Potosi Mountain | Western ApproachSpring Mountains, Nevada
Overview, Potosi Mountain, Western Approach, Spring Mountains, Nevada
Actually, Potosi Mountain is just beyond the Western tip of the Rainbow Mountains and not technically in the Rainbow Mountain Wilderness. I include it here because adding it as a menu item of its own screwed up the looks of this website’s navigation!!
Before attempting this unmarked wilderness approach to Potosi Mountain you may want to take the easier Southern Approach to the Potosi Mountain Summit in order to scope out the area from above and become familiar with the landmarks.
When you’re ready to attempt the Potosi Mountain Western approach, download the .pdf map from this page onto your phone so you have a reference in the event you lose phone coverage.
This adventure will occur in Spring or Fall of 2021.
Trailhead Directions, Potosi Mountain, Western Approach, Spring Mountains, Nevada
Take Nevada Road 161 (extension of Blue Diamond Road in Las Vegas) up to the top of the pass before it begins descending to Pahrump. Near the summit of the pass take a left onto Road 582 Mt. Potosi Canyon Road that should be signed for a Scout camp and Mt. Potosi Observatory. Download and enlarge the .pdf map on this page for greater detail.
Once I’ve worked out this route I will give more accurate trailhead (routehead) directions. For now, this is what I understand from my internet research:
Remain on the main Road 582 Mt. Potosi Canyon Road avoiding any of the numerous tributary roads. Pass the Scout camp and a few houses and continue until you see a small 2-car parking area. If you get to an A-frame cabin you’ve gone about 1/4th mile too far. After studying the map, I’m thinking that your approach up the main Western ridge begins around or after the Potosi Spring area on Road 582 Mt. Potosi Canyon Road.
View the map. It shows a fairly gradual ridge heading in a Northeasterly direction from the Potosi Spring area before circling more to the East and finally reaching the summit. Though, of course, the ridge ascends about 2,500ft vertically, the horizontal West/East dimension forms a large crescent shape from the Western starting point near Potosi Spring to the Eastern terminus at the summit of Potosi Mountain with the apex of the crescent mid-ridge pointing to the North. Click the image on this page, enlarge the map and view it carefully to see the well-defined crescent-shaped ridge.
Trail Observations, Potosi Mountain, Western Approach, Spring Mountains, Nevada
From the parking area head East toward Potosi Mountain’s Western cliffs. Locate a ridge that will take you to the summit with class 2-3 climbing and scrambling. Make a note of the place you ascended to the ridge crest. You will need to descend at that exact spot on the way back to avoid getting disoriented and failing to find the route down off the cliffs on the return trip. Continue along the ridge crest to the summit.
Again, after scoping out this route myself, I’ll provide a more accurate description with video documentation. Until then, I can give no guarantees that you will have a successful journey based on these current directions.