The National Park Service is reopening a popular road closed by flooding and some hiking trails closed by summer heat at the Lake Mead National Recreation Area.
Eldorado Canyon Road, which leads to Nelson’s Landing on Lake Mohave, opened Wednesday for Labor Day weekend, but visitors should expect construction activity and traffic restrictions over next two months as repairs are made.
The road was closed Aug. 4 after flash flooding washed away a large portion of pavement. Only one lane is open through the damaged section, so the speed limit has been reduced to 15 mph and eastbound traffic will have to yield to westbound traffic.
It was intense heat, not flooding, that prompted the Park Service to shut down the Goldstrike Canyon hiking trail in Nevada and the White Rock Canyon trails in Arizona on Aug. 1. Those steep, strenuous routes are now set to reopen Sept. 12.
The closure came after emergency crews responded to 37 calls in the area in the first seven months of the year, including three deaths and 13 medical transports.
Once the trails are open again, the Park Service urges hikers to follow the usual precautions, which include packing a gallon of water for each person; wearing a hat, sunscreen and proper shoes; and telling someone where you are headed and when you expect to return.
The trails and Eldorado Canyon Road lead to a stretch of the Colorado River and Lake Mohave recently designated as a National Water Trail by Interior Secretary Sally Jewell.
The Black Canyon Water Trail, as it is now known, takes in a scenic and historic 30-mile stretch of the Colorado from the downstream side of Hoover Dam to the mouth of Eldorado Canyon, south of Boulder City.
The road through the canyon will be open through Monday and then close again Tuesday for four days of previously scheduled bridge repair. Occasional closures are expected after that as the flood damage is fixed, but the Park Service hopes to keep the road open on weekends, when people use it to access the water while avoiding the park’s fee stations.
Contact Henry Brean at email@example.com or 702-383-0350. Find him on Twitter: @RefriedBrean.