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Lava Butte
Lake Mead NRA, Nevada
April 19, 2011

When Dinah and I first drove through Lake Mead Recreational Area two years ago, my attention was drawn to a monticule called Lava Butte. This solitary peak struck me as an interesting half-day hike, and if ever there was a time to do it, this was it. Suffering a head cold, I wanted to bag a peak but didn't wish to risk worsening my illness.

After parking at the trailhead under crackling power lines, we hiked cross-country to the mountain's north ridge where we came across a trail. We followed the ridgeline trail to the summit. For the effort, the views were excellent. But although I didn't find the climb taxing, I underestimated the physical demands of this small peak. Hours after finishing our climb, my cold moved into my chest. For me, Lava Butte may have extracted a toll, but I have no regrets.

KML and GPX Tracks

Lava Butte on the right

Crossing the desert flats to the ridge

Beavertail cactus were blooming (mouse over for a close-up)

Starting up the ridge

Looking back along the ridge

The trail disappeared in the rocks

Mount Wilson (Arizona) rises above Fortification Hill and Lake Mead

Frenchman Mountain

Muddy Mountains lie northeast

We saw dozens of desert blister beetles eating flowers

Halfway up

Almost at the summit

On the summit

Heading down from the summit

Near the trail we found a memorial to a dog

Frenchman Mountain Topo (1.6 mi, 2861 ft, 1079 ft)

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