saddle at the top of the switchbacks we turned east headed for Black Mountain.  You can turn to the west and follow a trail up to the top of nearby Red Mountain, a hike we made on our previous visit.

Looking up from the saddle the arrow marks our destination

Getting closer to the peak

The trail ends at the peak, where a bench provides a good spot to take in the great views all around you.

Lake Mead to the east

Las Vegas to the west

Lunch with a view

The temperatures during the next week were a bit too high for any long hikes so we returned to another location we visited a few years ago.  Steve and Joan (FOSJ) told us about two Jeep roads located about seven miles from the nearby state line along US-93 in Arizona.  Both roads follow washes for a few miles before ending.  From the end of the road it is a short hike down to the Colorado River.  We decided to go down the first road and check out the river.  Google maps designates the trail as Cranes Nest Road if you’re looking for it.

Cranes Nest Road isn’t much of a road

End of the road – time to hike

The hike down the wash to the river is only .7 of a mile with few obstacles.

Once at the river we sat for a while enjoying lunch while watching kayakers paddling down the river.

Lunch with a view

Just a short distance behind Canyon Trails RV Park is Bootleg Canyon Park, a mountain bike area filled with trails.  One section of the park is called the Discovery Trail and Rock Garden.  The trail there is an 1800′ paved path that winds its way past larger than life animal statues that include a scorpion, roadrunner, horned lizard, Mojave rattlesnake, Gila monster, and a tortoise.  One afternoon while someone was watching football the nimble hiker made her way over there to check out the statues.

Gila Monster

Mojave Rattlesnake

Horned Lizard

Road Runner


One afternoon we combined our love of scenic vistas with a treat from one of those chain coffee houses headquartered in Seattle.  We made our purchase in Boulder City and drove out to Sunset Point, a nice viewing area along Lake Mead.  Once there we set up our bag chairs and enjoyed the view.

Enjoying Sunset Point along Lake Mead

We spent another afternoon exploring the small downtown area of Boulder City.  During our walk we made a visit to the Hoover Dam Museum, located inside the historic Boulder Dam Hotel.

Boulder Dam Hotel

Built in 1932 the hotel was visited by many famous people during the 1930s including Will Rogers, Henry Fonda, Boris Karloff, Shirley Temple, and Howard Hughes, who recuperated at the hotel after wrecking his airplane on Lake Mead.

Hotel lobby

Stairs leading to the museum on the second floor and hotel rooms on the third

The museum is small but it does a great job in telling the story of the building of Hoover Dam.

Final photo of a construction crew before the dam opened in 1935

There is a nice walking tour of the downtown area which includes a series of interesting sculptures related to construction of the dam.  One sculpture in particular caught our attention.


Alabam was the nickname of one of the unsung workers who helped to build the dam.  Alabam was a specialist.  His job was to clean the outhouses of the vast construction site: sweeping refuse, tossing lime into holes, and restocking the constantly diminishing supply of toilet paper.  It might not have been the most glamorous of jobs, but in certain moments during a long work day many workers probably saw it as the most important!

The real “Alabam”

We’re nearing the end of our visit to Boulder City, but we have a couple more adventures to share in our next post.  More on that later . . .


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32 Responses to Sunny Days in Boulder City, NV

  1. Debbie L says:

    Wow, you two covered a lot of ground!!! Nice summary of an amazing area. Love all the scenery and unique statues, including Alabam! The Hoover Dam is a modern day marvel. So many interesting tidbits.

  2. pmbweaver says:

    Man have you two been busy!!! I love the statues. Much better than watching some dumb guys hitting each other…Don’t tell the non-nimble hiker I said that.

    Crap…we missed the Hoover Dam Museum. Looks wonderful. We were there for a month, but I flew back to Ohio for three weeks. We missed the downtown tour too. But Paul actually rode his bike on the RR paths. He loved it.

    Everyone needs a Alabam on the work site!

    Wonderful hikes. Lots of beauty in the Lake Mead photos.

