La Madre Mountain Eastern Approach from Red Rock Park, Nevada

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. Image: Damsel Peak from La Madre Mt. East approach. Route description: 28 mi / 4306-8000ft; *Wilderness, No Trail* Click image or title above for more…

La Madre Mountain Southern Approach from Red Rock Park | La Madre Mountains Wilderness, Nevada

La Madre Mountain is 8,154ft in elevation. It is the highest central feature of the Keystone Thrust, the cliff system that spans the rear area of Red Rock Park in Nevada. The La Madre Mountain Southern approach, from a distance, looks impossible as you’re facing a sheer cliff wall between 1000 and 2000 feet high. However, as you approach the base of the cliff from Calico Basin it’s evident that there is a passage between the two peaks. The summit view is amazing featuring Las Vegas Valley with Lake Mead across and to the East, Gass Peak and the Sheep Range to the North, spectacular views of Mt. Charleston Wilderness to the East and the awesome total expanse of Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area and Calico Basin to the Southwest. Route details: 22 mi / 4306-8000ft; *Wilderness, No Trail* Click image or title above for more…

Kraft Mountain – Gateway Canyon Loop | Calico Basin | Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, Nevada

Kraft Mountain - Gateway Canyon Loop | Calico Basin | Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, Nevada

On this day I intentionally set out to head up Gateway Canyon thinking it might be a short cut to Damsel Peak. Wrong! Between figuring out the best way to navigate 10-15 class 3 and class 3 barriers, I ate up so much time that I decided to just make a large loop out of Gateway Canyon, continuing all the way to Brownstone Basin at the base of Damsel Peak, and then taking Brownstone Basin down to a cross-over point back to Kraft Mountain. Many hikers have mistakenly taken this route thinking they are on the Kraft Mountain Loop. I made this very mistake on my first attempt to do the Kraft Mountain Loop! In fact, during today’s adventure, I redirected 2 groups of appreciative hikers back to the Kraft Mountain Loop. Here’s how that error happens… Route details: Approx . (12 mi.) | 3,700-5,400ft Elevation; **Some Trail, Mostly Wilderness** Click image or title above for more…

Damsel Peak Southern Approach Route from Calico Basin, Nevada

Damsel Peak Southern Approach | Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area | Nevada

The Southern approach to the summit of Damsel Peak (aka Pincushion Mt) in Nevada begins at the trailhead parking area in Calico Basin, navigates to the South side of Damsel Peak, traverses to the North side, descends into Brownstone Basin then navigates back to the starting point in Calico Basin. Incredible views from the summit of Damsel Peak include almost all of the Las Vegas Valley, Brownstone and Calico Basins, Turtlehead Peak, the Calico Hills, Mt. Wilson, Rainbow Mountain, Juniper Peak, North Peak and Bridge Mountain and finally the huge expanse of the Keystone Thrust cliffs with La Madre Mountain as the high point. To the North one can see Gass Peak, the Sheep Range and Fossil Ridge. Route details: Approx 15 mi RT; **No Trails, Some Class 3 Climbing** Click image or title above for more…