Off-highway vehicles are one of many ways to enjoy the Southern Nevada landscape.
All operators of off-highway vehicles must comply with Nevada laws and regulations, including speed limits, when operating on public lands. All terrain vehicles (ATVs), utility terrain vehicles (UTVs) and motorcycles operated on public lands must have a muffler, spark arrester and working headlights and taillights for nighttime use. Children under 16 operating off-highway vehicles must be supervised by an adult.
Where can I ride?
In an area designated as open you have the freedom to travel where you would like, unrestricted both on and off roads and trails. Traveling in an open area demands that the rider be more aware of impacts caused by OHVs and drive in a responsible and safe manner.
- Dry Lake in Dry Lake Valley - northeast of the intersection of Interstate 15 and U.S. 93
- Jean Dry Lake
- Nellis Dunes
- Roach Dry Lake
- Amargosa Flats Dry Lake
- Big Dune - the unvegetated portions of the dunes only
- Crystal Dry Lake
- Stewart Dry Lake
Vehicle use is limited to designated roads in Coyote Springs, Eldorado Valley, Gold Butte, Mormon Mesa, Piute Valley, Rainbow Gardens/ Sunrise and Frenchman Mountains, and the Virgin River. Roads are closed unless posted open in these areas. Cross country motorized travel is prohibited. (Click here to get maps.)
Off-highway vehicles may use existing roads, trails and dry washes outside of the closure areas and areas with designated roads.
Due to public health and environmental concerns, off-highway vehicle closures are in place for certain BLM managed public lands. The BLM closures include:
- Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area
- Sloan Canyon National Conservation Area
- All Wilderness Areas
- Las Vegas Valley within the following boundaries (Las Vegas Valley Off-Highway Closure Map):
- North – Apex on I-15 or Lee Canyon on US 95
- South – Sloan Exit on I-15 or mile marker 14.5 on State Route 604
- East – National Park Service’s Lake Mead National Recreation Area
- West – U.S. Forest Service’s Spring Mountains National Recreation Area
- Big Dune – dune beetle habitat, as posted
- Fenced restoration sites and livestock exclosures
Popular Routes and Areas
The Las Vegas Field Office offers a number of off-highway vehicle routes. Following is a list of several of the most popular routes and areas:
- Rocky Gap Road - This route is located in Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. This four-wheel drive route can be accessed from the Lost Creek/White Springs exit on the 13-mile scenic drive. Please take caution when traveling this road as it has narrow road conditions and frequent washouts. This road is not recommended for passenger cars or low clearance vehicles.
- Bitter Springs Back Country Byway - This 28-mile route is located 40 miles northeast of Las Vegas between Valley of Fire State Park and the Muddy Mountains Wilderness. From Las Vegas, take Interstate 15 northbound; if driving from Mesquite take Interstate 15 southbound. Take the Valley of Fire Exit and turn onto State Route 169. State Route 169 will turn left, and there will be a dirt road straight ahead. Continue straight to where you enter the byway.
- Gold Butte Back Country Byway - This Back Country Byway travels across 62 miles of Nevada desert. The town of Gold Butte stands as an old mining town established in the early 1900s where precious metals such as gold, copper, zinc, and lead were mined. The byway offers chances to see petroglyphs, colorful sandstone, and great scenery, like the Virgin Mountains, along the way. From Las Vegas, take Interstate 15 northbound about 90 miles toward Mesquite; if driving from Mesquite take Interstate 15 southbound. Exit on Riverside Drive (State Route 170). Turn south, cross the Virgin River bridge and turn right on Gold Butte Road immediately after crossing the bridge. The first 24 miles is a long narrow, paved road. The next 19 miles is on a relatively smooth gravel road and yet another 19 miles is on a lightly maintained dirt road that is only traveled in a high-clearnance, two-wheel-drive vehcicle or a four-wheel-drive vehicle.
- Big Dune Special Recreation Management Area - located 15 miles south of Beatty, south of U.S 95.
- Jean/Roach Dry Lakes Special Recreation Management Area - located 20 miles south of Las Vegas, east of Jean, Nevada. This area includes Jean Dry Lake and Roach Dry Lake open areas.
- Eldorado Valley - located five miles southwest of Boulder City. Additional information on the OHV use on Boulder City Conservation Easement can be found here.
- Nelson Hills/Eldorado Special Recreation Management Area - located approximately 17 miles south of Las Vegas on Highway 95, turn left at Highway 165, drive approximately three miles, then south on powerline road one half mile.
- Nellis Dunes Special Recreation Management Area - just north of Nellis Air Force Base. Take I-15 North to Apex exit. Turn right and continue one and a half miles to the gas pipeline. Nellis Dunes is on east side of Frontage Road.