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The Cottonwood crater is an atomic bomb impact point in the Mojave Wasteland in 2281. It is connected to Fire Root Cavern on the north and located due east of Searchlight Airport.


The crater is one of the few atomic impact sites found in the Mojave Wasteland. While 77 atomic warheads were launched at Las Vegas and the surrounding area, 59 were forcefully disarmed mid-flight by intricate defense systems set in place by wealthy businessman Mr. House, nine were blasted out of the sky by a laser defense system atop the Lucky 38 Hotel & Casino, and the remaining nine hit the surrounding desert.[1]


This highly irradiated area overlooks Cottonwood Cove from the southern mountains and contains highly radioactive pools (up to 20 rads per second) of water. Enemies found in the area include golden geckos. The remains of a dead prospector with a Fat Man in poor condition will be found along the western edge of the crater.

Notable loot

A Fat Man can be found on a dead prospector.


This location can be reached either by repeatedly jumping up and running along the cliff or via a cave exit from Fire Root cavern, following the small peninsula until it ends and proceeding to the left.


The Cottonwood crater appears only in Fallout: New Vegas.


  • Icon pc.png Icon ps3.png Icon xbox360.png Sometimes the dead prospector will not spawn. [verified]
  • Icon pc.png Icon ps3.png Icon xbox360.png Sometimes the dead prospector will not be wearing combat armor. [verified]
  • Icon pc.png Icon ps3.png Icon xbox360.png Upon entering, a golden gecko may just drop dead. [verified]
  • Icon pc.png Icon ps3.png Icon xbox360.png The Fat Man may sometimes not spawn there. [verified]



  1. The Courier: "What preparations did you make to save Las Vegas?"
    Robert House: "On the day of the Great War, 77 atomic warheads targeted Las Vegas and its surrounding areas. My networked mainframes were able to predict and force-transmit disarm code subsets to 59 warheads, neutralizing them before impact. Laser cannons mounted on the roof of the Lucky 38 destroyed another 9 warheads. The rest got through, though none hit the city itself. A sub-optimal performance, admittedly. If only the Platinum Chip had arrived a day sooner..."
    (Robert House's dialogue)