Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Christmas Tree Pass

Cal-Nev-Ari, NV   High 88  Low 55

Monday morning we left Brenda and headed 150 miles further north to Cal-Nev-Ari. This tiny spot in the road is located about 70 miles south of Las Vegas and was originally established as an air landing strip for Camp Ibis, where US Troops were trained in WWII.

There is really nice RV park here for $19.34 per night including taxes. We’re about 25 miles from Laughlin. TV is almost non-existent but I have a good signal on the WIFI.


We spent two nights still recovering from packing up after almost six months of sitting. I also wanted to explore Christmas Tree Pass.

Sidney is soooo ready to start exploring.


Christmas Tree Road connects Highways 95 and 163. It is about 16 miles of a dirt road that needs a high clearance vehicle in many places. The road starts about a mile south on Highway 95 and then ends up in Laughlin where we met Key for lunch. We left about 8:30 and finally arrived at noon with our top speed of 15mph but usually 10 mph or less.


A fabulous scenic drive that starts in the Mohave Desert and ends up in the Lake Mead Recreational Area. Christmas Tree Road and Pass are named for the juniper and pinon pine which grow at the higher elevations.We climbed from 2510 feet to 3918 feet at the top of the pass. We did not see another vehicle until we were about two miles from the end of the road.

Wonderful rock formations.




Jim says this one looks like a frog.


We took over 150 pictures because everywhere we looked the beauty of the land was overwhelming. The views were incredible.


From the desert floor we drove up into the pinons and junipers near the top of the pass. Folks have taken the time to decorate several of the trees at the top.


Of course, we have to have a panty tree.


The east side of the pass is much more rocky and steep.


About two miles from Highway 163 is a sign for Grapevine Canyon. This is the only place along the road that has bathrooms. Very important information.

The drive up through the pass to Grapevine Canyon takes you past Spirit Mountain which is sacred land to the Yuman Indian tribes. They consider this area to be the birthplace of creation and was used for religious ceremonies.


After using the facilities at the trailhead, there is a 1/4 mile hike to the mouth of the canyon and treasures that await you there.


Petroglyphs!! Everywhere.


For those of you who are hikers, you can go much further into the canyon looking for even more of these wonderful images.


Looking back from the mouth of the canyon.


We met up with Key in Laughlin for a Mexican lunch and got fuel in Bullhead City. Definitely much cheaper in AZ then in NV. We took the highway back to the girls.

Key and Jim


I picked a fantastic drive for our first adventure of this journey.


  1. Seems like a very nice trip. Great pictures. Love the Frog Rock. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Thanks for the tour and great pics. That rock definitely looked like a rock to me.

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  3. I take it the bungalow did just fine on the dirt road. I love the back roads. You see so much more. Jim is right. That rock looks remarkably like a frog. If you're ever at Rushmore in the evening. Before it lights (I think it was), it look just like a big giant sleeping. Amazing. Watching rocks are kinda like watching clouds when we were kids. Pats to S&S. :)

  4. That sounds like a wonderful drive and things to see!!!

  5. Took me a while to figure out Sydney was in that bush. ;)

  6. Great trip - the kind I'll be able to do now that I have the Tracker. So how is it living in the Bungalow so far ?

  7. It looks like a very interesting destination - especially the petroglyphs.

  8. What a great area to visit! Thanks for showing us some of your wonderful pictures!

  9. You certainly are getting adventuresome. Glad you had a good day. Now rest a bit before you get back on the road.

  10. Always nice to do something you have wanted to do.

  11. There is a frog rock like that on the road from Congress to Prescott.

  12. amazing rock formations--loved your photos! It must be fun to be on the road again! Safe travels!

  13. What a wonderful day trip with lots of great pictures. Nice to be moving around again.

  14. You are right about the beauty in every directions. Looks fabulous.

    Glad you both are doing so well and enjoying the good life.

  15. LOVE following a long with you. That Frog Rock is amazing! Looks just like one.

  16. Glad you took me along in pictures because that is not a road I'm going to drive in my low clearance van. :)

  17. Something about your blog is different! New background or something, right?

    Sounds like a route Doug would love. Definitely shunpiking.

  18. We live in an amazing country with beauty around every corner!!
    Thanks for sharing this unique place with us. :-)
    I definitely saw the!!!

  19. You did pick a great drive! I love to go to places like that rather than being inside at some museum. I love landscapes. Did Big Sur & will work on posting when I can. Was foggy but got a few pics when the sun tried to come out. Ain't traveling great!?

  20. I have often wanted to take the route over Christmas Pass and when we had the Jeep we didn't have time. Now we have time but no Jeep. The Saturn thinks it's a Jeep, but it comes up a little short. Have fun!

  21. Looks like a fun day out in the bush.


Thanks for visiting today. I look forward to reading your comments. Have a beautiful day.