Special Places

Rainbow Mountain Wilderness

The Rainbow Mountain Wilderness Area is 24,997 acres and is located approximately 12 miles west of Las Vegas, Nevada. This wilderness area is jointly managed by the Bureau of Land Management and the US Forest Service.

The terrain consists of beautiful vertical red and buff sandstone cliffs, capped by limestone in some areas, are deeply incised by narrow, twisting and heavily vegetated canyons. The area contains one perennial stream. Elevations range from 4,400 feet in the canyon bottoms to 7,000 feet at the top of the escarpment.

The habitat includes rocky outcrops with pockets of ponderosa pine, pinyon pine and juniper. The canyon bottoms support willow, ash and hackberry species. This range in habitat and the area’s unique geology and microclimates support several endemic plant communities, plants that are found no where else in the world.

High concentrations of rock art, including petroglyphs, and pictographs add to the uniqueness of this Wilderness Area.


The Rainbow Mountain Wilderness Area is located approximately 12 west of Las Vegas.

It can be accessed from Lovell Canyon off of State Route 160.

Maps and trail information are available at the Spring Mountains National Recreation Area (SMNRA) Ranger Station.

Nearest Nevada Towns:

  • Las Vegas
  • Pahrump
  • Indian Springs
  • Blue Diamond

Maximum Group: NONE

Permits: None Required