The Historic Railroad Trail near Lake Mead is a puptacular hiking pathway that follows the route of the former Hoover Dam Railroad system. Walk on a level, natural-surface road through manmade tunnels dug out of the Nevada Mountains. Along the way, you'll have scenic views of the water, volcanic mounds, and the South Virgin Mountains. There are interpretive signs throughout the route that explain details about this area. Come in early spring to see the desert wildflowers in bloom. Fall is also a good time to plan a visit here.
The trail starts at a parking lot off Lakeshore Road that's near the Lake Mead Visitor Center. From here, you'll head east toward Hoover Dam. Hike through the desert among red volcanic rock with your pooch. After about a mile, you'll come to the first of five tunnels. Each mountain passage is about 25 feet wide and about 300 feet long. Some have support beams to help reinforce the walls. After being in the hot, arid air, the cool air in these passageways offers moments of refreshment. After the last underpass, the route continues past a fence and through some steep hills to the Hoover Dam visitor parking. Dogs are not permitted in the lot or on the dam.
You and your four-footed friend can hike this trail together as long as you keep them secure on a six-foot lead. There aren't any water stations between the Lake Mead and Hoover Dam parking areas, so pack refreshments when you come. Carry bags to remove and pack out any messes.
Combine history with a scenic desert walk on the Historic Railroad Trail. Out here, you'll have panoramic views of Lake Mead and the surrounding areas. Watch for owls, bighorn sheep, and lizards during your trek. Depending on the season, you can also see indigo bush, desert trumpet, rock daisy, and more along the way.