Saturday, I started out with my pals from Hiking Las Vegas at 7:00am. Our final destination was Hidden Peak in Red Rock Canyon NCA for the 7 of Diamonds. There are at least two routes to this peak. We took the "back" route. To get to the start of the hike, we drove from Las Vegas toward Pahrump, NV and, ultimately, drove the 3.1 miles down Rainbow Spring Road until we couldn't drive any further.
Warning: you'll definitely need a high clearance vehicle back here and 4-wheel drive is probably a good idea.
|My hiking friends double as figure skaters, obviously
Once we got past the ice, we followed the somewhat faint trail, a series of cairns, and the GPS waypoints through the limestone and fir trees over a ridge, etc. After about 2.5 miles, we arrived at the most beautiful place I've ever been inside Red Rock: The Park (aka Little Zion).
|You can sort of see the stark line where the gray limestone suddenly turns in to creamy sandstone.
a BLM backcountry permit.
After frolicking at The Park, it was time to head to our real objective. We started along a sandstone ridge and before long, we were treated to this:
From there, the peak was just an incline away. It was steep at points and I was definitely breathing heavily when I got to the peak. Once we all got there, I ate snacks (including honey stinger waffles - yum!), took pictures, and just hung out with some awesome people.
Hiking to The Park and Hidden Peak will definitely go down as one of my favorite hikes in Las Vegas. I really wish I could take everyone I know here.
I do NOT recommend going out on this hike unless you're either with someone who knows the trail or you feel really comfortable navigating in the backcountry using a description (either from here or Branch Whitney's Book), a GPS unit, and GPS waypoints.