Vegas biking: Travel guide

Suggestions for mountain biking, road biking and rentals

Vegas bike shop

Local bike shops rent gear and can offer trail suggestions.

Sam Morris

Click to Enlarge


  • Bootleg canyon mountain bikers

    Vegas biking

    Break a sweat on world-class bike trails, including one built by volunteers

    more

There are many more bike-riding opportunities ― both mountain and road biking ― in the desert surrounding Las Vegas. And just when it's too wet and cold to ride in many parts of the West, biking season hits its prime here. Following are some of the area's best beginner and intermediate rides, as well as an advanced trail; pick up maps at local bike shops.

Mountain biking

BOOTLEG CANYON

The Lower, Middle, and Upper Lakeview Trails, one of the routes Brent Thomson helped build, trace a figure eight-shaped single-track 6-mile loop past canyons and red rock cliffs. Lower Lakeview Trail is the easiest; take this out and back for a roughly 3-mile ride, or connect via Middle Lakeview to Upper Lakeview for an intermediate ride and the full 6-mile loop.

WHERE: Trailhead is at the end of Canyon Rd. (off U.S. 93) in Boulder City.

CONTACT: Boulder City Parks and Recreation Department, www.bootlegcanyon.com or (702) 293-9256.

BOULDER CITY

The newly restored 6-mile out-and-back River Mountain Trail heads to the top of Black Mountain for sweeping views of Lake Mead. Originally built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s, the easy to moderate trail passes a development, then quickly becomes a desert escape. The trail is clearly marked as it cuts through the canyon between Red and Black Mountains, where rock color reveals age ― the older red volcanic rocks were separated from the black volcanic rocks by earthquake activity.

The single-track section is challenging, with a number of switchbacks; it intersects with trails to Bootleg Canyon.

WHERE: Trailhead is off U.S. 93 west of Hoover Dam; go north on Yucca St. just east of the turnoff for downtown Boulder City. The parking lot is up the hill from St. Jude's Ranch for Children.

CONTACT: Boulder City Parks and Recreation Department (see above).

COTTONWOOD VALLEY

The easiest ride in the valley trail system within Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, Mustang Trail, also known as Late Night Loop, offers a 7-mile loop of beginner-level single-track and fire roads. The climbs are mostly gentle, and you'll catch views of the Wilson Cliffs and red rock buttes.

The trail can be tricky to follow, as there are many spurs. But it's hard to get lost; the hills surrounding this wide-open valley keep you oriented.

WHERE: Trailhead parking is off the north side of State 160, 16 miles west of its intersection with I-15.

CONTACT: Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, (702) 515-5350.

Road biking

LAKE MEAD NATIONAL RECREATION AREA

Lakeshore Drive edges the water for pretty out-and-back riding. From the entrance station on Lake Mead Drive, take Lakeshore for a moderate 12-mile ride to the Alan Bible Visitor Center, passing amazing red rock formations along the way. (Avoid the stretch southeast of Lakeview Overlook to Hoover Dam; the narrow road is usually congested.)

For a longer, advanced out-and-back trek from the entrance station, follow Lake-shore as it turns into North-shore Road; you can travel up to 70 miles to Overton Beach.

WHERE: State 146, State 147, and U.S. 93 lead into the national recreation area.

COST: $5 entry pass, good for a week.

CONTACT: Lake Mead National Recreation Area, (702) 293-8990.

RED ROCK CANYON

The 13-Mile Scenic Drive is a popular route for tourists in cars, but you can appreciate the stunning colors of its red rock cliffs even better on a bicycle. The moderate to advanced loop trail has a 1,000-foot elevation gain on paved road. You can extend the ride by looping the flat 35 miles along State 159 to State 160; return to Las Vegas via Rainbow Boulevard.

WHERE: Main entrance to the park is off State 159 west of Las Vegas.

COST: $5 parking.

CONTACT: Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, (702) 515-5350.

Rentals

Blue Diamond Bike Outpost. Mountain- and road-bike rentals from $15 an hour. Guided rides from $70 per half-day, including bike rental. Closed Mon-Tue. 16B Cottonwood Dr., Blue Diamond, NV; (702) 875-4820.

Boulder City Outfitters. This longtime river outfitter expanded into bikes this past November. Mountain-bike rentals from $25 per half-day; guided trips from $99, including bike rental. 1631 Industrial Rd., Boulder City, NV; (702) 293-1190.

Las Vegas Cyclery and Escape Adventures. Bike shop rents mountain bikes from $30 per day; road-bike rentals are $35 per day. Outfitter Escape Adventures also leads area guided tours; from $79 for a half-day ride, including bike rental. 8221 W. Charles-ton Blvd., Ste. 101, Las Vegas; (702) 596-2953.

Page 1

Advertisement

Insider Guides

Places We Love!
Enchantment Resort
For a most soothing Sedona experience, tuck yourself...