Bootleg Canyon Mountain Bike Park
One of Nevada’s premier mountain biking destinations is found at Bootleg Canyon, about 45 minutes from the Las Vegas Strip and mere minutes from Historic Boulder City. As you might imagine, the area was known for bootlegging liquor back in the Prohibition Era, but today? It’s a renowned network of dozens of downhill and cross-country trails, and considered to be one of the best mountain biking spots in the nation. Masterminded by trail master Brent Thompson, Bootleg Canyon was ranked as an “Epic Ride” by the International Mountain Bike Association.
With names like “Armageddon,” “Reaper,” and “Kevorkian,” Bootleg Canyon’s series of trails leaves little doubt as to why mountain bike enthusiasts are aiming their tires here. One of the most extreme portions is in the aptly named “Elevator Shaft,” where bikers can fly down a hillside that offers a 22 percent grade. Keep an eye out for a shuttle service back to the top, too. The trail system is for intermediate to advanced riders—full riding gear and full face helmets are more common than not in Bootleg.
Bootleg is rideable year-round, though super hot and not recommended during the summer months when temperatures creep well above the 100-degree mark. When planning your trip, take advantage of the most enjoyed seasons, which are spring and early fall. Bootleg Canyon is Bureau of Land Management land, so primitive camping is permissible in the area. The closest established campgrounds are just down the street at Lake Mead National Recreation Area.
Boulder City is 26 miles southeast of Las Vegas. From Las Vegas, head south on I-515/US 93/US 95 toward Boulder City and Hoover Dam. The highway will turn into a regular road as it enters Boulder City limits. Keep an eye out for Yucca Street and make a left-hand turn (so you’re headed north.) Follow Yucca until you reach a Bootleg Canyon Mountain Biking Trails parking area. The Bootleg Canyon Park Trail Head is off of Bootleg Canyon Road.