Lake Mead: Railroad Tunnel Trail

OutAndBack • 5 mi • 100 ft

This trip takes you on a pleasant stroll through history high over Lake Mead. In 1931,work began on what was then called Boulder Dam, in an effort to ease flooding in California’s fertile Imperial Valley. More than 30 miles of rail lines were built to haul materials needed to build the dam. Today, this short segment remains as a reminder of the work the dam required. In 2001, the Park Service began restoring the long-neglected and crumbling tunnels. Plans to restore the trail all the way to Hoover Dam by 2002 were abandoned in the face of security concerns after the attacks of September 11, 2001. Vehicle: Passenger car.
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Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Boulder City
Length: 5 total miles
Elevation Gain: 100 feet
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Easy
Duration: 1 to 3 hours
Season: Best Times: Cold to warm
Trailhead Elevation: 1,600 feet
Other Uses: Leashed dogs, good for kids, mountain biking
Local Contacts: Lake Mead National Recreation Area
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Recent Trail Reviews


Other than the tunnels (five total) this trail was not very scenic. There are some nice views of Lake Mead but other than that, there are power lines EVERYWHERE especially as you get closer to the dam. I would recommend taking this hike to the tunnels and turning around because after that, it's not worth it.


Nice easy flat hike. Very popular and crowded. Lots of bicycles, people with dogs, etc., but plenty of room for all. Goes all the way to Hoover dam (8 miles one way) but we had only one vehicle and no one to pick us up, so we went to tunnels one and two and then turned around & came back.

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