I spent the sixth day of my desert roadtrip in Valley of Fire State Park, NV,
on a heavily overcast day with a few light sprinkles, but no real rain. The first
three peaks were all on limestone rock, the last bunch were mostly short but
challenging sandstone scrambles.
Located on the north side of Valley of Fire Rd, just outside the west end of
the park, this is a
limestone scramble on decent rock. It was
from the summit that I first noticed a high peak to
(Peak 4,288ft) that I would end up climbing a bit later.
Located about 2mi east of Prospects Peak and just within the park boundary,
this is another steep but short limestone effort. The peak does look a bit
thin when viewed from the east or , but from
where the road comes closest, it looks anything but.
I had noticed this peak while climbing the first two. It rises much higher,
forming the northernmost summit in the Muddy Mountains. Unlike the first two
summits that appear in Purcell's Rambles & Scrambles
, this one does
not, even though it has nearly 900ft of prominence and makes for a pretty
good climb. There is an
starting up from where I parked that makes
the first quarter mile an easy walk. Following that, one begins a steep
limestone scramble up to a first ridgeline where the summit comes into view
still half a mile to .
I followed this front ridge to the west
where it meets a saddle that joins with the higher summit ridge. I came across
another NOA ,
the second in two days. This one was a bit
older, not having the "Harmless Instrument" tag and not having a return
envelope - into the trash it goes. I found some good
class 3 scrambling on going directly to
there is easier class 2 climbing from the east. The summit had a small
of with a few pages, just over a year old. After returning to the front ridge,
I dropped down an alternate for a change of pace,
finding no difficulties and getting back in under two hours.
This is a collection of sandstone
rocks on the south side of the road, just inside
the west entrance station. There is a picnic area called Beehives on the
east side of the features, while the topo map shows a Beehive Rock. Though
none of the various pinnacles looked very beehive-ish to me, the one
seemed to be the obvious choice for Beehive Rock. The LoJ
location, which matches the 7.5' topo map, suggests the highpoint further
south. I visited first,
then turned my attention to the
harder, though lower sumit nearer the road. Most of the scrambling is class 3,
but there is a with
that gave me much pause.
After examining it up close, I decided I could climb up it and probably
down as well. Needless to say, I was very nervous until I had reversed this
section after visiting .
A bit scary, not for the faint of heart nor the casual peakbagger.
This is another collection of sandstone features, found a mile north of Beehive
Rock. There are petroglyphs on that can be reached
This is the lowest of the summits in this collection. The
highest ones are to the south and can be reached by visiting the
and then scrambling up ramping sandstone
formations to the south.
None of these match the LoJ location, nor the topo map, however.
There is another
feature just west of the one with the petroglyphs that does, and looks
from most sides. By circumnavigating the base, I
discovered the class 3 ramp up the northwest side that gets one to
easy as pie. Well, almost as easy - after all, it's still class 3.
This is found east of Beehive Rock an Atlatl Rock. It
to find the highpoint (the seems to be almost
spot on), requiring some stiff class 3 scrambling. There's more than one way
to ascend it, but neither of the routes I used were
but very enjoyable nonetheless.
This is mostly an easy walk from the Valley of Fire Overlook near
I was looking forward to an easy walk after doing so much difficult scrambling,
and for the most part, it is. The summit is about a mile and a half from the
parking lot. It is an easy walk for more than a mile
condition and cross-country. The easy walking ends at
connecting to Baseline Mesa.
has a sheep trail along it and separates two
very different drainages. The north side is drab and gray-colored with few
features. The south side is a
of badlands, fantastic pinnacles
and a maze of deeply cut gullies. Hiking along the sheep trail saves some
time over trying to cross either of the drainages. Once across the ridge, there
is a class 3
for several hundred feet to reach the mesa.
Purcell had little to say about it in his guidebook, but I thought it a pretty
is littered with broken limestone bits, and it is a
bit tedious for the last quarter mile hike to the highpoint. There is a cairn
with the remains of a survey tower at
, with good views
overlooking the backside of 5-Arch and Crimson Staircase to
knowing if I'd find a good alternate, I returned via the same route.
This is an interesting feature, about 25' high that resembles
. It is
found right off the park road, just inside the east entrance. There is
leading to the feature, but a sign asks one not to climb on it. Were one to do
so, there appears to be an easy class 3 way to climb from
photos from the summit would not be advised.