Cactus Flower Point P1K RS
Rainbow Point P300 RS
Gap Peak P300 RS
Hole-in-the-Top RS

Apr 21, 2018
Story Photos / Slideshow Maps: 1 2 GPXs: 1 2 3 Profile


After saying goodbye to our son in Azusa the morning following his track event, my wife and I drove to Las Vegas, the first time the two of us had made the journey together. It was a nice drive with relatively light traffic on a Saturday morning, landing us in Las Vegas before noon. While she prepped for her volleyball reffing gig in the afternoon, I looked for some hikes to do that would occupy me for the remainder of the day. It was close to 80F in town, so I was looking for some cooler temps in the higher elevations. I found them on the back side of the Red Rock Canyon NCA, in the Spring Mountains that include the highest summits in the area around Mt. Charleston. They would give me a chance to use my new ride, a Jeep Wrangler. It would perform quite well, as expected - no more nervously manuevering my low-clearance van on questionable roads. All of the peaks were found in Purcell's Rambles & Scrambles, which is no surprise since almost everything of note in the area is found there.

Cactus Flower Point/Rainbow Point

Unofficially named Cactus Flower Point is a P1K, one of the higher limestone summits found along the crest of the range, overlooking Red Rocks Canyon NCA on its western flank. It was my main goal for the short day I had, and after dropping my wife off at the Convention Center, I made a beeline for Lovell Canyon. After much highway driving and then more up Lovell Canyon, I turned off on Red Rock Summit Rd and drove a little over a mile up this rough road, the Jeep's first taste off the pavement. Despite the poor condition of the road, the Jeep had no trouble and I was soon parked off to one side against a small pine tree. My cross-counry route starting from here would climb about 1,600ft up the NW Ridge in about a mile and a half. Starting out at 3p, it would take me just over an hour to reach the summit with a partial view looking into Red Rock Canyon and across to Las Vegas through desert haze. There was a John Vitz register from 2009 with four pages of entries, most recently in January by Adam Walker and pals. One can also take in views of Potosi to the south, the higher summits around Mt. Charleston to the north and Lovell Canyon to the west. I turned northeast to follow an enjoyable route down to a saddle and then up to Ladybug Peak (PB-only) and Rainbow Point, both of nearly equal height with a short gap between them. Ladybug had a register but Rainbow Point did not, so I left one there. I then descended Rainbow Point's West Ridge about a mile back down to Red Rock Summit Rd and the Jeep, returning by 5:45p. I still had a few more hours of daylight, so I went looking for some easy summits on the drive back to Las Vegas.

Gap Peak

Found just off the north side of SR160, east of Mountain Springs Summit. It would be an easy hike from the highway, but since I was equipped, I drove the rough dirt powerline road to the saddle on the north side. From there it was an interesting quarter mile hike to the open summit overlooking the highway, with Potosi Mtn to the south and the Spring Mtns to the north.


This is a very easy summit found on the north side of SR160 within the Red Rock Canyon NCA. The easiest access is from the Black Velvet Rd and the Late Night TH. From where I parked it was just over half a mile to the top. As the name suggests, there is an interesting hole piercing the summit ridgeline, visible from the highway and from the start. I used some bike trails to reach the base of the summit from where it was an easy hike up to the top. I checked out the hole which was surprisingly small - I don't think I could have squeezed my body through it if I'd tried. The summit is another 20ft above the hole, a short class 3 scramble up limestone (the class 3 is easily avoided, btw). It was past sunset when I started out, but there was easily sufficient light to complete the hike by 7:30p. Now to brave the traffic back to our hotel on the Strip in Las Vegas...


Mark M comments on 04/23/18:
It's about time you got a real peakbagger vehicle! Are you donating the van to the Eastern California History Museum in Independence?!?!?
David A comments on 04/23/18:
Nice Jeep, Bob!
Skip in Carson City comments on 04/23/18:
That van treated you good Bob.... congrats on the new ride!
comments on 04/23/18:
Now that you have a worthy off-road vehicle you can really start crushing it.
Kirk D from Gardnerville comments on 04/23/18:
Congrats on your new mountain taxi ! I still have my truck available for shuttle to and from some of these remote No. Nevada summits. Peg and my Mountain Guest Room is always available for your comfort . . . it doesn't suck to live at the base of Jobs Peak. Some great/crazy ? ski-ers cut some beautiful tracks off the summit a couple of days ago . . .
Scott H. comments on 04/24/18:
Curious, how many times did you turn the van odometer over?
Just over 300,000 miles
Steve B. comments on 04/26/18:
Long live that Nissan! Saw it-and its conspicuous license plate-pass thru a few times on local SoCal freeways.
Shane Smith comments on 04/27/18:
Just curious, what was the license plate? Mountain Bob?
SNWBURD - It's already been transferred to the Jeep.

Shane Smith comments on 04/28/18:
Lol -- Perfect! Oh the places this one is going to go -- looking forward to it.... Safe travels!
Daria comments on 05/01/18:
Loooooool Bob got a jeep
Bronco Jim comments on 07/09/18:
Bob, before you head out to the San Juan's this year you should consider spending some time in the Sangre De Cristo range. Peaks include Little Bear, Crestones, Kit Carson and Mt Adams.
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