Exploring the Upper Eastern Calico Basin Route Around East Side of Keystone Thrust to La Madre Mountain
La Madre Mountain Eastern Approach Overview
I began to explore this approach at the end of the Spring 2019 lower desert season so most of this route is yet to be discovered. The Eastern approach route will begin following the same path as the Southern approach route starting at the Sandstone Quarry parking area (Turtlehead Peak trailhead). From there head up Red Rock Wash and circle around the upper end of the Turtlehead Peak ridge system into Calico Basin, cross the upper Calico Basin, circle around the East end of the Keystone Trust and finally ascend the North side of La Madre Mountain.
It’s important to note that as with the other routes up La Madre Mountain, this route is quite the marathon and the most limiting factor will be enduring the distance and altitude gain.
Route Directions for the La Madre Mountain Eastern Approach
Once you cross from Red Rock Canyon into the upper Calico Basin, the Eastern approach route begins to diverge from the Southern approach route. As you enter upper Calico Basin, angle downward to skirt the upper side of the Calico Hills formation at the top of the basin (not to be confused with the larger Calico Hills formation lower in the basin).
Look for the larger wash on the far side of the Calico Hills that skirts the edge of the Damsel Peak ridge. Take a left up this wash and begin to ascend the Damsel Peak Ridge angling upward and to the left. As this point was the extent of my Spring 2019 exploration I can only offer the state of my own strategy at that time. My intent is to reach the top of that ridge, where Las Vegas Valley comes into view, circle around the East side of the Keystone Thrust, then ascend the North side of La Madre Mountain. It looks totally possible and I will explore this again and complete the Eastern approach route to the La Madre Mountain summit during Winter or Spring of 2019-2020.