Scanlon Ferry Road

Total Miles


1,209.71 ft


4 Hours

Technical Rating



Best Time

Summer, Spring, Fall, Winter

Trail Overview

Scanlon Ferry Road is an 18-mile point-to-point trail rated 4 out of 10 located within the Gold Butte National Monument and the Lake Mead National Recreation Area. Scanlon Road is dying from neglect. The northern portions of the road are passable in a 2WD high-clearance vehicle, but farther south along the trail, it becomes 4WD only because of the road conditions. There are several areas where the trail has been washed out and previous visitors have created bypasses. At this point, the trail is only suitable for ATVs and high-clearance 4WD vehicles. Roughly 10 miles down the trail, you reach the Scanlon Dugway. This is the most dangerous section along the trail. The "dugway" is a section of road "dug out" of the cliffs where it descends through Gregg Canyon. The steep part of the dugway drops 1,040 feet in 1.3 miles, on average, a very steep roadway grade of 15%. About 2.5 miles beyond the top of the dugway, the road enters the Lake Mead National Recreation Area. The trail ends at the Colorado River where a ferry system once operated. There are no services of any kind along this road (no food, water, gas, or restrooms).


The trail consists of loose rock, dirt, and sand with some slickrock surfaces. There is some erosion; there are washes, gulches, and rock steps no higher than 18 inches. Tall tires (33-inch-plus) and limited slip are helpful, while 4WD is required. Technical driving skill, enhanced suspension travel, and good ground clearance are also beneficial.


The trail ends at the Colorado River where a ferry system once operated. Mike Scanlon initiated ferry service in 1881. Scanlon Road, as it was known back then, provided access to several mines in the area, including Lakeshore, Joker, Windmill, Greenhorn, and Jumbo Mines. The dugway was used by horse-drawn buggies and mule-drawn rigs hauling freight and mine or down to the ferry and across to what is now South Cove in the late 1800s to early 1900s.

Technical Rating


Status Reports

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