Historic Railroad Trail

Tom and I haven’t ridden on a bike trail in months.  We planned on riding in Death Valley but the only place to ride was on the road which was either all up or all down.  So while we were in Las Vegas we took some time to ride on the Historic Railroad Trail from Boulder City to Hoover Dam.

Lake Mead Marina from the Historic Railroad Trail
Two of the tunnels on the trail
The huge electrical lines for the dam
Hoover Dam from the parking deck
The new interstate bridge

The Historic Railroad Trail follows a railroad bed that was built just for the construction of Hoover Dam.  When the dam was completed, the railroad tracks were removed.  Today the Historic Railroad Trail serves as a scenic, uncrowded path to Hoover Dam.  Although it is short, it packs a lot into the 3.5 miles of the trail.  It hugs the hills on the south shore of Lake Mead, so there is a great view of the lake several hundred feet below.  The trail is wide but doesn’t have a guard rail so we had to be careful to stay away from eroded edges.

There are five tunnels on the Historic Railroad Trail, which were fun to ride through.  I can get claustrophobic in tunnels when the end is too far away.  But these tunnels were all short enough that they never really got dark in the middle.  My kind of tunnel!

We rode under the huge power lines along the western side of Hoover Dam.  We could hear the electricity snapping and crackling.  The hair on my arms was standing straight up!  The Historic Railroad Trail ended at a staircase that went down to a parking deck and then further down to Hoover Dam.  Tom and I were satisfied with the view from the edge of the parking deck.  After gawking for a while, we climbed back up to the bike rack and headed the other way on the trail.

The Historic Railroad Trail shares a trailhead with the River Mountains Loop Trail, a 35 mile trail that winds around Boulder City, the mountain behind it, and goes by the Lake Mead Shoreline.  We decided to save that ride for the next time we are in Las Vegas.

The Historic Railroad Trail was a wonderful, short ride.  I especially enjoyed seeing Hoover Dam without having to deal with the heavy traffic and tour buses on the road.  We got a view of Hoover Dam that most people don’t see and got to enjoy it at our own pace.

  • Kristine Moye

    I’ve read a lot about Lake Mead having very low water levels and have seen pictures that looks like a bathtub ring around the edges. Did you notice that?

    • Karen

      Lake Mead is at a record low level. It is only 38% full, and there is a white shoreline that runs in a “bathtub ring” all around it from when the water levels were at a “normal” level. California has initiated severe water restrictions statewide with the hottest and driest summer months still ahead.