Dinah and I had the good fortune to be invited on a hike by Nish, a friend of a friend. But Nish wasn't leading the hike – that was Gary's job, an organizer with Las Vegas Meetup. Along with Leon, Jesse and Paige, Gary would take us up Hidden Peak using the west approach.
After driving down a rough road that left one SUV scratched from encroaching bushes, we parked at the trailhead in Rainbow Wilderness. The trail follows a curving wash that climbs out onto scrubby slopes before ending on beautiful, expansive sandstone rock. From there we hiked and scrambled to the top of Hidden Peak. But the trip didn't end at the summit. Afterwards, we dropped down to a hidden forest where Gary pointed out some unusual delights including tiered tanks and a “blind arch.” After getting our fill of eye candy below Hidden Peak, we followed the trail back to our cars.
Hidden Peak wasn't a challenging trip, but it offered better scenery than I expected. And of course, it's always nice to meet fun-loving people up for a mountain adventure. This is the second time we've hiked with the Las Vegas Meetup and as before, we thoroughly enjoyed their company in Red Rocks.
After starting out we have brief views before dropping down and following a wash.
45 minutes after starting out, we finally break free of the wash and start up semi-open slopes.
However, there is still little to see.
The trail ends on rock.
From here to the summit we'll hike on sandstone rock.
Along the way we stop for a group shot: me, Leon, Jesse, Nish, Dinah, Paige and Gary.
The summit appears ahead.
Heading to the summit
To reach the summit, we skirt the rim of a basin.
Hiking along the rim
Looking back across the basin to the other side where we had been
Final climb to the summit
The entire trip was little more than a hike.
On the summit
Potosi Mountain and Mountain Springs Peak
We set off for the hidden forest.
The forest lies in a depression 150 m below the summit of Hidden Peak.
We cross sweeping sandstone.
The hidden forest
On our way to the blind arch (centre right)
Hiking back along the wash
Blue Diamond and Mountain Springs 1:24,000 Topos (7.3 mi, 6286 ft, 774 ft))