Exploring Remnant Landscapes of Nevada’s Arrowhead Trail

Arrowhead Trail in Valley of Fire

Publication: Geographical Review, Vol. 111, No. 3

Author: Joe Weber & Matthew Lafevor

Date of Publication: 2020

PDF File: Exploring-Remnant-Landscapes-of-Nevadas-Arrowhead-Trail.pdf


The Arrowhead Trail was an early 20th century automobile highway, running 853
miles between Los Angeles and Salt Lake City via southern Nevada. While some of the road evolved into a modern highway, much of the original road was abandoned and parts even submerged underneath Lake Mead after construction of the Hoover Dam in the 1930s. This study examines the condition of two sections of the Arrowhead Trail in Nevada using Federal Trail Data Standards, which allows classification based on condition and location, and a zonal model of reservoirs developed by archaeologists that offers a guide to how immersion in a reservoir will affect artifacts. These were tested using a combination of archival data and fieldwork. The Federal Trail Data Standards provide a useful means for characterizing the condition of historic roads, while the reservoir-based approach offers insights into road survivability and may be of greater use in the future.