A prominent peak southwest of Las Vegas, Potosi Mountain readily distinguishes itself from its smaller neighbours. It's not surprising, therefore, that it caught my eye and I was prompted to research a route. I found two popular ways to achieve the summit. Like Sonny Bou, you can reach its summit by hiking up a service road, or like Dinah and I, you can routefind your way along the east ridge as described in Branch Whitney's Hiking Southern Nevada.
Starting from Potosi Springs, we followed a road to an old mine. At the mine we found a trail that led to the ridge above it, a ridge that leads all the way to the top of Potosi. We hiked along intermittent faint trails, followed ridge crests, downclimbed a couple of chutes, but we spent much of the time blindly hiking through forested or bushy slopes with a vague idea that we were headed in the right direction. But when we could see them, the three antennas on Potosi's summit acted as a guidepost.
It took us four hours to reach the summit. Unfortunately, the summit is an eyesore, bearing huge towers secured by thick cables. We didn't stay there long and instead preferred to relax on the nearby north summit, devoid of any human contraptions and providing a measure of solitude as well as incredible views of Red Rock Canyon. Although we found much of the ascent of Potosi Mountain unremarkable and forgettable, we'll remember the far-ranging views from its summit.
Potosi Springs trailhead. We'll gain the ridge on our right.
On the ridge. On my right is the mine's ventilation shaft (mouse over).
Looking back at the ridge we just gained
The ridge transforms into a broad slope.
We make it to the main ridge.
We get our first view of the summit antennas (mouse over for a close-up).
Vegetation often blocks our views.
The summit is a bit closer.
Snow still remains in the shadows of the cliffs.
The high point before we drop 50 m to a saddle below.
Dinah on the downclimb above the saddle
After dropping down to the saddle, we grind up the other side.
At the next cliff band I look for the easiest way down.
The second downclimb
The summit is a couple of minutes away.
On the summit
Bridge Mountain, Rainbow Peak, Mount Wilson, La Madre Mountain and Indecision Peak (mouse over for indicators)
After leaving the summit we're back at the second chute.
Dinah scrambles up first.
Heading to the saddle
Potosi 1:24,000 Topo (5.8 mi, 8507 ft, 2812 ft)
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