The West End Wash is picturesque area to explore in the Lake Mead National Recreation Area, especially during the spring season. This dirt road is located just a short distance north of the Callville Bay Marina access road, so it is relatively easy to find. From the pavement there is an option to go south through the West End Wash toward Lake Mead or head north into the mountains. The northern route through this dry wash is featured in the attached Flickr album, which contains enough photos to accurately depict the terrain conditions. The West End Wash North travel route actually does go quite a long distance into the neighboring BLM territory and there are options that run through the Muddy Mountains Wilderness on the way to Valley Of Fire Road at the northernmost end of the park. In fact, there are quite a few spurs along this road that go to old abandoned mines, mountain springs and hidden scenic areas that few others see, so this 4x4 trail is definitely worth checking out.
Just like with most desert dirt roads, the first section is deceptively smooth, but once the trail heads into the hills the road conditions deteriorate dramatically. There are long sections of pea gravel and silt that will leave a passenger car stranded, so this road truly is a high ground clearance 4x4 touring route. The further one goes, the more 4x4 technical skills will be needed, which is something to keep in mind in order to prevent biting off more than what can be chewed. Mountain bikers and hikers like the West End Wash North Road too, because a new surprising view awaits around every corner and there are plenty of camping options where solitude can easily be found.
For those who are not into risking a vehicle breakdown in rough terrain conditions, just touring the West End Wash North to the bare bedrock mountain pass will be enough to satisfy the soul. Some very dramatic eroded bluffs, red rock outcrops and towering mountain peaks can be viewed along this part of the trail, which will make the rough ride worthwhile. As mentioned earlier, the spring season is the optimal time for this 4x4 trip and all it takes is one look at this seemingly inhospitable terrain to see why. This is the kind of place where only sure footed creatures can thrive, so these mountains are the home of a fair size population of desert bighorn sheep. Mid spring is when the lambing season begins and the ewes can often be seen with their toddlers in tow. As can be seen in the photos, I had the opportunity to view a bighorn ewe and her lamb, but unfortunately I did not have time to switch to a telephoto lens. Even so, it was an inspirational sight to see. For this reason, be sure to cruise slow and keep the camera on standby, in order to bring a one of a kind picture image back home!
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