OverviewRed Mountain is a beautiful mountain in the River Mountains which rise straight above Boulder City. While the peak is beautiful and colorful when viewed from its base, the summit area is somewhat tarnished by the fact that there’s a radio tower on the west summit and a zipline platform and cables near the east summit. Red Mountain is also next to Black Mountain and both can be climbed easily on the same trip.
The River Mountains are a small, but spectacular and colorful mountain range made of volcanic rock. Both Red and Black Mountains offer views of Lake Mead, but Black Mountain has the better views of the lake itself. The mountains are known for bighorn sheep and desert tortoise habitat.
Getting ThereRiver Mountain Trailhead
The River Mountain Trailhead is located right at the north end of Boulder City. If approaching Boulder City from the west, take a left at the second stoplight (towards Hoover Dam) [this is the junction of Nevada Highway and Buchanan/Highway 93) and drive 0.7 miles to the marked trailhead.
Bootleg Wash Trailhead
Just as you enter Boulder City from the west or just as you are leaving Boulder City from the east, turn north on Yucca Street. Follow the road to the trailhead near its end. This is about three miles from Highway 93 and much of it is on a steep gravel road.
Routes OverviewRiver Mountains Trail
This is the recommended route up Red Mountain. It is longer and more difficult than the Bootleg Wash Route, but it is also a much more scenic route and the trail is in good condition. The trail leads to the east summit of Red Mountain. A communication tower adorns the west summit. This route to Red Mountain is 4.6 miles round trip with 1200 feet elevation gain.
Bootleg Canyon Trail
This is the shortest route up Red Mountain. It isn’t much of a hike, but might make a good biking route. Form the upper trailhead, it is only about 0.6 miles round trip to the east summit of Red Mountain.
Red TapeMotorized vehicles are not allowed on the trails.
CampingThere are several campgrounds nearby at the Lake Mead National Recreation Area. Each campground is currently (2012) $10 per night per individual site, plus $10 entrance fee to visit the Recreational Area. Boulder Beach is the closest campground to Boulder City in the Lake Mead National Recreation Area. See below for a list of campgrounds in the Recreational Area:
Keep in mind that some of the nearby casinos, including near the lake have really good deals for much of the year and may be as cheap as the campgrounds!
When to ClimbOctober through April is the ideal season to climb in the River Mountains. Occasional storms do pass by in winter and mornings can be cool, but snow is rare. Even April and October have their occasional hot days.
Morning hikes in May and September might be reasonable, but June through early September can be extremely hot. There are no water sources anywhere on the described routes to these mountains.
Mountain ConditionsWeather Forecast for River Mountains
Below is the National Weather Service Climate Summary for Boulder City. The data is from 1931-2004. Boulder City is at 2520 feet elevation and temperatures on the highest summits of the River Mountains will be only be about 3 degrees colder than in Boulder City.
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