Scanlon Road

Scanlon Road, a treacherous drive for any freighter

Scanlon Ferry Road is a treacherous drive for any freighter located in Clark County, in the U.S. state of Nevada. It’s one of the most grueling and remote trails on the country: very narrow and cliff exposed.

Located in the Gold Butte Region, south of Mesquite, the road is totally unpaved. It’s 32.18km (20 miles) long running from the historic old town of Gold Butte to the Scanlon Ferry Colorado River Crossing (now the edge of Lake Mead). The road is also known as Scanlon Ferry Road and Scanlon Bay Road.

This is a remarkable road trip. Remember to bring your camera. There are many historic sites and scenic vistas along the trail. The last part of the drive, known as Scanlon Dugway is now narrow, old, rocky and recommended for hiking… but passable by Jeep. It’s very narrow and cliff exposed. The steepest part of the dugway drops 1,040 ft in 1.3 miles -- on average, a very steep roadway grade of 15%. Northern portions of the road are passable in a 2WD high-clearance vehicle, but farther south, it becomes 4WD only because the road is completely washed out in places and other parts are sandy.

This trail passes through one of the most remote areas in southern Nevada, so you need to be prepared, without services of any kind (no restrooms, no water, no gas, no food). Bring what you need to survive. Be prepared and be self-reliant. Stock tires should be okay if you are careful. Recommend tires with better sidewall protection. Beware of rattlesnakes among the rocks and shaded trees.
Pic: Carl Woodruff



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