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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 one hikes up a wash and then ascends 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 centre right.

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 go through

We leave the wash and start ascending

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

In a cave 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 on the left (mouse over for a close-up)

The summit ridge was longer than we expected

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)
(7.2 mi, 5728 ft, 3297 ft)

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