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Vegas in November, hike/trail run recommendations

Original Post
Nick Downs · · Windham, ME · Joined May 2020 · Points: 91

Hello All,

I'll be in Vegas the for work during last week of Nov, after thanksgiving. I'm flying in on Saturday and will land around noon. I think that's a little late to climb Saturday but am looking for recommendations for a hike/trail run for that afternoon. Not sure what the weather is like that time of year, if there will be snow to deal with. I'm hoping to just bring a hydration pack and running shoes. 

A couple thoughts I had were Mt Wilson via First Creek or El Padre/La Madre. 

I can bring layers if it will be cold but would prefer not to bring any ice/snow gear. I think Charleston or surrounding peaks are probably snowy that time of year?

Appreciate any good recommendations.


Desert Rock Sports · · Las Vegas, NV · Joined Aug 2019 · Points: 2

Charleston and Potosi will be snowy.

RR just depends on what happens with the weather. Probably fine.

White Rock Loop, Clockwise from Willow Springs is my fav.

Mt Wilson summit via First Creek is a long day with a lot of bushwacking if the drainage is running. I wouldn't count on having time to do that, expecting you to not even get to the parking area until likely close to 2p, sunset that time of year being ~4:30p.

Mike T · · Las Vegas, NV · Joined Feb 2010 · Points: 106

Anything you can see from North Shore Road in LMNRA is a fun, no-trail romp and possibly quicker than driving out to those other places. Prettier drive IMO and no snow.

Jesus Ascendorado · · Earth · Joined Mar 2021 · Points: 0

Gold Strike Hot Springs, Arizona Hot Springs. Both are comparable drives to LMNRA, Charleston and RR. Bring shoes and chalk bag for excellent bouldering and hiking out in the dark after a good soak is where its at.

Any of the lesser used canyons of RR (the ones not accessed from the loop) as far as you want to go are also a great outdoor adventure and also filled with excellent bouldering.

Alex Fletcher · · Las Vegas · Joined May 2016 · Points: 252

For something shorter, the loop around Kraft Mountain is a nice trail/run.

To summit Mt Wilson has a 10-12 hour round trip recommendation.

White Rock Pinnacle is a nice sub peak of Wilson if you can scramble comfortably up to brief 5.4 and highly exposed 4th  

Bring a headlamp and layers. 

5Seven Kevin · · Las Vegas · Joined Jul 2023 · Points: 0
Alex Fletcher wrote:

To summit Mt Wilson has a 10-12 hour round trip recommendation.

White Rock Pinnacle is a nice sub peak of Wilson if you can scramble comfortably up to brief 5.4 and highly exposed 4th  

If he's trail running Wilson will not take 12 hours lol, easily 7 if he runs the trails and hikes the scramble parts

White rock pinnacle is an awesome scramble, could be short if you run the trail for 20 minutes but after that it's intense up hill into a full scramble gully...I know we're climbers, but the 52 peak club gets people into trouble every year classifying these as "hikes" and always felt some of these routes should just be classified as obvious scrambles. Terrible, atrocious trail run.

Charleston will be fine down low, we're lucky if we get snow in November and it's usually higher up, though here's hoping we're out of the drought and into good weather again. Potosi is perfect too if it doesn't snow low. keep these in mind, because November is red rock season. It's usually perfect weather in red rock, any time around Thanksgiving is the worst time of year. Our crowds are reaching a whole new level, and the reservation system pushes a lot of that traffic into the outside canyons people are recommending.

Alex Fletcher · · Las Vegas · Joined May 2016 · Points: 252

Lol, You are dead on about the 7 hours. I almost posted it in my original comment. I did Wilson via oak creek getting somewhat lost (southern bowl instead of south fork) along the way up in 7 hours round trip.

Either way, that’s a long day for a 1-2pm start time. Wouldn’t recommend for a short day.

Personally I don’t run hardly ever ever ever so I don’t really have running times in mind when I think of trails.

The 10-12 hour rec. is straight from Summit Post of Mount Wilson.

Alternately, go jogging into black velvet canyon. It’s beautiful back there. the dirt road is pretty tame. Honda fits, Prius, and fiats, all make it there frequently. Easy drive from the airport. 

Nick Downs · · Windham, ME · Joined May 2020 · Points: 91

Lots of great recommendations, thanks everyone.

