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Potosi Mountain
Spring Mountains, Nevada
April 26, 2011

The 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.

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 much of the ascent of Potosi Mountain was unremarkable and forgettable, we'll remember the far-ranging views from its summit.

KML and GPX Tracks


Potosi Springs trailhead. We'll gain the ridge on our right.


Potosi Mine


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


Pincushion cactus


We made it to the main ridge


We got 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 remained in the shadows of the cliffs


The high point before we dropped 50 m to a saddle below


Dinah on the downclimb above the saddle


After dropping down to the saddle, we slogged up the other side


At the next cliff band I looked 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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