Thursday, April 25, 2013

Hollow Rock Peak - 4/25/13

Hollow Rock Peak from Approach

Michael Relaxing Near the Peak

 The hike to Hollow Rock Peak begins at the Highway 160 mountain pass at Mountain Springs, Nevada. There is trailhead parking at a somewhat hidden north turn just where the highway changes from two lanes going toward Pahrump to one lane. Fourteen hikers arrived here and began climbing the first mile which holds 600 feet of elevation gain. This is often referred to as "Heartbreak Hill." It'll wake you up!

The Group Musters at the Top of Heartbreak Hill

 At the top of the hill, we turned right and continued climbing another 100 feet in elevation to our high point for the day. Following the ridgeline, we went up and down a couple more times with a sandstone view of Windy Peak which lays next door on the escarpment of Red Rock Canyon NCA. The Las Vegas Strip could be seen in the distance through a bit of a haze.
Windy Peak and Grapevine Canyon

 When we hit the limestone / sandstone line, the colors went from gray to red, yellow and purple! Here, there was some scrambling over loose sandstone rock. We were met with two separate down and up climbs that were pretty steep and then we were there at the peak. The peak is topped with a very large rock that can be climbed if you are careful. (The coming down part is a lot harder.) A few of the hikers did just that and, in fact, one hiker had to do it twice because he left his gloves up there the first time!

One of Two Down Scrambles

 After enjoying a relaxing break at the peak, we started back. Just before the limestone line, we turned down to our left and found a trail that led to an old abandoned dirt road. We descended the road and junctioned with the dirt road that parallels the highway and turned right to finish the partial loop hike back at the cars. This hike is just short of six miles and is a very pleasant combination of climbing, hiking and scrambling.

Colorful Rock on the Return

Finishing the Hike on the Dirt Road


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