A hike down canyon through a beautiful jumble of volcanic cliffs and spires.
Many spots in this canyon offer no escape route, so do not hike here if there is a threat of storms. Do not climb down any dry falls you are not sure you can get back up or around.
The Black Mountains, where Cleopatra Wash is located, are volcanic. The colorful volcanic formations here were formed by eruptions of the Hamblin-Cleopatra Volcano 13-20 million years ago. Rocks in the area were subsequently tumbled about by tilting, faulting, and other geologic movement. This has created an amazing mixture of hoodoos, spires, towers, windows, and cliffs.
The hike down Cleopatra Wash starts out much as any average wash hike, unless you look up - the awe-inspiring volcanic formations begin almost immediately. As you continue down the canyon, the walls and formations become taller and more elaborate, with windows and hoodoos appearing. The dry falls in the canyon also become taller as you proceed down the wash, until you can no longer down-climb them. You can pick a route up and around these dry falls, which is part of the fun of this canyon exploration. In most cases, the easier route is up and around on the north side (left as you are headed down canyon). Remember how you got down, though, as the best route is not always apparent on the way back up. As you approach Lake Mead, the canyon becomes more narrow and twisted. Enjoy, then return the way you came.
There is an approved camp site where Cleopatra Wash takes off from Boathouse Cove Road. The road is lightly traveled, so it would make a good camping spot.
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WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.
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