Nevada 163


Routing

Nevada 163 is a major east-west state route that links busy U.S. 95 with Laughlin and Bullhead City, Arizona, along the Colorado River. The highway is four lanes (two in each direction) for the entire length, and it forms part of the most direct route between Laughlin and Las Vegas. Upon crossing the Colorado River, Nevada 163 becomes Arizona 95, which connects directly to Arizona 68 en route to Kingman and Interstate 40.

History

Nevada 163 was formerly part of Nevada 76 (between U.S. 95 and Needles Highway) and Nevada 77 (between Needles Highway and the Nevada-Arizona state line at the Colorado River). The designations were changed as part of a statewide renumbering effort in 1976; signage changed in the years thereafter. The section of former Nevada 76 along Needles Highway was transferred to local control.

Highway Guide

Nevada 163 east
Eastbound Nevada 163 begins near Cal-Nev-Ari as a divided highway after U.S. 95. Nevada 163 crests, then descends into the Colorado River Valley and Laughlin. Photo taken 02/16/04.
This mileage sign along eastbound Nevada 163 provides the distance to Laughlin, Davis Dam, and Kingman, Arizona, via Arizona 95 and Arizona 68. Photo taken 02/16/04.
Nevada 163 prepares for its descent toward the Colorado River valley. Photos taken 02/16/04.
Nevada 163 provides some breathtaking views of the Lake Mead National Recreation Area, the Black Mountains, Black Canyon, Laughlin, and the Colorado River as it is descends toward the river. The highway retains four lanes, but the median barrier is eliminated on several turns. Photos taken 02/16/04.
Eastbound Nevada 163 enters Lake Mead National Recreation Area, much of which is undisturbed from Davis Dam north to Hoover Dam. Photo taken 02/16/04.
Nevada 163 continues to head downhill with grades in excess of 7% and sharp turns. Photos taken 02/16/04.

