Page Type Page Type: Trip Report
Location Lat/Lon: 36.21083°N / 114.65665°W
Date Date Climbed/Hiked: Nov 25, 2013
Activities Activities: Hiking
Seasons Season: Spring, Fall, Winter


Click for Bowl of Fire East Trip Report


Bowl of Fire refers to an area of red colored desert to the east of Las Vegas, Nevada. The bowl can be accessed via North Shore Road, a 50 mile long scenic desert drive that parallels the northern shores of Lake Mead on Colorado River behind Hoover Dam. I had read about Bowl of Fire on this internet site. Originally, I wanted to first climb the nearby Hamblin Mountain and then go on to hike the Bowl of Fire but I had a bad cold and my ears were ringing so I decided to do an easy hike in the Bowl of Fire only.

Map of my hike in Bowl of FireMap

Getting There

Left our Hotel on Las Vegas Strip and got on I-15 south to I-215 East which became Lake Mead Dr. Turned north onto North Shore Road. After mile marker 18 (at 18.2) miles, I parked in a small paved pull-off on the north side of the road.

At the start of North Shore Road, you must pay to enter Lake Mead National Recreation Area.

Hike Statistics

This is the path that I happened to take as shown on the map. You can obviously follow many other paths.

590 meters
zero miles
680 meters
1.60 miles
Back to Start Point via Dry Wash
590 meters
2.40 miles
4.0 miles


The Hike

At the starting point, I could see Hill 651 m to the north rising above the flat desert floor. There was no trail but I knew I had to go to the northeastern edge of this hill to get behind it. A portion of the red colored mountains could be seen sitting among the brown desert mountains.

From start of hike on Northshore RoadFrom Start of the hike

Started my hike at 7:25 a.m. It was 43 degrees F. Much recent rain had made the desert floor damp. Once I reached the northeastern foot of Hill 651 m, the red colored lands appeared much closer.

From the foot of Hill 651 m

Continued to hike toward the red colored areas and crossed a dry wash called Callville Wash.

Callville WashCallville wash

I was getting close to the sharp double summit of Point 822 m known as Murphy Peak.

Murphy Peak (Peak 822 meters)Murphy Peak 822 m

Got into a branch of Callville Wash and continued to hike toward the red areas.

Branch of Callville Wash to Bowl of FireBranch of Callville Wash to Bowl of Fire

Soon reached a place where boulders created an obstacle to my hike. A little bit of easy boulder climbing on the west side of the wash got me beyond the boulders and back to the bottom of the wash.

Boulders blocking the washLooking down at the boulders

I was now in the Bowl of Fire. I did not have any particular destination. Kept walking up some slopes toward the areas that appeared most red.

Bowl of Fire


Bowl of Fire


Bowl of Fire


Bowl of Fire


Bowl of Fire

The northeast face of Murphy Peak (Point 822 m) was now well visible.

Murphy Peak (Peak 822 meters)Murphy Peak 822 m

Many of the rocks had holes in them.

Holes in the rocks in Bowl of Fireholes in rocks

I then noted a formation that looked like the head of a turtle sticking out of its shell.

What I called  Turtlehead Rock  (on the left)Looks like the head of a turtle

Kept walking up to and beyond the turtlehead formation.

Hiking toward the 680 m saddle


The moon & Bowl of Fire

At 8:40 a.m. I reached a saddle at the base of the north face of Murphy Peak. The views were spectacular.

From the 680 m saddle to the north of Murphy Peak


From the 680 m saddle to the north of Murphy Peak


From the 680 m saddle to the north of Murphy Peak

A small part of Lake Mead had come to view in the distant southwest.

A part of Lake MeadLake Mead

Northshore Peak was visible to the southeast.

Northshore Peak (PeaK 1015 meters)Northshore Peak 1015 m

I could see the north wall of Murphy Peak.

North face of Murphy Peak 822 metersMurphy Peak

I sat at the saddle enjoying the views. Airplanes from Las Vegas Airport kept flying right over me making a lot of noise. I did not want to go back the way I came. Looking at my map, it appeared that from the saddle, I could head west going down to reach the bottom of a dry wash that made a big U-turn returning me back to the beginning of Bowl of Fire near the boulders. I left at 9:20 a.m. and went down into that dry wash.

Dry Wash in Bowl of Fire


Dry wash in Bowl of Fire


Dry Wash in Bowl of Fire


Dry Wash in Bowl of Fire

After the broad U-turn, Murphy Peak came to view again.

Murphy Peak (Peak 822 m)Murphy Peak 822 m

I continued down the wash until I reached the boulders and then exited the Bowl of Fire.

Dry wash in Bowl of Fire

Near the road, Northshore Peak was in good view again. I reached my car at 10:30 a.m.

Northshore Peak (Peak 1015 m)Northshore Peak 1015 m


Post a Comment
Viewing: 1-2 of 2

phydeux - Feb 14, 2014 11:36 am - Hasn't voted

Maybe a naming mix-up

Isn't this place called 'Valley of Fire' State Park? I was there a few years ago, and its definately an area of pretty spectacular scenery that's only about 1.5 hours east of (and a world away from) the hustle and bustle of Las Vegas. Lots of short trails that go all through the rocks.


nader - Feb 14, 2014 12:09 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: Maybe a naming mix-up


Valley of Fire is to the northeast of Las Vegas Off of I-15 and is a state park. Bowl of Fire is an area in Lake Mead National Recreation Area to the east of Las Vegas and accessible via North Shore Road.

Viewing: 1-2 of 2



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