Sloan 200

One-way Distance: 0.7 miles
Difficulty: Moderate
Elevation: 3034 - 3326 feet
Cellphone: 0-4 bars
Time: 45 mins. (one-way)
Trailhead: Contact Station
Fee: none
Attractions: Scenic alternate route

The Sloan Canyon National Conservation Area protects a part of Nevada's Mohave Desert just south of Las Vegas, Nevada. A handful of hiking, equestrian and mountain bike trails have been established withing the Sloan Canyon NCA. This post covers the 200 trail which provides an alternate route to where hundreds of petroglyphs can be found upon boulders and the canyon walls along the upper section of the 100 trail.

The easiest method to find your way to the trailhead is to enter 'Sloan Canyon National Conservation Area Visitor Contact Station' in your driving software and then be sure that the location you select is on Nawghaw Poa Road. Sloan Canyon has multiple trailheads and it is possible to end up at the wrong one. Otherwise take Exit 27 off of Interstate 15 and drive east on St. Rose Parkway. Turn right on Las Vegas Blvd. South. Turn left on Volunteer Blvd and then right on Via Inspirada. At the 2nd traffic circle go left on Avenida Brancusi and then left on Via Venetia. Continue as Via Venetia becomes Via Monet and then turn right on Montage Drive. Continue slightly left as Montage Drive becomes Democracy Drive and then turn right on the Nawghaw Poa Road which ends at the Visitor Contact Station.

After checking in at the Visitor Contact Station follow the 100 trail until you reach the 1.3 mile point where the 200 trail branches off on the right.

The drainage that the 200 trail climbs is narrower and has a lot more rocks that make it a little rougher to hike than the 100 trail which other than a few dryfalls has a wide smooth bottom.

After leaving the wash the 200 trail climbs at a steady rate up the side drainage for the first half mile.

The creosote bushes add some nice greenery to the sun baked desert landscape after the heat from months of long summer days has wilted spring's bouquet of wildflowers and turned the grass a golden brown.

As the trail gets close to the saddle of the ridge it has a few short meandering switchbacks that ease the climb a bit.

Once the trail reaches the saddle in the ridge it is only another quarter mile down the other side to the 100 trail.

At the bottom of the drainage on the south side of the ridge the 200 trail reaches a junction with the 100 and 300 trails in the same wash once again that it had left almost 3/4 of a mile earlier.

If you go left on the 100 trail for a short distance there are an abundance of petroglyphs that start appearing just around a bend in the wash. The petroglyphs continue for well over a quarter mile.

We saw tracks and scat left by some bighorn sheep but the only actual critter that we saw was a Desert Horned Lizard. It was still a nice treat though.

From what we gather the 200 trail is most often used as the return route for the Petroglyph or 100 trail. For those that want to avoid the dryfalls all together along the Petroglyph trail then the 200 trail provides a good option for doing just that. We did see one trail runner that was taking the 200 trail just for the exercise. Even though the 200 trail is only 7 tenths of a mile long, to hike it round trip will come out to at least 4 miles and up to 5 miles if you hike the upper section of the 100 trail to see the petroglyphs. Even casual hikers probably won't find the task all that difficult to handle. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.