If you love OHVs (off-highway vehicles), exploring and getting away from it all, then Pahrump, Nevada, is the place for you. Located halfway between Las Vegas and Death Valley National Park, this small Nevada town, with less than 40,000 people, is a wonderland for those who enjoy off-highway exploration. Visit Pahrump to hit the trails.
Located in the Mojave Desert, Pahrump is virtually surrounded by a network of trails, which allow you to explore places that are not accessible to everyone. Undisturbed desert terrain, flora and fauna can be seen at their best.
Maps are available through the Forest Service, but not all trails are named. You can also get maps on the Pahrump Tourism website. Types of tracks are identified, whether for ATVs, Jeeps, hiking, mountain biking or rock climbing. GPS systems are being developed and expanded to enhance the trail user’s fun and safety.
Have Fun and Stay Safe
It’s important to remember you are in the desert. Some safety tips to keep in mind include starting with a full tank of gas and carrying extra if possible. Bring along plenty of water, and don’t underestimate how much you might need; this is the desert. Bring extra food and snacks in case you’re gone longer than you planned. Spare tires are essential because you never know when a cactus spine or sharp rock might wreak havoc with your tires. If you have a key lock for your tires, remember to bring it along. If possible, bring a winch to pull yourself or a fellow explorer out of a jam if necessary. A small air compressor will come in handy if you plan to air down. Bring a tow rope or strap so you can help yourself or others get out of trouble.
Be sure to tell someone where you are going, and the anticipated time you will return. It’s best to travel in groups. Bring another form of communication besides cell phones, as coverage can be intermittent. Devices like the one-way satellite GPS location tracking device, SPOT, notifies others where you are and if you’re safe or need help. It’s better to be safe than sorry. Compasses also come in handy to find your way to safety.
Some specific places to visit fairly close to Pahrump include Wallace Canyon, Carpenter Canyon, and Lovell Canyon Road. If you choose to follow Wheeler Pass Road, you’ll have the opportunity to visit Wheeler Well, a watering hole for wildlife, and the Charcoal Kilns.
Other places to explore a little farther away from Pahrump include Potosi Mountain, located in the Spring Mountain Range, which separates Pahrump from Las Vegas. The road to Dumont Dunes can be pretty rough, but it’s worth it. Then there’s Death Valley National Park, just across the California state line, which is a whole new world. If you’re a history buff, you might enjoy following the Old Spanish Trail or exploring some of the ghost towns in the area.
Wherever you end up going, be sure to stay on the trails to help preserve the area for future explorers. The delicate balance between Mother Nature and visiting people is essential for future generations.