Clark County

Beyond the Neon

The Markers Statistics

There's no doubt about it, Clark County is also an excellent place for conquering historic markers! Unfortunately, the county is also home to more MIAs than any other part of the state, all due to the sudden urbanization that has skyrocketed in the past decade. The good news is you will not have to be solely stuck within the boundaries of Las Vegas to conquer this county. Less than a quarter of Clark's markers are chained to the city limits with most of them highly spread out across the Mojave Desert. Kick back and let the Creosote tag along as you slam by on Clark's super highways. Before you hit the road, let me just say: do not expect to conquer the county in one day! Although it is possible to bag Clark in two days, three days to a full week is a much wiser plan. A full week's time allows you to split the county up into some very enjoyable bits and pieces, including a visit to the region's scenic state parks, or in the everyday goings-on in Sin City. For convenience purposes, we've split Clark into three individual regions. You might find this helpful in your journey as well ...

"The Mainland" -- "The Mainland" comprises of everything north of Lake Mead. As simple as this sounds, it is not. Due to its size and many spur routes from I-15, this region may take you the longest to conquer. This chunk of Clark County includes the I-15 and SR 160 corridors, the outlying areas near the state line, the many spur markers off both routes (such as Goodsprings) and the highlight of the trip: the two markers located within Valley of Fire State Park. If you are planning a week or two, consider this venture a two to four day jaunt.

"Urban Clark" -- These cities are so sprawling that Las Vegas and Henderson themselves easily make up their own region. I took a day and a half to tackle these obnoxious markers accounting for traffic, lunch breaks, and the notorious road construction that forever seems to haunt this region. Boston's "Big Dig" had nothing on Nevada. We've also accounted for some doubling-back for research purposes of the MIAs. (I can tell you that I couldn't have obtained all the information that I did without allowing this much time, having visited several NDOT branches within the cities!) Navigating Las Vegas and Henderson comes easy, but it's the distribution of the markers that are challenging. Expect a few instances where you will be forced to double-back, especially if you wish to scout out any of the MIAs for yourself.

"The Needle" -- It's that neat little wedge - the actual "tail" of Nevada that extends south from the rest of Nevada. We call this the "Needle," a unique piece of our geography that otherwise would make our state a boring block on the U.S. map! "The Needle" is a sliver of the state that stretches south out of Las Vegas serviced by only one north-south highway -- US 95. You will have to make this long drive twice if you wish to tackle the five southernmost markers in the state. Geography plays a factor here. Bounded by the Colorado River on the east and its rugged bordering mountains, US 95 is the only direct route out of here, as there is no alternate return route back to Las Vegas unless you want to come back through California from the west. (Access back to Nevada from Arizona is a long one-day loop by way of the Hoover Dam, the only way over the Colorado River) Fortunately, US 95 has been recently upgraded to four-lane status to accommodate the many "weekenders" from Arizona and southern California, making this drive rather long, but easy breezy.

Markers of Las Vegas & Clark County

[6] -- El Dorado Canyon

35.707749, -114.824779

"In the 1860s, the canyon was bursting with a rowdy population of nearly 500 men, many of these said to be deserters from the Civil War."

[6] -- El Dorado Canyon -- Head of Steamboat Navigation in Nevada (Replacement Marker)

35.827923, -114.936931

"This portion of the Colorado River was navigable before Dam construction, allowing steamboats and barges to freight goods ..."

[31] -- Old Spanish Trail (1829-1850)

36.18234, -115.12906

"Stretching for 130 miles across Clark County, this historic horse trail became Nevada's first route of commerce in 1829 when trade was initiated between Santa Fe and Los Angeles."

[32] -- Old Spanish Trail (1829-1850)

36.18234, -115.12906 Missing

"Stretching for 130 miles across Clark County, this historic horse trail became Nevada's first route of commerce in 1829 when trade was initiated between Santa Fe and Los Angeles."

[33] -- Old Spanish Trail (1829-1850)

36.04687, -115.40652

"Stretching for 130 miles across Clark County, this historic horse trail became Nevada's first route of commerce in 1829 when trade was initiated between Santa Fe and Los Angeles."

[34] -- Old Spanish Trail (1829-1850)

36.01849, -115.5073

"Stretching for 130 miles across Clark County, this historic horse trail became Nevada's first route of commerce in 1829 when trade was initiated between Santa Fe and Los Angeles."

[35] -- Las Vegas Mormon Fort and Rancho (Nevada's Oldest Building)

36.18057, -115.13303

"At this location Las Vegas had its beginning on June 14, 1855, when 30 Mormon missionaries arrived from Utah."

