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Panorama from East Redstone Peak

Redstone Peak, East Redstone Peak and Tall Cairn

Lake Mead NRA, Nevada
January 25, 2018

Redstone is both a beautiful picnic area and the trailhead for several small peaks including Redstone Peak, East Redstone Peak and Tall Cairn. The trio of peaks are in close proximity to one another and are all class 2.

From the parking lot, Shin and I meandered through the towering russet sandstone outcrops before ascending a low ridge below the col separating East Redstone and Redstone. The ridge leads to the base of cliffs where, aided by sheep trails, we made our way up the col. At the col, a left turn and a short hike brought us to the top of East Redstone Peak.

Our next objective, Tall Cairn, lay east at the end of a long ridge. We dropped down almost to the col, before heading to the ridge. The four bumps along the ridge before the summit make this an uneasy ridgewalk. So instead of following the crest, we skirted the first, second and fourth bumps on the left, but hiked over the third. The conspicuous cairn on Tall Cairn left no doubt that we had reached the summit.

After lunch, we retraced our steps back to the col and started up our last and highest peak that day, Redstone. We were well on our way to the summit when Shin nearly stepped on a baby rattlesnake, deadly even at a young age. Coiled, it looked small enough to fit in the palm of your hand; stretched out it appeared to be a foot long. Disturbed by our picture taking, it unwound and slithered away to hide under a bush. Rattlesnake sightings are rare, but this was beyond unusual as the snakes hibernate in winter.

A short time later, we arrived on Redstone Peak. Unlike the other two peaks, there was no summit register. After taking photos, we dropped down the other side and made our way to a long, curving wash. It wasn't the most direct route down, but it was simple and easy. After passing through the sandstone outcrops at Redstone – worth exploring in and of themselves – we were back at the car, in time to face the rush hour traffic in Las Vegas.

KML and GPX Tracks


From Redstone we set out for the col ahead, between East Redstone Peak and Redstone Peak


Along the way, we were pleasantly distracted by the intricate sandstone outcrops


We made our way to a low ridge that leads to the peaks


Looking back after we gained the ridge


Above us is the col we want to reach


Looking back at Redstone. Muddy Mountain and Muddy Peak are left, on the skyline.


After reaching the base of cliffs, we used sheep trails to traverse to the col


As we approached the col, Shin pointed out another possible ascent route although it would mean parking farther up the highway


Looking back just before reaching the col


It's a short hike from the col to the summit of East Redstone


On the summit


We descended partway to the col before heading to Tall Cairn. Redstone Peak on the right.


We headed to the ridge that leads to Tall Cairn


We passed the first bump along the ridge on the left


Looking back at East Redstone Peak


We passed the second bump on the left as well


After climbing over the third bump the fourth bump lies ahead


We circumvented the fourth bump on the left. The summit cairn is barely visible.


Shin leans on the cairn that gives this peak its name


Panorama from Tall Cairn


Manganese Peak lies east

Longwell Peak (aka Fire Peak) lies north


Back at the col with Tall Cairn in the background


On our way to Redstone Peak


We came across this baby Western diamondback rattlesnake just below the summit


The snake's single rattle suggests it was less than a year old


On the ridge, Shin peers through a window (lower left)


When we hit a cliff, we traversed left before regaining the ridge


Back on the ridge, the summit is ahead

Looking back along the ridge


On the summit of Redstone Peak


Panorama from Redstone
Heading down from the summit. Mystery Cairn on the left.


We followed a wash down to the desert flats. Ahead is Horn Toad Peak.


Heading back to the Redstone parking lot


Shin explores a sandstone outcrop


Boulder Canyon and Middle Point 1:24,000 Topos (7.4 mi, 2700 ft, 781 ft)

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