Eastbound Nevada 163 approaches Needles Highway (former Nevada 76), which leads south past Laughlin before entering California northwest of Needles. Photo taken 02/16/04.
Like Hoover Dam, buses and trucks are prohibited from crossing Davis Dam due to the potential security risk. All trucks and buses should use Nevada 163 east to cross the Colorado River. Photo taken 02/16/04.
Eastbound Nevada 163/Laughlin Highway approaches Davis Dam Road, which leads northeast to the dam and provides an alternate route into Arizona (aside from using the Nevada 163/Arizona 95 bridge). Photo taken 02/16/04.
The tall buildings that make up the skyline of Laughlin are all hotels and casinos; many of them front the Colorado River directly. Note the power line, which has paralleled Nevada 163 since parting ways from U.S. 95. This line heads to Davis Dam. Photo taken 02/16/04.
This photo again shows the power line that connects to Davis Dam as well the mileage sign to Laughlin, Bullhead City, and Kingman (the latter two destinations are in Arizona and are reached by Arizona 95 and Arizona 68, respectively). Photo taken 02/16/04.
As eastbound Nevada 163 approaches Laughlin (which is not an incorporated city, just a town under the jurisdiction of Clark County), signs appear for connections into Arizona via Arizona 68 to Kingman and Arizona 95 to Bullhead City. Photo taken 02/16/04.
Eastbound Nevada 163 approaches Casino Drive, which is the first traffic signal since leaving the Las Vegas metropolitan area. Photo taken 02/16/04.
Casino Drive southbound may be used to reach the downtown area of Laughlin, including most casinos and resorts. To reach Kingman and Bullhead City, continue straight ahead on Nevada 163, which changes into Arizona 95 upon crossing the river. The bridge is somewhat hidden, but it is located right after the Casino Drive traffic signal! Photo taken 02/16/04.
View of the traffic signal with Casino Drive as seen along eastbound Nevada 163 in Laughlin. Nevada 163 comes to its end as it crosses the Laughlin Bridge (constructed in 1987). Prior to the completion of the bridge, traffic used Davis Dam (the dam is not open for vehicle crossings as of 2006). Photo taken 02/16/04.
Arizona 68 west
Traveling south along the east bank of the Colorado River in the state of Arizona, a signalized intersection between Arizona 68 west and Arizona 95 is located just east of the bridge over the Colorado River. This intersection is located at the end of the extensive downhill grade along westbound Arizona 68 in Bullhead City. At the intersection, Arizona 68 will end. Arizona 95 travels south into downtown Bullhead City or north (west) to Laughlin. Photo taken 04/01/06.
The casino-resorts of downtown Laughlin come into view along the west bank of the Colorado River (seen from westbound Arizona 68 prior to the Arizona 95 intersection). The Laughlin casinos are a popular tourist attraction year-round in the desert. Photo taken 04/01/06.
Looking west from Arizona 68 is this view of the bridge over the Colorado River that carries Arizona 95 north to Nevada 163/Laughlin Highway west to U.S. 95. The intent is that traffic on Arizona 95 north will find its way back to U.S. 95, hence why Arizona 95 crosses the Colorado River rather than Arizona 68. Photo taken 04/01/06.
Westbound Arizona 68 meets Arizona 95 at this traffic signal. While there is no end shield for Arizona 68, through traffic may continue south along Arizona 95 into Bullhead City. Turn right here for Arizona 95 north (west) to Nevada 163 west. Turn left for Bullhead Parkway east to the international airport. Photo taken 04/01/06.
Arizona 95 north
Leaving the intersection with Arizona 68, northbound Arizona 95 crosses the Colorado River. As we leave the Grand Canyon State and enter the Silver State of Nevada, Arizona 95 ends and Nevada 163 begins. A DETOUR U.S. 93 trailblazer sign is placed on the bridge, as Arizona 68-Arizona 95-Nevada 163-U.S. 95 form the truck bypass route for U.S. 93 traffic prohibited from crossing Hoover Dam. Turn left ahead for Casino Drive south to downtown Laughlin and the Colorado River resorts. Photo taken 04/01/06.
Nevada 163 west
Begin westbound Nevada 163 (and end Arizona 95 north) after passing over the Colorado River Bridge in Laughlin. Photo taken 02/16/04.
A power transmission line crosses over Nevada 163/Laughlin Highway as the state route ascends out of Laughlin and the Colorado River valley. Photo taken 04/01/06.
Westbound Nevada 163 approaches Former Nevada 76/Needles Highway, which travels south to Needles, California. Use Needles Highway south to Big Bend of the Colorado State Park. An Interstate 40 trailblazer is posted here, as this is the fastest route south to Interstate 40 in Needles, California. Photo taken 04/01/06.
A Nevada 163 west reassurance shield is posted along the drive up the hill. Photo taken 04/01/06.
Nevada 163 is four lanes for its entire length, with a median barrier along some stretches of the highway. The drive uphill is fairly steep, so faster vehicles should use the left lane to pass. Photo taken 04/01/06.
A 500kV power line (Southern California Edison) crosses over Nevada 163 ahead. The line connects a (defunct) power generating station in Laughlin with the electrical grid to the north of here. This particular line turns north to meet the rest of the grid at the Marketplace Substation near Nevada Solar One west of U.S. 95. Photo taken 04/01/06.
Looking north from Nevada 163, the aforementioned 500kV power line (Southern California Edison) turns north at this point. Photo taken 04/01/06.
Westbound Nevada 163/Laughlin Highway approaches its intersection with U.S. 95, which travels north to Searchlight and Las Vegas or south to Needles and Interstate 40. Photo taken 04/01/06.
Westbound Nevada 163 approaches the junction with U.S. 95 -- turn left for U.S. 95 south to Needles or right for U.S. 95 north to Searchlight, Boulder City, and Las Vegas. Photo taken 04/01/06.
Nevada 163 scenes
View of southbound Casino Drive, which leads into downtown Laughlin, with a population of 7,076 in 2000. Laughlin is home of the Harley River Run, Laughlin Desert Challenge, and Fourth of July Celebration. The town was largely founded in 1966, the same year the coal fire plant was constructed by Southern California Edison and Don Laughlin opened the first casino in Laughlin, the Riverside Resort. Photo taken 02/16/04.
Now on the west bank of the Colorado River in Nevada, this view looks east toward the Colorado River next to the Nevada 163-Arizona 95 bridge. Photo taken 04/01/06.


Page Updated February 24, 2010.

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