Sentinel Peak
Lake Mead NRA, Nevada
October 28, 2009

With cool, windy weather persisting, I turned to Lake Mead Recreational Area. Because of its low elevation, it's warmer than Las Vegas. Besides, I could use the five-day, $5 pass I had bought the day before. While Dinah shopped for condos, I climbed Sentinel Peak. I used Harlan Stockman's web site for information. Instructions were sorely lacking but it provided a map with a GPS route.

I parked at a pullout on the south side of Northshore Scenic Drive and walked east a short distance to the guard rail where I found a road. I followed the road for 2 km before leaving it and taking a wash on the left. After leaving the wash I headed across the flats to Sentinel Peak. Specifically, I headed to the drainage east of the peak. I enjoyed ascending the drainage as it twisted and turned; I never knew what lay around the next bend.

After reaching a saddle I followed a sheep track below the ridge connected to the peak. When the slope became too steep to continue, I scrambled over the ridge to a saddle. Here the mountain rose precipitously and I hiked along a shelf below steep rock slabs to a chute that I climbed easily. To my surprise, I came out next to the summit. After a short stay, I continued on to do the descent route.

I had no difficulties until I reached a huge drop in a deep drainage. I knew I had to exit the drainage on my right but the only advice given was to “Follow the GPS Trace”! After an exhausting hour-long search where I kept hitting steep, smooth rock I gave up. Mindful of the amount of daylight left, I climbed back up to the summit. Having dropped below the trailhead elevation, I had to ascend 350 m.

Two and a half hours after leaving the summit I stood on it for the second time. Had I not tried the descent route, this would have been a five-hour trip. My return was uneventful save for the setting sun lighting up the red rocks. The view was glorious while it lasted and I made my way back to the car in quickly fading light.

GPX Track


Hiking up the road


Sentinel Peak centre right


I left the road and followed a wash


On the flats heading to the drainage on the left


The drainage


Going up the drainage


Interesting plant


Looking back down the drainage


I was surprised to find this wash part way up the mountain


Route follows this wash and turns right.


After turning right, I headed to the saddle ahead


Hairy plant


At the saddle looking back


Ahead is a false summit


View from the ridge


Following a sheep track


I spent several minutes figuring out how to reach the ridge ahead. From here I climbed up and
over the ridge on my right (not seen).


Looking back as I followed below the rock slabs


I hiked below the rock slabs until I found a weakness


I scrambled up this chimney (steeper than it looks) to find myself next to the summit


Looking northeast at the flats I had crossed earlier from the summit


Muddy Peak and Bowl of Fire (lower left)


After continuing past the summit, I dropped down here and turned right
to take the drainage at the bottom.


Start of the drainage


Looking back at the drainage after climbing down a ways


I continued down as far down as I could before turning back


I passed some nice rock patterns as I head back


The sun will soon set as I set off across the flats


The setting sun set the red rocks ablaze


Boulder Canyon Map 1:24,000 Topo (8.0 mi, 3,199 ft, 1,165 ft) (ascent route)


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