Red Rock Canyon, Turtlehead Peak
I drove 6 hours to visit Red Rock Canyon outside Las Vegas. A friend had to go for a conference, had a large suite at the Venetian and so, I pack my hiking things including a too well worn pair of hiking shoes. I ordered a new pair but they did not make it in time for the trip and so my feet suffered a little.
After entering the park and paying the $15 entry fee, I start on the Scenic Drive to the Sandstone Quarry parking area. The 13 mile road that goes through the eastern end of the 200,000 acre National Conservation area is newly paved and a magnet for cyclists.
With over 2000 climbing routes, the park is on a top 5 list for rock climbers, some of whom were enjoying that activity as I....
…..see plenty of evidence of a quarry that dates back to the early 1900's. It shut down around 1912.
I begin what should be a challenging ascent of Turtlehead Peak, there in the distance. I guess with some imagination it can look like a turtle's head.
Initially, the trail is kind of rolling but elevation is gained as I look back and note the splash of red color among the yellow rock.
The lower portion of the trail is well marked. The middle to upper portion, awful.
The trail ascends to the saddle to the left of the peak. There are multiple trails on the slope to the left but eventually I figure out all of them go to the saddle.
An incongruous sight among all that grey. I eventually reach the aforementioned saddle and make a right to begin a fairly steep ascent up the back side of the final slope. Again, myriad trails highlighted by....
….green, white and red arrows and splashes of paint. I have no idea which paint I should follow but keep plugging away and....
….check out Mount Charleston in the distance, right of the image with plenty of snow. The peak is just under 12,000'.
I finally reach the top of Turtlehead and later, after uploading my effort I am pleased, despite all the pauses to figure out the route that....
….first I arrived under one hour but am 15th out of 459 efforts on Strava. Damn, I ought to go back and try again now that I have things figured out!
As always, the views are awesome.
I forgot my camera so all images from my cell phone and the detail sucks but in the distance is the Strip and I can see the hotel where I was staying. Round trip, I finished with slightly less than 5 miles and 2040' of climbing. Another Vegas area hike coming....Black Mountain!
Crippled Old Guy
12/16/2019 09:36:43 am
Mark, you mentioned that you purchased a $15 entry fee to Red Rock Canyon. If you have reached the age of 62, you can purchase a lifetime Senior Citizen National Park pass that allows you, plus up to 3 guests, with free entry into National Parks and Recreation Areas (including Red Rock Canyon). I purchased mine several years ago when the cost was about $10 or $20, but I think it has increased to $80. Still a good deal if you plan to make several National Park visits.
12/16/2019 12:14:37 pm
Well the nerve of you Old Guy!!! I am no where close to the age of 62. It won't be for another 6+ months.
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