Friday, November 20, 2015

Lone Mountain (West Route & Perimeter) - 11/20/15

Red Rock View from Peak

Halfway Bench

Sheep Mountains & Gass Peak

Lone Mountain from Park
The newly built trail around Lone Mountain on the northwest side of Las Vegas recently reopened. Already, the trail and the mountain are crawling with activity. Twelve club hikers added themselves to the landscape, today, on a hike that began at the Lone Mountain Road side of the park where the basketball courts are. Using existing trails, we made our approach out to the perimeter trail connecting with it on the north side.

The New Perimeter Trail (North Side)
 Our first impression of the new trail was, "Wow!" It is a very nicely groomed wide trail where even equestrian riders are permitted. As we hiked, we saw dog walkers and joggers.

Hiking Up the West Route to Peak

A Good Climb
 We passed the northern route to the peak and chose the more popular west route to make our ascent. There was a trail provided between the perimeter trail and the west route trail up. As we started climbing, we remembered the steepness of this little ol' mountain. Even though it is a short hike, it is a very good climb. Good for the lungs and heart! When we reached the first saddle where the bench sits up on the ridge to the left, one of the hikers decided to call it a day. The remaining eleven hikers continued up.

Almost There
 The next section is a climb to a false peak. Just as you get near the top, you see the real peak blatantly make its appearance. All the way up, the views are unobstructed of the mountains surrounding the valley.

Not a Chamber of Commerce Day for Las Vegas
 We reached the top where we were able to take our entire break without interruption from other hikers. A bit of graffiti colored the limestone and the survey marker was nowhere to be found! But the outward views made up for the ugliness of the stone underfoot.

Relaxing on Lone Mountain Peak (Graffiti removed with Photoshop)

Halfway Down
 Two hikers opted to make their descent down the southern route ridge. The remaining nine hikers descended on the west route that was used for the ascent. The footing is rough but not so slippery that it might be called treacherous. Easy does it gets you there. When we reached the bottom, we turned to the left to continue our hike around the new perimeter trail. As we passed, we noticed another makeshift trailhead parking lot on the west side of the mountain. There were several cars parked on the dirt here.

Down the West Route
 There are mile markers along the trail that also warn people against riding motorized vehicles here. We did not see any signs preventing bicycles.

The Rules

The City from Lone Mountain Perimeter Trail
 As we neared the southern end of the mountain, the two hikers that had descended the southern ridge were hiking toward us to join the group. The southern portion of the trail was bordered by a stone wall that must have been built with great thought as the stones seemed to fit together like a jigsaw puzzle. The remaining part of the new trail passed by the park that is still being constructed. They were planting Palo Verde trees today. We returned to the cars via the same route as we started. Great morning. Ready to face the day!

4 miles; 800 feet elevation gain; 2.25 hours

New Jigsaw Rock Wall on South Side

Southeastern View of Lone Mountain

Heading Home on the East Side

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