Beacon Peak P500 RS
Little Davidson Peak P500 RS
Davidson Peak P1K DS / RS
Peak 3,100ft P300
Candy BM P750 RS
Peak 3,180ft P300

Tue, Dec 11, 2018
Story Photos / Slideshow Maps: 1 2 GPXs: 1 2 Profiles: 1 2 3


Day 11 of my desert road trip had me in the northeast corner of Clark County, NV. The primary reason for being in this area was to climb Davidson Peak, a P1K, but there were a handful of other peaks in the area I did as well, some in Purcell's Rambles & Scrambles, others not. All in all, it was a pretty moderate day. The weather was cold and chilly to start, but it warmed up nicely and was one of the better days, weather-wise.

Beacon Peak

I had camped near the base of this peak on its southwest side, up before 6a and had driven to the summit before 6:20a. There is a telecom facility just below the highpoint which is reached with a hike of about 50ft from where I parked. As it was well before sunrise, the photos were a bit weak, matching the peak nicely.

Little Davidson Peak

This one is nearly a drive-up as well. Purcell doesn't mention this, just a vague Class 2-3 via North Slope. The roads ends at a telecom installation a quarter mile from the summit on its southwest side. The hike would be a simple class 2 romp except that there is a 20-foot cliff band just below the summit. I tackled this directly via a class 4 crack with small footholds. On the way down, I first looked for an easier way off, but the alternatives seemed worse, so I reversed the same moves. This one was a little bit of unexpected fun.

Davidson Peak

I drove back down Little Davidson and then took a rough road over towards the small valley between Davidson and Little Davidson, parking at the base of Davidson's East Ridge. I was about 1.5mi from the summit at this point, starting off at 7:40a. It took me an hour and a quarter to hike the ridge to the summit, never very steep and quite enjoyable with fine views from the ridge overlooking the Virgin Valley to the south. The rock (as was all I climbed today) was primarily limestone with good footing. The summit affords good views looking west to Moapa and Mormon Peaks. The former is a DPS summit I'd climbed a decade earlier with Matthew. The latter was on the agenda for tomorrow. The North Ridge of Davidson looks interesting as well, with vertical cliffs on its west side. Purcell had given this a class 4 rating but I couldn't figure out where one was supposed to start on it. I found no register on this or any of the summits I visited today. My return was a slight variation of the ascent, basically returning back down the East Ridge.

Peak 3,100ft/Peak 3,180ft

These were two easy summits found just off the road, between Beacon Peak and Little Davidson. With warmer temperatures, I did these two in a very casual loop of about 2.5mi, taking far longer than normal. I lazed about the second summit on the leeward side to soak up the sun for almost half an hour. Sometimes I get to feeling lazy, but it's usually short-lived.

Candy BM

It wasn't yet 1p when I finished up with the two easy summits, so I looked around for something to occupy myself for a few more hours. Since I was heading south on I-15, I looked for something around Glendale where I'd be exiting for Mormon Peak the next day. I found Candy BM, an isolated summit of no great elevation but almost 900ft of prominence. It would do nicely. I got off at Exit 100 and then drove north on a dirt road (high-clearance recommended) for about 3.5mi. A rougher road (4WD recommended) forks to the northwest to get one within about 1.2mi of the summit on the ENE side. I hiked west from where I parked, not using either the East Ridge or East Canyon mentioned by Purcell, instead following a vague route up the NE Face with some really fun but short sections of class 3 scrambling. I spent about 45min on the ascent, enjoying the late afternoon lighting on the desert landscape. There was a derelict survey tower in a small cairn, the benchmark presumeably buried under there somewhere. I descended to the south off the summit to start down the long East Ridge. This went well enough, but I got distracted when I started looking off the left side into the East Canyon. Purcell mentions an interesting cave there with a hole in the ceiling. I decided to drop north into the canyon, finding that I picked one of the cliffiest places to do so. Despite this, I meandered my way through it with some short class 4 moves to make it work. As a bonus, I had descended close to where this cave was, on the opposite side of the canyon. Once in the canyon bottom, it was a short walk to get back to the start of the NE Face I'd ascended with a very smooth, gentle grade to walk the last 2/3mi back to the jeep. The whole outing was a bit over an hour and a half, and a good time to call it a day...


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