Redstone Peaks (Nevada) 19-Jan-2019

For our second hike near Las Vegas, we picked a short, but steep, cross-country route to the Redstone Peaks in the Pinto Valley Wilderness. This wilderness lies within the Lake Mead National Recreation Area, which was open despite the federal shutdown. But no fees were being collected and there were no rangers on duty if we’d needed help. We didn’t but it’s still a stupid way to run a government. 😡

We started from the Redstone Picnic Area and went southwest cross-country up one of the washes draining the northeast side of Point 950. After climbing around behind that point, we scrambled up a steep, loose slope to the top of the highly broken ridge. From there, we could see Lake Mead in the distance and four big horn sleep 🙂 grazing in the canyon below us. We traversed northeast along the ridge and then did a little more scrambling to the summit of a point MapBuilder Topo calls “Redstone Peak” (about 3,476 feet). Once there, we found a register, two witness marks (but no benchmark), and the remains of a surveying post. After taking in the huge view from the top, we scrambled down a different gully and then, more gently, wandered out across the desert back to the picnic area. Along the way, we passed through bulges of staggeringly bright orange-red Aztec sandstone, now brilliantly illuminated by the late morning sun. A short hike (3 miles return; 1,200 feet of gain), but a good one, with views and sheep!

Aztec sandstone in the early morning light
Coming around Point 950
Behind Point 950, with Lake Mead in the distance
Scrambling up to the ridge top
A little steep near the top
Climbing above where we saw the sheep grazing (they look like all the other bush dots until they move)
Arriving at the summit, with Lake Mead in the distance
One of the summit’s witness marks
Looking west toward snowy Charleston Peak
The picnic area parking lot (white dot in center) surrounded by orange-red Aztec Sandstone
Lake Mead
Back down the wash through the Aztec sandstone
Through the Aztec sandstone
Camel? Puppy?
So colorful
Looking back from near the picnic area; the arrow points to our “Redstone Peak”
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5 comments

    1. It was near perfect hiking weather, with sunshine (some clouds and/or overcast at times), with air temperatures in the high 50F to low 60F range. Very nice! Between January and March is one of the best times to visit Las Vegas if you want to hike.

    1. That Aztec sandstone is the most intense natural orange-red we’ve ever seen outside of some butterflies & beetles. When the sunlight hits it, it’s intense!

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