Jumbo Springs Wilderness is a small area that offers fantastic panoramic views of Lake Mead and the lower reaches of the Grand Canyon. As the crow flies, Jumbo Springs Wilderness is a relatively short distance from Las Vegas, Nevada. However, by car, this wilderness is one of the most remote areas in southern Nevada and exemplifies what it means to be a wilderness.
Located on the southeastern side of Jumbo Peak, the Jumbo Springs Wilderness reaches elevations of 4,700 feet. The upper canyons of three major washes drain through Jumbo Basin into Lake Mead. Sparsely vegetated rough granitic ridges, canyons, domes, smooth cliffs, and coarse-grained boulders blanket the landscape. Water can be found in springs and in the granite, water-polished potholes in Cottonwood Spring.
The 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, hunting, exploring, and camping under the night sky.
Jumbo Springs Wilderness is an area of complex geology. Here you will find Precambrian metamorphic rocks, with coarse-grained granitic rocks overlying them, smooth cliffs, granitic domes and boulders, and deeply cut canyons.
Jumbo Springs Wilderness is a sparsely vegetated Mojave Desert scrub environment with creosote bush, white bursage, catclaw acacia, Mojave yucca, Nevada jointfir, and barrel cactus scattered across the landscape. In Cottonwood Canyon you can find rabbitbrush, desert willow, honey mesquite, and buckhorn cholla. At the higher elevations, you'll find single-leaf pinyon pine and Utah juniper.
With a watchful eye you may spot desert bighorn sheep, coyotes, black-tailed jackrabbits, desert woodrats, white-tailed antelope squirrels, side-blotched lizards, and the slow moving desert tortoise. Red-tailed hawks, Cooper's hawks, golden eagles, Gambel's quail, and white-crowned sparrows can be found in the brush or in the sky above. Beware of rattlesnakes among the rocks and shaded trees.
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 Jumbo Springs Wilderness.
The Jumbo Springs Wilderness lies in a remote corner of southern Nevada approximately 50 air miles east of Las Vegas, beyond the Overton Arm of Lake Mead just west of the state line. The borders of Jumbo Springs Wilderness follow rocky cliffs and hillsides south and east of Jumbo Peak and Jumbo Springs.
Dirt roads of varying conditions provide access to this wilderness from Devil’s Cove Road to the east and Scanlon Ferry Road to the west. To access these roads, drive south from Interstate 15 on State Route 170/Riverside Road. After crossing the Virgin River, turn west onto New Gold Butte Road. After about 38 miles, Devil’s Cove Road splits south off of New Gold Butte Road, following Cottonwood Wash. To access the wilderness from the west, continue about 8 miles further on New Gold Butte Road from Devil’s Cove Road, then take Scanlon Ferry Road south along Gregg Wash.
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
Offering surprising and spectacular views of the Grand Canyon, Jumbo Springs provides endless opportunities for scenic viewing, photography, hiking, and camping. The abundance of wildlife makes Jumbo Springs ideal for wildlife viewing, as well as hunting and trapping with proper licensing. There are no designated trails in this wilderness area.
Non-commercial hunting and trapping is permitted within Jumbo Springs 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.
Rock climbing and scrambling are allowed within the wilderness. Always use caution when climbing. The rock is very brittle and can easily break off. After a desert rain the rock may be slippery when wet or icy.
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.