Day 5 saw me still in the Lake Mead NRA, along Northshore Rd. There's so much
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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
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'
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
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...