Arrow Canyon Wilderness is an intriguing landscape with distinct and eye-catching landforms, including Arrow Canyon Range, one of the most scenic ranges in southern Nevada. The western face of the range is a spectacular cliff marked with dramatic bands of quartzite and limestone arching across its length. The central portion of this area contains a wide valley cut by numerous washes, providing endless panoramas. The northeast section showcases spectacular Arrow Canyon, which is several miles long and confined by sheer canyon walls that are so tall and close together that sunlight rarely reaches the bottom in winter. Pahranagat Wash runs along the northern edge of this wilderness and flows through Arrow Canyon. The wilderness also includes Table Mountain, a small mesa top on the east side of Pahranagat Wash, which is adjacent to, but separate from, the rest of the wilderness.
Silence along the rugged ridges and peaks of this intriguing backcountry destination will become more and more apparent the deeper into the wilderness you venture. Infrequent visitor use and the need for route finding skills provide great opportunities for solitude and recreation including hiking, horseback riding, rock climbing, hunting, exploring, and camping under the night sky.
Elevations in the Arrow Canyon Wilderness range from 2,000 – 5,200 feet. The Arrow Canyon Range is comprised of a fault scarp that rises approximately 2,800 feet off the valley floor. Composed of limestone, the mountain range showcases a striking dark carbon layer that runs along the western cliff face. Fossils such as crinoids, brachiopods, corals, and other sea life, are found in the gray limestone.
Arrow Canyon Wilderness is a Mojave Desert scrub environment that includes creosote bush, white bursage, Mojave yucca, and barrel cactus dispersed across the landscape. Blackbrush and Joshua Trees can be found at higher elevations. Honey mesquite, catclaw acacia, and desert willow are scattered through the washes.
With a watchful eye you may spot desert bighorn sheep, coyotes, kit foxes, ring tail cats, bobcats, kangaroo rats, deer mice, side-blotched lizards, banded geckos, and the slow moving desert tortoise. Golden eagles, great-horned owls, black-tailed gnatcatchers, loggerhead shrike, and Say's phoebes can be found throughout the washes, mountain sides and ridges or in the sky. Beware of rattlesnakes among the rocks and in shaded areas.
Leave No Trace
How to follow the seven standard Leave No Trace principles differs in different parts of the country (desert vs. Rocky Mountains). Click on any of the principles listed below to learn more about how they apply in the Arrow Canyon Wilderness.
There are several areas that provide access for hiking and exploration. The west side of the Arrow Canyon Wilderness can be accessed from U.S. Highway 93. Visitors may park off the highway, or take one of two designated vehicle routes in about a mile further.
To access Arrow Canyon, drive state Highway 168 east from Interstate 15 approximately 11 miles and then turning south onto a graded dirt road, framed by an arc of telephone poles and short white fence on either side. Markers behind the telephone poles mark the designated vehicle route to the canyon. Approximately 0.5 miles off Highway 168, there is parking just past the fenced municipal well. For those with a high clearance vehicle, continue for 1.5 miles to a vehicle barrier where the road ends. There is one private residence along the route – please respect their privacy.
Access to the northern boundary of the wilderness, including Table Mountain, can be had via several designated vehicle routes leading south from State Highway 168.
Digital and paper maps are critical tools for wilderness visitors. Online maps can help you plan and prepare for your visit ahead of time. You can also carry digital maps with you on your GPS unit or other handheld GPS device. Having a paper map with you in the backcountry, as well as solid orienteering skills, however, ensures that you can still route-find in the event that your electronic device fails.
Motorized equipment and equipment used for mechanical transport is generally prohibited in all wilderness areas.
This includes the use of motor vehicles, motorboats, motorized equipment, bicycles, hang gliders, wagons, carts, portage wheels, and the landing of aircraft including helicopters.
Clark County Conservation of Public Land and Natural Resources Act of 2002 - Public law 107-282 (11/6/2002) To establish wilderness areas, promote conservation, improve public land, and provide for high quality development in Clark County, Nevada, and for other purposes
Rock climbing in Arrow Canyon varies from vertical to overhanging cave features with grades from 5.8 to hard 5.12, with the majority of 5.11 routes found on the vertical walls and 5.12 routes in two caves. While rock climbing is allowed, installation of permanent fixed anchors is prohibited.
Non-commercial hunting and trapping is permitted within Arrow Canyon Wilderness according to state and local laws. All hunters must be in possession of a valid state hunting license and tag. Grazing of pack stock animals is not permitted. Feeding is limited to packed in, certified weed free feed; pellets are strongly recommended. If hiking in the backcountry during hunting season, please dress in brightly colored clothing so that you are visible to hunters.
It is imperative that all visitors avoid impacts to cultural resources. Potential impacts to the petroglyphs include degradation through physical contact with the elements, bolts, and indirect effects from poorly located campfires and ad hoc shooting ranges.
Safety and Current Conditions
Arrow Canyon is a slot canyon and has the potential for flash floods. Beware of traveling in the canyon if there is any rain in the area.
Want to Volunteer for Wilderness?
Citizens who volunteer their time to steward our wilderness areas are an essential part of wilderness management. Contact the following groups to inquire about volunteer opportunities.