[36] -- Moapa Valley


"Rich in prehistoric, pueblo-type culture, and noted by the explorer Jedediah Smith in 1826, Moapa Valley is crossed by the old Spanish Trail."

[37] -- Powell of the Colorado

36.30717, -114.42006

  Superlative: Only Marker Located in a National Park

"On August 30, 1869, Major John Wesley Powell landed at the mouth of the Virgin River ... thus ending the first boat expedition through the Grand Canyon of the Colorado River."

[40] -- Las Vegas (The Meadows)

36.15914, -115.19236

"The famous Las Vegas Springs rose from the desert floor here, sending two streams of water across the valley to nurture the native grasses and create lush meadows ..."

[41] -- Pueblo Grande de Nevada

36.52559, -114.43378

"Several hundred ancient pithouses, campsites, rockshelters, salt mines and caves of Anasazi people make up what is commonly known as "Lost City."

[56] -- Virgin Valley

36.80405, -114.06859

  Superlative: Easternmost in Nevada

"Virgin Valley was traveled by Jedediah Smith in 1826 and by Fremont in 1844."

[86] -- Tule Springs (Archeological Site)

36.32246, -115.26877

"Tule Springs is one of the few sites in the U.S. where evidence suggest the presence of man before 11,000 B.C."

[102] -- Goodsprings (Mining District 1856-1957)

35.83227, -115.43453

"Ore deposits readily recognized in the faulted and folded limestone deposits of this district remained unworked until 1856 ..."

[103] -- Gypsum Cave

36.23191, -114.88381 Missing

"Gypsum Cave was once thought to be one of the oldest aboriginal sites in North America. The cave is 300 feet long and 120 feet wide."

[104] -- The Camel Corps

35.17152, -114.7108

"In 1855 Congress authorized $30,000 for camels as frontier military beasts of burden because of their adaptability to desert heat, drought and food."

[115] -- Potosi

36.00108, -115.48455

"The desire of the Mormon settlements for economic self-sufficiency led to mining by missionaries for lead."

[116] -- Searchlight

35.46718, -114.92142

"Searchlight began to boom in 1902 and reached its peak year in 1907. Up to 1940 total production amounted to $4.5 million."

[139] -- Old Spanish Trail (Journey of Death)

36.50103, -114.76053

"Early Spanish traders named the 55 dry miles separating Las Vegas and the Muddy River the Journada del Muerto (Journey of Death)."

[140] -- Old Spanish Trail (Garces Expedition)

35.17274, -114.6248

"It was from this general location on March 4, 1776 that Garces left the banks of the Colorado and set out across the Mojave Desert."

[141] -- Old Spanish Trail (Armijo's Route)

36.09857, -114.90416

"On January 8, 1830, the first pack train to pass from Santa Fe, New Mexico, to Los Angeles crossed Las Vegas Valley."

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

35.99872, -115.44751

"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."

[150] -- Nevada's First State Park

36.42999, -114.51394

"Governor James Scrugham moved the federal government to give 8,500 acres of the Valley of Fire to Nevada in 1925."

[168] -- Arrowhead Trail (1914-1924)

36.42808, -114.45887

"Las Vegans claimed to be the originators of this all-weather route between Los Angeles and Salt Lake City."

[188] -- Von Schmidt State Boundary Monument

35.01426, -114.66182

  3 Superlatives:
- Southernmost in Nevada
- Lowest in Elevation
- Only Marker Located in Another State

"This marker commemorates the iron column erected in 1873 at the southernmost tip of the boundary survey line ..."

[190] -- Original Homesite of Pioneer Las Vegan, "Pop" Squires (1865-1958)

36.16931, -115.14078

"He founded the Las Vegas Age newspaper and was the voice of the community for more than a quarter century. A visionary, he helped make Hoover Dam a reality."

[195] -- The Last Spike

35.83523, -115.27969

"This site is near where workers drove the last spike which completed the railroad between Salt Lake City, Utah, and Los Angeles, California."

[197] -- Arrowhead Trail II

35.99732, -114.96248

"The name, "Arrowhead Trail" likely originated from the former San Pedro, Los Angeles, and Salt Lake Railroad, which had an arrowhead for a logo."

[214] -- Rafael Rivera

36.08326, -115.0729

"This historical marker commemorates the valor and service of pioneer scout Rafael Rivera ..."

[224] -- Kyle (Kiel) Ranch

36.20313, -115.14021

"Established by Conrad Kiel in 1875, this was one of the only two major ranches in Las Vegas Valley throughout the 19th century."

[270] -- The Morelli House

36.16529, -115.13781

"The Morelli House is a classic example of Las Vegas, mid-century residential architecture. It was built in 1959 by the Sands Hotel orchestra leader, Antonio Morelli."