I do run a bit and figured if I ran the flatter sections of Wilson then it could be done in 7 or so hours (based on some tracks I found on alltrails). Was interested in the first creek/hidden bowl route and thought as long as I top out before dark then I should be able to make it out with a headlamp. I'm comfortable scrambling up to low 5th class. That said it still sounds like a long day. 

Another one that seemed interesting is Turtlehead. Much smaller objective and could easily fit into my timeframe.

Will check out some of the other suggestions. 

I have a half marathon trail run coming up next month and a 10K after that, so will ultimately come down to where I'm at physically and my appetite for adventure when this trip rolls around. I might be ready to slow down a bit and opt for one of the lower elevation, less committing options listed here. 

Thanks again for all the great recommendations, looking forward to this trip. Wish I had time to climb in RR while I'm there, but will be back for climbing next year hopefully. 

Alex Fletcher · · Las Vegas · Joined May 2016 · Points: 252

Best of luck on your race!

Valerie A B · · Las Vegas, NV · Joined Jun 2010 · Points: 37

Turtlehead is just ick. Loose and graffitied. 

For objectives shorter than Wilson, look at Juniper Peak which will bring you up the beautiful slabs at the base of the Brownstone Wall through a rabbit hole to a beautiful summit. (about 5.5 miles) You can also start from outside the loop at Oak Creek which will save you some time getting there.

Or the Wilson Pimple loop where you can summit a small mountain but travel past some beautiful desert lushness and past some interesting conglomerate rock.

The White Rock Loop is also nice and you could add in White Rock Springs Peak

phylp phylp · · Upland · Joined May 2015 · Points: 1,107

I din’t know how much time you have ever spent in Las Vegas, but if you've never hiked/walked the Strip itself, it can be really fun. Maybe not on Sat. When you arrive, but after work exercise for the time you are there.
Starting at Las Vegas South Premium Outlets (lots of athletic brand outlets) running past/through Town Sq, past the Welcome sign, Mandalay Bay, Luxor, etc, all the way down to the Northern terminus of urban safety at the Mob Museum, is 8.6 miles. You can start and stop anywhere. You must run in and out of the Casinos and weave your way and see all kinds of bizarre and fun things like giant aquariums, fountains, Chihuly art glass, inside canals. Run through the Arts District and Downtown. 

Nick Downs · · Windham, ME · Joined May 2020 · Points: 91

Valerie, thanks for the warning on Turtlehead, will scratch that one from the list. Juniper peak sounds cool, I'd like to climb there when I come back next year so would be worth checking out. 

phylp, I have been to Vegas a few times, was there earlier this year with the family. Have walked the strip a bunch and will be doing that during the week when I have time. Lot of interesting sights and so much to see. 

I've also been looking for good coffee spots and planning some early morning runs to get coffee before work. Parlour LV and Mothership have spots downtown, thought I'd get up early and run there a couple mornings. A bit off of the original post/topic but any recommendations for coffee spots would be awesome. 

The conference I'm going to has a 5k on Wednesday, pair that with a couple runs/hikes and all the walking that a conference entails and I'll be covering some miles haha. 

Adam W · · TX/Nevada · Joined Dec 2019 · Points: 496

You can hike Wilson from the back/limestone side.  It’s shorter than first creek or oak creek and around 5 hours round trip at a leisurely pace.

Nick Downs · · Windham, ME · Joined May 2020 · Points: 91

I started running to get in better shape for climbing, now I'm posting on a climbing forum for advice on where to go running. 

This has really come full circle   

Ashort · · Las Vegas, NV · Joined Apr 2014 · Points: 56

Turtlehead can be a great run/scramble if you go up the backside, start at Kraft and go through gateway canyon. Descend the regular trail down to sandstone quarry and then connect back to ash spring or back into gateway. If you continue around the kraft mountain loop instead of back up the pass it turns out to be about 9.5 miles with 2800 ft of elevation. Last time I did it it took me around 3.5 hours, but I only ran about 1.5 miles of it. 

Matt Kuehl · · Las Vegas · Joined Nov 2010 · Points: 1,712

This was my favorite loop I found when I was trail running a lot.  Easy to get to and a pretty spectacular tour of the Calico Hills. Pretty straight forward to navigate, with the exception of dropping into Sandstone Quarry from the Calico Basin side.  Might want to take a closer look at the MAP there, none of the phone apps show connecting trails there so you have to use a little intuition.  Adds to the adventure. 9 miles, 1,287 elevation gain, great way to experience Red Rock. 

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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