Canyons are inherently risky. Flash floods occur without notice on sunny days. Technical skills & surrounding topography knowledge required yet does not eliminate risk.
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Oct 2011 Notice
Anniversary mine, just below Anniversary Narrows (Lovell Slot Canyon), is again an active mine. As such, access to the narrows is blocked as heavy equipment and blasting destroy the canyon. It may be accessed from the north end...
This hike while accessed via the Lake Mead National Recreational Area. Shortly after leaving the trailhead you enter BLM land. The next two hours, one way, will be spent exploring old borax mines, interesting geology, and Indian Petroglyphs. This area is renowned for its gemstones and has been adopted by Las Vegas Gem Club. The main event involves the passage into the Muddy Mountain Wilderness via Lovell Wash. Lovell Wash has cut a slot canyon thru the mudstone and sandstone at the south edge of the Muddy Mountain Range. The passageways hold a surprise around every corner bound to keep you captivated.
Flash Flood Safety in Slot Canyons
1) Get the latest weather information
2) Become familiar with the terrain and know your escape routes
3) Be aware that deadly flash flood waters can travel from many miles away with travel times of 10 hours or more.
4) Clear skies do not guarantee dry slot canyons!
5) Always let someone know your itinerary
1) Do not enter slot canyons and rugged terrain during stormy or wet weather
2) Do not attempt to cross floodwaters by vehicle or on foot
3) Do not camp along streams and washes if there is a threat of flooding
There are several old mine shafts in the area. All should be considered dangerous to enter.
From the two wheel drive trailhead take the left fork following the road designated as 94a, the Anniversary Mine Road. It soon comes to a camp marked with a large white sign from the Las Vegas Gem Club welcoming all visitors and offering some ideas of gemstone collection. Continue down the road as a large wash appears on your left. Mine tailings can be seen on the hill ahead. The road follows a contour and dips down into the large wash ahead which is Lovell Wash. Take the wash to the right. Soon the wash gets rocky and comes to old mine ruins. Foundations remain as well as two tunnels in which ore cars passed thru. This is the Ore Car Mine, one of several borax mines in this area. You can scramble up the loose scree to pass thru the tunnels but if you are patient stay down in the wash and go ahead around the next corner for a trail that leads up to the right offering easy passage to the tunnels. Back down in the wash, it becomes very wide. Shortly, you will see more mine tailings and ruins up the right bank. This is the Anniversary Mine. There is a deep open shaft here that is partially collapsed. Watch for Big Horn Sheep which frequent the area. Continue up the wash towards what appears to be a dead end. The end of the wash is the beginning of Lovell Slot Canyon, and the Muddy Mountain Wilderness. You are immediately thrust into a world of hidden passages. The vertical walls are colorful and smooth accented by jagged outcroppings. Some light bouldering is necessary but no special skills are needed. Nearly one half mile ahead, the canyon opens up to a wide wash once again. Take your time and explore looking for Indian petroglyphs. When you have had your fill return the way you came.
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.