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.
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
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
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
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)