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Hiking White Owl Canyon Route

Explore Owl Canyon in the Lake Mead area

White Owl Canyon is one of the popular hiking routes in the Lake Mead Recreation Area. The trail covers slightly more than two miles round trip.

The canyon offers beautiful naturally sculpted rock formations to enjoy. If you happen to see any white marks on the rock surfaces, this is probably bird poop from the white owls that live in the area, which led to the name White Owl Canyon.

Since it’s not a long trail, you don’t need to be an expert hiker. The path is easy from the beginning at the trailhead, but it gets steeper past the picnic table. However, it’s manageable if you’re in decent shape, and soon you’ll get to the dry lake bed where the terrain is flat. Up ahead, there are thickets, and the road contours, which break the monotony of having to walk in a straight path. 

In the canyon, the walls start getting steep and there is a very narrow area that you have to be careful walking on. Luckily, it is only about a quarter-mile long. You are likely to see whitewash from the owls in this narrow stretch since they hide away in areas less likely to have human traffic. It’s advisable to keep off the site at the onset of spring when they are nesting as hikers can unknowingly flush them out of their habitat.

You can access the Lakeshore road past the narrow area and the rock walls. Some culverts run under the road, and you can use either one of two culverts to cross to the other side. On the other side is an excellent spot to relax if you want to take a break from the hike. When it’s hot, you can sit under the shade and enjoy the views as you catch your breath and admire nature. The gravel wash on the ground is easy on the feet, and you can stroll around slowly as you rest.

When you are ready to go back, you can turn around and take the hike back guided by your footprints in what will now be a familiar route. The White Owl Canyon is a fantastic choice if you would like to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city and enjoy an outdoor excursion.

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