    • placestheygo says:

      I believe even Paul would enjoy the museum. There is a 22 min video on the building of the dam which was very well done. The displays are full pf photos and hands on without long narratives to read.

  3. exploRVistas says:

    Was Alabam from Alabama? The view from the top of Black Mountain is amazing!

  4. That museum does look interesting, but I really like those larger than life animal statues.

    • placestheygo says:

      You will need to come back to the area and visit these two places. The museum is just the right size and very well done for a quick visit. The Nature Park is only a mile walk uphill behind our park so it makes a great leg stretcher.

  5. Susan Bank says:

    I love the big rabbit! We enjoyed Crane’s Nest road also. A good combination of Jeeping and hiking with water and lunch at the end! Only you would tell us about the bathroom guy…do you suppose he shopped at Walmart for the toilet paper?

    • placestheygo says:

      Crane’s Nest Road was in great shape, but Road 62 to the Old Ranger Station ruin was in worse shape than before. There must have been quite a rush of water down that area. The holes going through the rocks on the trail were much smaller and filled in with gravel.

  6. You guys have been almost as busy as we have in a different way! 🙂

  7. Laurel says:

    Those giant sculptures are so cool! Are they made of cement? Love your spot for relaxing and enjoying one of those special coffee beverages. And the museum looks really interesting. Pretty cool that they chose an unsung worker (wearing a garland of toilet paper rolls) for a bronze sculpture.

    • placestheygo says:

      It looks like the giant creatures are some type of cement. They were quite interesting that large. The Boulder Dam Museum was just the perfect size. We started with the 22 min. video which was very well done. You certainly got a feel for the conditions of the job. The museum displays were very creative with lots of large displays and hands on to keep everyone’s attention.

  8. Love the giant animal sculptures, didn’t know about those when we stayed in Boulder City!

    • placestheygo says:

      I saw signs in our area for a Nature Discovery Park, and I was curious what it was. It was exactly a mile up the road behind the park. A neat little park with plaques explaining each sculpture and several rock areas to play. I don’t remember if the signs were there three years ago.

  9. LuAnn says:

    I echo everyone else’s comments about the animal sculptures. Very cool to find them in the desert. Glad you are enjoying good weather!

  10. Great critters in the desert. Oct was pretty warm this year.

  11. Sherry says:

    You sure didn’t waste any time getting back on the trail. Looks like you’re glad to be back west. That really looks like a serious uphill from the shot looking down. Nice lunch with a view shots on both hikes. For sure Ruby won’t be going down Crane’s Nest Road. Great shot of your jeep at the end of the road and beautiful picture of the kayakers on the Colorado. What a river. Wish it could run free again. I’m with you on statues verses football. Those are great! Feeling sorry for Alabam but I guess somebody has to do it.

  12. geogypsy2u says:

    You are certainly getting your times worth in Boulder City. Love how you find the cultural and natural history of areas.

  13. Gay says:

    Great lunch views! And I love the story about Alabam.

  14. Jim and Barb says:

    Just like how you two seem to find the coolest hiking trails, Steve and Joan find the coolest Jeep trails! That area has so much to offer, you could stay there for months and never hit it all!

    • placestheygo says:

      This is our second visit for a month and I still have things on my list. There is endless hiking in every direction. This area has it all including pretty nice weather all year.

  15. Steve & Dianne Colibaba says:

    Had no idea there was so much more to see and do in that area. Thanks for the tour and safe travels!

    • placestheygo says:

      You two would love it here. There is plenty of boondocking at Government Wash overlooking Lake Mead. There are 4×4 areas, hiking, street/mountain biking, and lots of fishing in the lake.

  16. Jodee Gravel says:

    Almost missed this fun post!! We really have to find that road out in the desert next time! Love those amazing statues – not more than football of course, but still really cool 🙂 The workers who built the dam were incredible. Coming in way before deadline had to be a mixed blessing given that they were some of the few men who had jobs during that time. Never underestimate the importance of the person responsible for toilet paper!!!

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