Newberry Mountains

Golden sandstone in the Newberry Mountains

The Newberry Mountains, northwest of Laughlin, Nevada, feature graceful curves of rounded sandstone on one hand, and jagged saw toothed towering peaks on the other. Then there are colossal boulders strewn about, natural arches, and other wild rock formations. The geology here is amazing. The highest peak, Spirit Mountain, stands at 5,639 feet. It’s a surreal place to camp.


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Where in The World?

Camping Elevation: 3,500 to 4,000 feet

GPS Coordinates: N 35 15.902’ W 114 47.017’

Directions to Camping Area: From the Colorado River in Laughlin, Nevada head west on Highway 163 for 19 miles. Turn right (north) onto US Highway 95 and drive 5.3 miles. Turn right (east) onto Christmas Tree Pass Road and drive 5 miles to the campsite on the right. It will be just before the road enters the mountains.

There are a handful of good campsites further up the road near the pass. These campsites are best suited for small rugged RVs and high ground clearance is a good idea. This is BLM land where camping is allowed. Once the road crosses into Lake Mead National Recreation Area, no camping is allowed. Christmas Tree Pass Road was a bit washboard in spots, sandy in spots, but well maintained. Some sections of the road east of the pass are a bit steep.

Newberry Mountains Camping Area Map

Newberry Mountains RV Camping Journal

November 20, 2012

I’m camped off Christmas Tree Pass Road between Laughlin and Searchlight, Nevada. I’m just west of Christmas Tree Pass, and camped just before the road weaves through the Newberry Mountains. This campsite has a commanding view of Nevada and California desert scenery. From this high point I can see for miles. I have a fantastic view of the Piute Valley to the west and the many mountain ranges beyond it. I can see Highway 95, which is way, way off in the distance in the valley.

Christmas Tree Pass is just a short bike ride from my campsite. Near the pass there are juniper trees and pinyon pines. It’s remarkable to be camped in a desert where I am, and to find a forest just up the road.

Recreation: The Newberry Mountains and nearby Lake Mead National Recreation Area offer outstanding scenery. There aren’t many hiking trails nearby, but there is one trail in Grapevine Canyon to the southeast, just off Christmas Tree Pass Road. There are many more canyons and washes that make excellent scenic hiking routes too. There are also a few primitive roads off Christmas Tree Pass Road that can be explored on foot, mountain bike, or OHV.

With such an abundance of natural beauty, it’s nice to see that a good portion of these mountains are protected inside Lake Mead National Recreation Area. Granting these mountains wilderness status wouldn’t be a bad idea either. They are certainly worthy of such protection.

Weather: It’s mid November and 3,500 feet is a bit too high for late fall or winter camping in my opinion. Spring, early fall, and summer (if you can stand some heat) would be more ideal. Most days, highs have been around 60, lows in the 40s. Last week I had a few nights where the mercury dropped to the 30s. The wind has been almost non-stop. I had several days with 15-20 mph gusts. The wind makes it feel much colder. I got a break yesterday and had only 5 mph winds with sunny skies all day. I had clouds on 4 out of 11 days. One day it was overcast the whole day. No rain has fallen.


Wildlife: Jackrabbits, a few ground squirrels, gambel’s quail, ravens, and a few other birds.

Insects: A couple flies and a few bees. No problems.

Peacefulness: This is a quiet road. Weekdays see about 10 vehicles or less. There’s slightly more traffic on weekends. No highway noise here, just an occasional airplane overhead.

Shade: There’s no shade at this spot, but closer to the pass there are juniper and pinyon pine trees which may provide a bit of shade for some campsites.

RV Solar: There’s plenty of sun for charging with solar panels.

Cell Signal: Excellent. It’s about as strong of a Verizon cell phone signal as I’ve had. Verizon mobile broadband internet is very fast.

RV Campsite Rating: 7 out of 10. This campsite is close to the road (as are most campsites off Christmas Tree Pass Road) so traffic is easily seen and heard. It’s windy. But the Newberry Mountains are amazing and not to be missed. The views are grand.

Newberry Mountains Video Slideshow

Golden sandstone in the Newberry Mountains

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