For our second week at Las Vegas Bay Campground, we were joined by our RVer friends D&L and their two adventure kitties. D&L are a bit social media shy so I won’t be using their full names or showing identifying photos of them. L and I met a few years ago on a Facebook group dedicated to traveling with cats (yes, we’re both crazy cat ladies!) We bonded over RV life, hiking, and cats and it has been a lovely friendship ever since. The four of us met up near Zion in 2019 and again near Moab in 2021. It is always fun to have them on the trail with us for a few days and this trip was no exception.
Repeating Some Favorites
Conditions at Lake Mead were pretty cool (by Lake Mead standards) and breezy that first week of February, but we were still able to get out for some nice hiking. D&L had never hiked Anniversary Narrows. We were there just a couple months prior, but enjoyed it so much we were happy to repeat the 7.0 mile out-and-back route.
We also repeated the Shoreline Trail – Owl Canyon Loop which is a favorite of ours. We hike from the campground to the old Las Vegas Bay boat launch where we catch the Shoreline Trail. This leads us to the mouth of Owl Canyon where we hike up the narrows, through two massive culverts, up onto the River Mountain Trail, down another side canyon and back to the Shoreline Trail where we can retrace our steps back to the campground. This makes for a relatively easy 7.0 mile loop and we generally see very few people once outside the Owl Canyon Narrows. This time, we added some explorations up a side canyon that looked intriguing.
Bowl of Fire, Muddy Mountain Wilderness
Congress designated Nevada’s Muddy Mountains Wilderness in 2002. Tucked away in a quiet corner of Lake Mead National Recreation Area, the 48,154 acre wilderness sees very light visitation. It first caught my attention during our 2019-2020 snowbird travels. We were driving from Overton to Boulder City when I spied an area of dark red rocks peaking out from some towering grey mountains. I immediately thought, “oh we HAVE to explore there!” After a little research, I learned that this area of red rock is known as Bowl of Fire (not to be confused with nearby Valley of Fire). We spent a day exploring Bowl of Fire the first week of 2020, but we only covered a fraction of what the rugged area had to offer.
When D&L suggested a hike at Bowl of Fire, we were all in. There is no official trail to Bowl of Fire, but there are a couple fairly well-known routes leading hikers to the area. We parked at mile marker 18.2 off Northshore Drive. There are no trail signs there, just a pull out with parking for about half a dozen cars and a sliver of Bowl of Fire peaking out from the hills to the north. We followed an obvious social path with occasional cairns north to the southern end of Bowl of Fire.
Eventually, the social paths faded away and we were left to pick our own route through the red rock maze. L served as our scout and she did a great job leading the way. We thought we’d be cliffed out at one point, but she found a way up and over. We wandered until we found ourselves back on familiar ground and then retraced our steps back to the trailhead. I highly recommend the use of a GPS to aid in navigating through Bowl of Fire. It isn’t a big area, but it could be easy to get turned around once surrounded by the towering red rock mountains.
Our time with D&L flew by. After almost a week together at Las Vegas Bay campground, it was time for them to continue their travels south and for us to continue north. Death Valley National Park was our next planned destination, but an early season heat wave would have conditions warmer than we like for hiking and RV life. With no reservations committing us to Death Valley, we rerouted our trip and headed north from Lake Mead to a free lakeside spot at Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge.
The Adventure Continues
Be sure to join us on our next adventure as we go in search of ancient rock art in Basin and Range National Monument. And don’t forget to check out our Amazon RV and Adventure Gear recommendations. We only post products that we use and that meet the Evans Outdoor Adventures seal of approval. By accessing Amazon through our links and making any purchase (even things as simple as toothpaste!), you get Amazon’s every day low pricing and they share a little with us. This helps us maintain this website and is much appreciated!