bobspirko.ca  |  Home  |  Canada Trips  |  US Trips  |  Hiking  |  Snowshoeing  |  About


Pahrump Peak
Nopah Range, California
April 16, 2009

While I work on the trip report Pahrump Peak in our hotel room, downstairs Dinah is trying her luck on the slot machines. Between the two of us, though, I expect to have a more satisfying evening!

Pahrump Peak is a seldom-climbed mountain west of Las Vegas just across the Nevada-California border. Summitpost provided a little information but I also found a route map on the internet. It's a simple route: after crossing the flats to the base of the mountain hike up a wash and then ascend a ridge leading to the summit. It's rated class 2 meaning it's an easy scramble.

We followed a road that leads to the wash, marveling at the flowering beavertail and barrel cactus along the way. After entering the wash we followed intermittent trails and cairns. We made the mistake of leaving the wash prematurely and found ourselves climbing steep slopes to reach the ridge. However, this brought us out of the wash and into the views quicker. And the views were grand. We could see expansive flats of the valley floor as well as snow-covered Mount Charleston. A ridgewalk to the summit finished the climb.

On the return, we descended more directly to the wash, avoiding the steep slopes we had climbed earlier. The walk back across the flats was unavoidable of course, but looking back, the sun now low in the sky, Pahrump Peak showed off its colours.

KML and GPX Tracks
MOVIE (posted on YouTube)


Parked at the trailhead: Pahrump Peak on the right


The road leads to a wash. The summit is above me.


Beavertail cactus


Plenty of barrel cactus here


Closer look at a barrel cactus


Entering the wash


Looking back


The grade starts off gentle


A Utah agave towers over me


The sides of the wash are rugged


Except for this gravel flat, the wash is rocky


Reaching the first of two notches we went through


We left the wash and started climbing


The peak is still some distance away


Looking back as we climbed


We reached the ridge with the summit above


Hedgehog cactus (mouse over for a close-up of a flower)


Chicago Valley below


Looking back


After skirting an rocky point we're back on the ridge crest


Steep rock ahead


In a cave at the second notch


Looking back at the second notch


Dinah tops out after ascending a gully after the second notch


Below is the wash we hiked up


On the summit ridge


Mount Charleston and Griffith Peak on the left (mouse over for a close-up)


The summit ridge was longer than we expected


The summit is ahead


On top!


Heading back along the ridge. Nopah Point on the right (mouse over for a close-up).


A rough trail leads back down to the wash


Heading back to the wash


Long walk back to the car


Looking back at Pahrump Peak


Last look at the mountain as we drive down the highway


Twelvemile Spring 1:24,000 Topo (showing our descent route)
(7.3 mi, 5728 ft, 3297 ft)


U.S. Trips | Home