Appearing as a straight ridge that comes to a point, there's no hint of a crescent shape on Crescent Peak. Nor is the ridge steep. Running an easy incline, the hike could be done with your hands in your pocket, although you would risk tripping over cactus.
Crescent Peak is a half day trip an hour's drive from Las Vegas. Dinah and I took the I15 south before turning off onto Nipton Road and following it to North Crescent Peak Road. After driving two miles down this graded dirt road, we found a 4WD road branching left. While some parties have driven up this rough road several hundred metres, we decided not to risk our rented 4WD vehicle. We hiked up the road.
But before we stepped foot on the rough road, a quad raced up North Crescent Peak Road and stopped next to us in a cloud of dust. Living nearby, the driver came to check if a vehicle parked here yesterday was gone (it was). Presumably he was going to show us the same concern and make sure we got safely back. After we exchanged a few words, he turned and disappeared back down the road. Dinah and I headed towards Crescent Peak.
After passing through a Joshua tree forest, the road disappeared into a wash. We kept to the wash even when we passed a side ridge we could have taken (we used it on the descent, however). But when the wash became bushy, we ascended the slope on our right and reached a saddle. This left us with a 500-metre ridge traverse to the summit. With the summit nearly always in sight and easy slopes abounding, route-finding was never an issue on this trip. We just hiked and enjoyed the desert scenery.
We were the first to sign the summit register this year, which shows how unpopular Crescent Peak is. This small peak may not be sought-after, but we thought it held charm. We enjoyed the solitude, the flowering cactus and the view of distant peaks.
Crescent Peak seen from the start of the gravel road
Joshua trees line much of the road
After the road ended, we followed a wash before ascending the saddle on the right. On our
descent, we followed the broad side ridge in the centre.
We followed the wash but broke off to the right when it became too bushy to continue
Looking back along the wash
Heading to the saddle. In the background, Clark Mountain rises above the Ivanpah Solar
Power Facility (mouse over for a close-up).
Hiking up from the saddle. Left is New York Peak (mouse over for a close-up) .
Desert mariposa tulip
The summit comes into view
One of many discovery posts that mark old claim boundaries
Mojave kingcup cactus
Closer look at Castle Peaks
Standing on the summit
Crescent Peak 1:24,000 Topo (3.9 mi, 5988 ft, 1444 ft)