The McCullough Hills Trail

The McCullough Hills Trail (“MHT”) is a great trail for beginning hikers and families.  It is also a great mountain biking trail.  The 8 mile trail crosses the Sloan Canyon National Conservation Area from Anthem Hills Park to the west to the Mission Hills Trailhead to the east.  The MHT was constructed, and is now maintained, by the City of Henderson.

This MHT description will start in the west from Anthem Hills Park and end in the east at the Mission Hills Trailhead.  The mile markers on the trail placed by the City of Henderson starts at the McCullough Hills Trailhead in the east, so this route will start at the Anthem East Trailhead to mile marker 7 and go down to mile marker 0.  Hiking the entire 8 mile MHT requires some planning, as you will need a car (or a ride) at both ends of the trail.  Due to the fact that the MHT is so well marked, it is a great trail for various “there and back” trips from either end of the trail.

Anthem East Trailhead

When the MHT was constructed in 2014, the trailhead was located on McCullough Hills Parkway, which is on the north side of Del Webb Middle School.  In 2016, they made most of this area a no parking zone.  Accordingly, it is easier to park in Anthem Hills Park at the East Anthem Trailhead.  The East Anthem Trailhead is located in the far northeast part of the park near the baseball fields.  There are two bathroom facilities in Anthem Hills Park, and another bathroom at the McCullough Hills Trailhead on the east side of the MHT (and no bathrooms in-between).

Anthem East Trailhead
Anthem East Trailhead.

Mile 1

MHT First Two Mile Overview.jpg
Aerial view of the route from Anthem Hills Park.

The first 1/2 mile of the Anthem East Trail is on a paved trail that winds uphill until it intersects with the MHT.  As you can see on the map below, there are a couple lookout points and T intersections along the paved trail, but if you continue to follow the paved trail it will lead you to a dirt utility road (with large power poles) where the Anthem East Trail and the MHT intersect (Waypoint N 35.98034, W 115.07839).

MHT Paved to Dirt Trail Marker

Continue east on the trail uphill and around a bend to the south/right until the Anthem Hills Trail forks off to the right/southwest.  About 20 yards after the Anthem Hills Trail forks off, you will see a sign for the MHT on the other side of the utility road (Waypoint N 35.97871, W 115.07385).

Pass the Anthem East Trail turnoff on the right.
Take the second trail on the left.

Shortly after you turn onto the trail from the utility road, there is another trail that forks off to the right, which is the Bursage Loop Trail. Just continue straight.

Stay straight for the McCullough Hills Trail.
MHT and AHT Fork
Aerial view McCullough Hills Trail and Anthem East Trail fork.

The trails fork off in three separate trails, but do not worry, they all end up leading to same place.  The center trail provides the most direct route.  Follow this trail until you pass Mile Marker 7 on the right (Waypoint N 35.97683, W 115.06842). At this point in the trail, the MHT is only 10 yards away from, and is parallel with, the Bursage Loop Trail on your right. Mile Marker 7 will actually be next to the Bursage Loop Trail.

Between Mile 8 and 7 on MHT
Between Mile 8 and Mile 7 on the McCullough Hills Trail
McCullough Hills Trail Mile Marker 7.

Trail Crossing

Continue on the MHT until you reach the marked trail crossing (Waypoint N 35.97578, W 115.06681.  Five trails cross at this intersection, and the signage tends to confuse first time users of the MHT.  The MHT is noticeably wider trail taking you easterly direction.

MHT Horses Only Marker
Confusing “Horses Only” MHT Marker.

What confuses most first time visitors is the “Horses Only” sign on the MHT Marker at the trail crossing.  This sign means that horses can only be on the MHT (as opposed to other trails at the trail crossing), it does not mean that humans are not allowed on the trail.

MHT Trail Crossing Trails

Trail crossing looking northwest.

Trail Crossing to Mile Marker 4

The remainder of the MHT is very well marked, with mile markers and directional signs when the MHT intersects with a utility road.

MHT Map Trail Crossing to MIle 4

There are two excellent rest points on this section of the MHT.  Three miles from the Anthem East Trailhead is a shaded rest area (pictured below).  This makes an excellent turnaround point back to the Anthem East Trailhead.

Rest area.

The West Overlook is another excellent rest/turnaround point.  The turnoff to the West Overlook is 3.63 miles from the Anthem East Trailhead (Waypoint N 35.97634, W 115.03593).  The West Overlook is a short .2 mile hike from the turnoff.


Trail to West Overlook.

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Looking east from the West Overlook trail.
Looking west from the West Overlook (it’s seen better days).
Looking east from the West Overlook.

Eastern Portion of the McCullough Hills Trail

The highest point on the MHT (3,131 feet) is 3.75 miles from the Anthem East Trailhead.  From this point the final 4.25 miles of the trail to the McCullough Hills Trailhead is mostly downhill.

Eastern Portion of MHT Map

The MHT East Overlook provides nice views of Eldorado Valley.  The turnoff for the MHT East Overlook is 4.98 miles from the Anthem East Trailhead (Waypoint N 35.97908, W 115.02796), and the overlook is just .20 miles down the overlook trail.

View looking southeast from the MHT East Overlook.

The remainder of the MHT trail descends gradually towards east Henderson.  At 5.91 miles from the East Anthem Trailhead there is another shaded rest area.

East Shaded Rest Area.
East shaded rest area.

McCullough Hills Trailhead

The McCullough Hills Trailhead is located at 295 Mission Drive, Henderson, Nevada 89044.  At this trailhead you can find parking, informational signs and bathroom facilities.


McCullough Hills Trail Elevation Profile

MHT Elevation Profile

Photos from the McCullough Hills Trail

MHT looking east.
Mile Marker 4.
MHT looking west.
MHT switchbacks looking east.
West Overlook trail.
MHT looking west.
Desert Bighorn Sheep seen from the MHT.
IMG_0178 (1)
MHT directional sign.
Common sight along the trail in March
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Disclaimer: All distances, elevations, waypoints, narrative descriptions and other facts are approximate.