[142] -- Old Spanish Trail (Mountain Springs Pass)

Clark County
  35.99872, -115.44751

"(#142) I actually made good time today. This morning I woke up to a chill in my tent on the northside of a butte just outside of Tonopah. After a quick cup of coffee (and I mean, tongue-burning, lips-on-fire quick!), I made my itinerary crystal clear that I was going to make it to Clark. I think I'm still recooperating from both the climatal and social change from northern to southern Nevada. To the outsider it might not seem like much difference, but it is there ... as clear as two to ten on a round of craps. Having woke up with a glazing of frost on my windshield I've retired the dirty hoodie for a white under T in this 95 degree weather. The social change, though, in many ways is more of a shock to the system. I'll just say ... instead of a down-home community spirit and little league refreshers it's a completely different world down here. If there ever was an urban jungle in Nevada ... I think I've found it." -- Journal Entry, March 2009

Along SR 160, 11 miles west of Las Vegas, 2 miles east of Mountain Springs Summit

Original Date Visited: 3/14/09

Signed: Both lanes of SR 160

  • Marker 142 on the outskirts of Las Vegas
  • Marker 142 plaque

Exact Description:
This portion of the Old Spanish Trail was discovered in January, 1830, by Antonio Armijo during his first trip from Santa Fe to Los Angeles. The springs just north of this marker provided excellent water and fed meadows of luxuriant grass for draft animals. Two days were required to travel between Las Vegas and Mountain Springs Pass. The trip was broken at Cottonwood Springs, the site of Blue Diamond, where an early start was usually made in order to climb the pass by nightfall. Early travelers often referred to the area as Paiute Springs, but the present title has been used for over a century. The altitude made Mountain Springs one of the favorite camping spots on the Trail.

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