Hiking and Meeting Friends in Boulder

Boulder, NV

The area surrounding Lake Mead Recreation Area is filled with slot canyons created by erosion during the infrequent rains in the region.  One afternoon we drove south on US 93 into Arizona to explore one called Spooky Canyon.  The canyon can be accessed from the Arizona Hotsprings Trailhead parking lot, about three miles south of the state line.  From the parking area  we walked north along the highway for about a half mile.

Look to your right as you walk up the highway and you’ll see the canyon below.

There is a nice grassy area at the end of the canyon where the water pools during the monsoon season.  As we approached along the road we disturbed the youngster pictured below enjoying lunch in the grass.

A fence runs along the highway to keep wildlife off the road.  There are a couple of spots nearby where you can slide underneath it and make your way down into the canyon.

This is one way to go under . . .

. . . while this is another

Grassy area at the beginning of the canyon

Entering the slot portion of the canyon

A cool spot, literally and figuratively

The name Spooky Canyon comes from the entrance to a short side canyon.

“Spooky” side canyon entrance

We were pleased to get an email from friends Jim and Gail (Life’s Little Adventure) informing us they would be spending the night nearby while passing through the area on their way to Yuma.  We made plans for a Jeep ride and a short hike, followed by dinner at the Boulder Dam Brewing Co.  We drove down US 93 about eight miles south of the state line and turned west on Old Ranger Station Road 62, a rough, two track path that goes for about three miles, ending at a point where you can hike down to the Colorado River.  We did this drive/hike during our previous visit (our post) and were anxious to return.  The road was a bit rougher than we remembered, but we made it to the end without incident (Gayle only had to get out to walk once!).   We then hiked down the wash to the Colorado River.

Looking to the north

Looking to the south

Gayle, John, and Jim enjoy the view from the remains of a ranger station

We enjoyed the hike, conversation, and beer/food at the Boulder Brewery so much we forgot to get a photo of Jim and Gayle for this post.  We’ll try to do better when we see them again later this winter.

The day after meeting up with Jim and Gail, we were pleased to learn that friends Brian and Leigh (Aluminarium) would soon be arriving in the area.   They would be dry camping in Government Wash, a Bureau of Land Management area along Lake Mead.  We arranged to meet them at the 33 Hole Overlook parking lot, right across Las Vegas Bay from their camp site.

Looking across Las Vegas Bay at Government Wash

The overlook is an access point for a short hike up into White Owl Canyon.

Brian and Leigh

The walls of White Owl Canyon

The trail goes under the highway

After the hike we set up our chairs and enjoyed happy hour in the parking area.

We knew friends Hans and Lisa (Metamorphosis Road) would be visiting Las Vegas while we were here.  Once they arrived in town we arranged to meet south of Henderson for a hike in the Sloan Canyon National Conservation Area.  We wanted to hike a couple of trails that take you right through the Sloan Canyon Petroglyph Site


We followed the 100 Trail for about two miles, going up over a couple of short pourovers.

The trail above the pourovers was filled with over 300 petroglyphs.

Lisa swears she was never here before, but ? ? ?

The 100 Trail ends at the junction of the 300 Trail and the 200 Trail.  We turned west up the 200 Trail and followed it as it looped around and returned back to the 100 Trail, creating a lollipop hike.

The intersection with the 200 Trail

The Las Vegas skyline to the north

Our visit to Boulder City is approaching its conclusion, but we have a few more adventures here to share with you before we go.  More on that later . . .

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12 Responses to Hiking and Meeting Friends in Boulder

  1. geogypsy2u says:

    Yet some more lovely gems to visit in this area. Had recently read about Sloan Canyon NCA. Good deal to hook up with everybody for some good times.

  2. Debbie L says:

    You two have mastered the art of telling your story in pictures with a few words to keep us hanging on! Well done!

  3. Susan Bank says:

    Love the spooky slot…..and your two different ways to access it!

  4. Gay says:

    Slot canyons are my favorite hikes. You sure picked a beauty! So much fun connecting with friends…you hit the jackpot!

  5. That slot hike, especially with added bighorn sighting, looks neat!

    I swear I hadn’t hiked at Sloan before!!! 😉 Good to see you guys again…looking forward to some shenanigans in San Diego!

  6. Laurel says:

    Looks like lots of fun times and good hiking adventures with friends! Love those petroglyphs. Did you hike Spooky Canyon on Halloween? :-))

  7. Like that slot canyon and your creative methods for getting under the fence!

  8. railsail says:

    Great pictures and adventure. I always wonder how you find these hikes (walking a 1/2 mi on the hwy and looking to your right?). Love the post.

  9. Sherry says:

    You two are a marvel of organization finding these great trails and meeting up with friend after friend for the hikes. Great stuff! Being an Edward Abbey devotee, I didn’t think anyone would ever convince me to go near Lake Mead but you have with your slot canyons. Love the pictures of spooky and you guys going under the fence. Where in the world is the real entrance?? You put so many great hikes on my list, like all 3 of these. Love the pictures of the Colorado. Any idea why the ranger station was there and abandonded?? Petroglyphs are my weakness. Great post!!

  10. Thanks for suggesting the ranger station hike. Now we know where we went! There is so much hiking in that area, but I guess we need a Jeep to get to some of it.
    Hate that we just missed Brian and Leigh.

  11. pmbweaver says:

    I am so far behind in my reading. Time to catch up!
    We have never spent any quality time in the Lake Mead Recreation Area. One area we have really made a mistake in missing.

    You two look like a couple of kids squeezing under that fence. hehe I can see where Spooky Canyon got its name. I would be a bit spooked out to enter that canyon. Paul loves slot hiking.

    Gayle and Jim are such nice people. Glad you got a chance to catch up.

    My buns are burning looking at y’all going up the 100 Trail. Excellent work out for sure.

  12. LuAnn says:

    Looks like you two were well entertained during your time in Boulder. I would have never guessed there was so much to do and see in Boulder.

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