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Mount Graybeard
Lake Mead NRA, Nevada
October 19, 2017

Mount Graybeard is a small desert peak with a humdrum ascent, but when combined with a descent to a wonderland of colourful rocks, it becomes a class 2 hike worth writing about. Graybeard sits at the northern end of Pinto Ridge.

For our start point, Shin, Dinah and I pulled into a parking lot on Northshore Road. We crossed the road and hiked up a wash bracketed by steep rock. At the top of the wash, we turned right and followed a gentle grade up the ridge. In a short time we reached a summit cairn, so tall we had noticed it while driving up the road. It's not on the actual summit of Graybeard, but it bears a register.

We continued up the ridge, past the “X” on the topo map, to the highest point on Graybeard that we could discern. Actually, there are two little points equally high but neither held a cairn.

After a short summit stay, we backtracked a bit before starting our descent to a red sandstone watershed. The watershed is at the head of two washes, one running north and one running south. We would follow the north wash which actually joins the wash we used on our ascent.

The watershed with orange and red and white rocks was a great place to look around. We spent awhile taking it in before cruising down the north wash all the way to the highway. We came up just a short distance from where we parked.

KML and GPX Tracks


From the parking lot, we headed to the wash left of Mount Graybeard


Dinah is about to drop down into the wash


Going up the wash


Desert shaggy mane mushroom. It's the first mushroom I've seen in the desert.


Looking back down the wash


We left the wash and started up the slope


Travel was easy up a gentle grade


Fossil sponges

Behind us is Redstone Picnic Area. The high, pointed peak on the right is Little Pyramid Peak


The summit cairn is on the left


A lizard missing its tail


Heading to the cairn


Shin reads the summit register


We went on to climb the highest point


On the summit of Mount Graybeard 300 m past the cairn


After tagging the summit we backtracked along the ridge a bit and dropped down to the red sandstone below


We circumvented the complex slope behind us and made a class 2 descent


Almost at the watershed


We were blown away by the rich colours here


Looking south at Sentinel Peak


We spent several minutes exploring the area


Eventually we made our way to our descent wash


Hairybeast turtleback


There were lots of these tiny bushes, a few inches high, that looked like miniature trees


Heading down the wash


Looking back at the watershed


Passing smooth slabs


A variety of terrain made the wash interesting


Ahead is the highway, a short distance from the parking lot


Boulder Canyon 1:24,000 Topo (3.0 mi, 3031 ft, 1401 ft)

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