Pinto Ridge P500 RS
Mt. Graybeard P500 RS
Glyph Point P300 RS
Echo Hills P500 RS
Echo Peaks East
Tall Cairn Peak RS
East Redstone Peak RS
Redstone Peak P1K RS
Mystery Cairn Peak P300 RS
Vista Peak RS
Peak 3,117ft

Tue, Dec 4, 2018
Etymology
Echo Hills
Story Photos / Slideshow Maps: 1 2 GPX Profiles: 1 2 3 4 5

Continued...

Day 5 saw me still in the Lake Mead NRA, along Northshore Rd. There's so much stuff around that I could easily spend more than a week here. Like the previous day, today's selections were mostly from Purcell's Rambles & Scrambles. It was thinly overcast for most of the day, quite chilly and I had my fleece on for most of the day. I didn't get up quite so early because of the cold, but I was out for over 9hrs with some short drives between the five hikes. A good day.

Pinto Ridge

This four mile-long ridge is found on the south side of Northshore Rd, about a mile each way to the highpoint from the pavement. I hiked up the small valley on the northwest side of the ridge before climbing directly up to the summit via the NW Face. It looks tricky from below, but there are lots of class 3 options with some decent, dark-colored limestone rock. I took an easier route down the NE side on the return.

Mt.Graybeard

This summit is found at the NE end of Pinto Ridge, only 1/3mi from the pavement. Purcell describes it as nothing special, but I found the direct route from the pavement up the NW Face as enjoyable as the ascent route on Pinto Ridge earlier. I took a more casual descent route off the SW Ridge before dropping into the drainage on the NW side and returning to the roadway.

Glyph Point

Found on the north side of the highway about a mile and half NE of Graybeard, the chossy south side made for an easy, mundane ascent, only half a mile each way.

Echo Hills/Echo Hills East

A few miles east of Glyph Point, these two summits made for a nice loop hike on varied terrain. The initial part right from the pavement is a badlands-type landscape with soft earth and low, rounded ridges cut by a maze of drainages. After crossing a few of these, I climbed up to the Echo Hills HP from the southeast. A 10yr-old register only had a couple pages of entries. From the highpoint I turned east to follow the ridgeline to the eastern summit about half a mile away. The scrambling wasn't anything special, but the views from the ridge and the varied terrain kept it interesting. I found a steep descent route off the south side of the east summit, then played around in the badlands before returning to the jeep parked along the road. The whole loop was just over two miles in length, taking an hour and three-quarters' time.

Redstone Group

This was the longest hike of the day, taking in six summits, though only one had more than 300ft of prominence. I started from the Redstone picnic area which sits among a collection of cool andstone formations with some nice little scrambles on its own. I hiked up through the sandstone area, climbing some fun sections before exiting and continuing higher to the limestone features of the Redstone Group. I climbed up to a saddle between East Redstone and Redstone to begin several hours of scrambling along the high ridgeline. I first headed east, bypassing East Redstone to tag Tall Cairn Peak. In this case, "Tall" is about 4ft in height, not so impressive and a little disappointing, to be honest, but the scrambling was pretty good. I photographed the 9 pages of a register found here before turning back towards the west. I retraced much on the route I'd just done, this time going up to the summit of East Redstone. It, too, had a register, but I only photographed the last page - I thought it was funny that the last three people to sign in were all named Bob.

Next up was Redstone Peak, about 1/5mi from East Redstone. It was the highest of the group and features more than 1,000ft of prominence. It didn't feature a register, unfortunately, nor did the next two summits. Mystery Cairn Peak is found 1/3 mi further west. It has two summits vying for the highpoint. Neither had a cairn and I couldn't tell which was higher (though the eastern one is a better scramble at easy class 4). Not sure what the "Mystery" was on this one. Another 1/4mi to the south is the lower Vista Peak, connected by an easy ridgeline to Mystery Cairn. The "vista" probably refers to the view south of Lake Mead - not bad. For the last summit, I had to return back over Mystery Cairn and then down the north side which had some interesting gullies and rocky scrambling to reach an easy drainage that leads down towards the saddle with Peak 3,117ft. This last summit isn't really part of the Redstone Group as described by Purcell as it is mostly white limestone and a bit detached from the others. Still, it had more prominence than most of the others and it seemed to be practically on the way back. It had a small register with just one entry from six years earlier, not nearly as popular as the other points. I dropped off the steep north side of the peak to steer me directly back to the Redstone picnic area. There were a few others out hiking the informal trails around the area as I returned, only minutes from sunset. About 4.5mi over almost 4hrs. Made for a long day but most enjoyable...

Continued...


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