Sunday, October 23, 2022

10/23 Hiking Gass Peak Overlooking Las Vegas

One of the hikes that we have wanted to do for a long time is Gass Peak. I drive past it everyday on my way to work and I've always wondered what the view of the city of Las Vegas looks like from there. So we decided to invite a few friends, grab Winston and make the 30 min drive to the trailhead. The hiking trailhead requires about 15 miles of easy off roading so we aired down Bruce and made the rest of the drive. The photo to the right is my view of Gass Peak from highway 95 on my drive to work. 

We picked a fairly chilly day to hike up Gass Peak. Although the temps were in the 50's, the wind was 30-35 knots so very gusty! The route was fairly straight forward, you just start in the parking lot and keep going until you get to the top. The trail was somewhat difficult to follow during some sections so having a GPS track was very helpful. Since the trail required off roading to get there, it meant very few people were hiking it on the day we were. Thus, we felt comfortable letting Winston off leash to roam around. He stayed with us like a good boy! 

About halfway through the hike, we were on the backside of the ridge and able to get sneak previews of Lake Mead. Our friend Will loaned Nina one of his trekking poles to help with the climb. It made such a difference that we ordered two sets once we were back home after the hike! The only downside to the hike was that you constantly had the end in sight and it just seemed to never get closer. However, with a good attitude and putting one foot in front of the other, we were able to make it to the top without freezing too bad! The views were worth it.

Once we were at the top, we had a little snack before heading down. Normally heading down is much easier but this trail was so full of scree that we really had to take our time. Thankfully, our fearless pathfinder Winston lead us safely down and back to the car. Once back at the car, we proceeded outbound the same way we came in, aired up and headed home after the longest hike that the three of us have ever done! 

Our total distance hiking was 6.27 miles with a duration of 5+42 and a total ascent of 1,845 feet. Overall, totally worth the view! 


Saturday, October 1, 2022

10/1 Hiking Raintree Trail in Mount Charleston, NV

As fall was swinging into full gear, we wanted to head up and see the trees turn colors. We thought, what better way to see that than to hike up to the oldest known tree in Nevada - the Raintree! This trail starts off of Kyle Canyon by the Hilltop Campground and has a small parking lot for 12-15 cars to park at. Once we packed up and headed up, it was refreshing to get into the cooler, clearer air! 

This trail was very easy to follow as it ascended through the trees. It was a bit of an uphill so we took our time climbing up. Near the top of the trail, we hiked along the ridgeline which gave us great views overlooking the valley but the best part of the hike was still yet to come as we approached the Raintree at the end! 

This tree is thought to be at least 3,000 years old and is significantly bigger than any of the other trees around it. It is conveniently just 0.2 miles downhill from the Mummy Springs which provides the tree with a constant source of water contributing to it's large growth. 

After visiting the tree, we found a nearby log and had a short lunch. We always pack a serving of puppy chow for Winston since he rarely eats in the morning before we go while Nina and myself snacked on some salted almonds. After our snack, we headed back to the car to head back home having enjoyed our hike. Our total distance was 5.8 miles over 3 hours and 5 minutes and ascended 1,586 feet!