Fletcher Peak / Mummy Mountain Circuit in Mt. Charleston Wilderness, Nevada
Fletcher/Mummy Circuit Description and Directions
Adding a little more than an hour to the Mummy Mountain Eastern Approach trip includes the beautiful Fletcher Peak, opening up views of the Eastern end of Kyle Canyon including Harris Mountain, Griffith Peak, the entire length of the South ridge of Kyle Canyon all the way to Charleston Peak and a great view of the Eastern approach to Mummy Mountain. To give you an idea of timing, it took 2 hours to summit Fletcher Peak, 6 hours to get from Fletcher Peak to Mummy Mountain Summit, and 2 hours to Descend from Mummy Mountain Summit back to the Trail Canyon Trailhead. I believe I could cut off 2 hours from the Fletcher Peak to Mummy Mountain stretch and will work on that. Still, even at 8 hours, this circuit takes me longer than the entire Mt. Charleston Loop, which I have made in less than 7 and a half hours.
Directions to the Trail Canyon Trailhead
Once you are confident you can summit Mummy Mountain East and will be descending the West side, the adventure is more streamlined by beginning and ending at the Trail Canyon Trailhead. The descent from Mummy Mountain Summit to the Trail Canyon Trailhead is only a little over an hour and a half compared to over 2 hours if you circle around back to the North Loop Trailhead and it’s downhill all the way. When you’re tired at the end of the adventure this is a very welcome difference from the uphill trip from the Trail Canyon/North Loop Trails junction back up to Rain Tree and then more uphill travel beyond Rain Tree if your car was parked at the North Loop Trailhead.
Getting to the summit of Fletcher Peak from the Trail Canyon Trailhead does take about 30 minutes longer than from the North Loop Trailhead and there’s an additional 1000ft or more ascent, but you’re fresh at the beginning of the journey. And definitely, if you include Lee Peak or add in Charleston Peak, Griffith Peak and Harris Mountain, there’s no way beginning at the North Loop Trailhead will work. See the Mummy Mountain West page for directions to the Trail Canyon Trailhead.
Trail Directions for the Fletcher Peak Mummy Mountain Circuit
To Fletcher Peak Summit
Getting to Fletcher Peak is pretty easy. Ascend the Trail Canyon Trailhead, take a right 2 miles up at the North Loop Junction, circle around the South side of Mummy Mountain to Rain Tree and take a right towards the North Loop Trailhead. In about 1/8th mile where you pass a huge fallen tree that crosses the trail (the portion over the trail has been sawn off and cleared away) take a right toward Fletcher Peak. There is no trail marking pointing to Fletcher Peak. You just have to know that this is the place to turn right toward Fletcher Peak.
From Fletcher Peak to the “Delta Wash Canyon” Below the East Side of Mummy Mountain
Descend Fletcher Peak to Rain Tree and turn right toward Mummy Springs. The trail looks like it ends at the base of Mummy Springs but continue straight through the bushes to find the trail resuming. After about 100 yards there is a hard switchback. Make the turn, then immediately leave the trail and head up the ridge through the wilderness, hugging the right side of the ridge and gradually traveling to the right until you reach the wash at the base of that ridge. Head up the next ridge and cross it, making a similar descent to a second wash. Head up the following ridge and cross it making a similar descent into what I call the “delta wash canyon” below the Eastern Approaches to Mummy Mountain. Throughout this wilderness leg of the journey continue to weave around rocks, cliffs and fallen trees along a route that seems logical. You will see very faint signs of a trail now and then to reassure yourself that you’re on track.
Up Delta Wash Canyon to the South East Summit Approach Canyon
Once in the delta wash canyon, there will be one wash that spreads out into 3 washes. Take the middle wash up to the cliff base and turn left and proceed about 1/8th mile to the South East Mummy Mountain approach canyon. In the video I took the left wash toward a false dead-end canyon and ended up having to ascend Mummy Mountain twice: Ascending the dead-end canyon, then descending back to the base of the cliff and traveling along the cliff base to ascend the South East approach canyon. Far better if I’d headed up the middle wash and turned left at the base of the cliff toward the correct South East approach canyon. However, the video shows what it’s like to ascend the dead-end canyon and see the view at the top, then descend back to the base of the cliff, turn left and navigate to the correct South East approach canyon.
From the Upper South East Approach Canyon the Mummy Mountain Summit
Just before the South East approach canyon reaches the base of the upper cliff below the summit, turn right, proceed along a rather narrow shelf for about 100 feet, then climb a truly scary 10-foot vertical rock wall exposed to a 100-foot drop! As you top the rock wall you’re immediately scrambling up loose rock that slants down to the very edge of the rock wall, hoping that you don’t slip and slide back down over the edge to a 110 foot drop and almost certain death!
However, after successfully scrambling up to the base of the summit cliff you’ve pretty much made it! Take a right, it’s an easy 150-foot walk along the base of the cliff to a comfortably wide upper ledge, then another 100 yards to the edge of the summit cliff. Take a left around the edge of that cliff for an easy ascent to Mummy Mountain Summit. Congratulations! I’ve taken this route twice and may not take it again! Next time I’ll explore an ascent route that goes up the outer right side of the right of the 3 delta washes and see if that route is less scary!
Descent from Mummy Mountain Summit
From the summit, descend the West side of Mummy Mountain through the V-shaped canyon (see the Mummy Mountain West page). When you get to the upper ridge at the top of the 1-mile avalanche slope you have a choice of turning right and staying on that upper ridge to join the upper North Loop Trail and continue to Lee Peak, Charleston Peak and beyond, or head down the avalanche slope to join the lower North Loop trail, proceed left to the North Loop/Trail Canyon Trails junction, take a right on the Trail Canyon Trail and head back down to the Trail Canyon Trailhead where you began.