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Turtlehead Mountain - Red Rock Canyon

Well worn path to the summit of Turtlehead Mountain. Alternate exits exist for this classic Red Rock Canyon Peak.
id_5522194
Rating: 4 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Strenuous
Length: 2.2 miles
Duration: Half day

Overview :  Established in 1990 by special legislation the Red Rock Recreation Lands status was changed to a National Conservation Area. The area... more »

Tips:  Exit strategy #1 Up and back same trail: Full Sun! Take plenty of water (2 liter minimum on warm day). Energy snacks and sun screen.

... more »

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Points of Interest

1. Parking, Trailhead & Restrooms

Follow I-215 (Las Vegas Beltway) to W Charleston Blvd. Proceed west on hwy-159 to the Red Rock Canyon. Entrance fee is $7.00 per day. Enter the scenic loop drive (one way only) and turn off at the sandstone quarry. A loop to a large asphalt parking area sits directly off the scenic loop drive. Restrooms available.

2. Turtlehead Mountain Junction

Follow the well worn path north to the junction of Turtlehead Peak.

3. Well worn class 1 hiking

Well worn and gravel, the path wanders through gully's and washes until it begins to climb toward a prominent saddle on the west side of the peak.

4. Trail division

The trail spiders into a dozen or more paths when reaching the gully. I followed the path on the west side while a group of 4 followed the east side trails. The east side trail arrives at the ridge line east of the saddle resulting in a little more difficult climb.

5. Saddle

Once at the saddle the paths converge again and the final uphill push to the summit.

6. Turtlehead Mountain Summit

A summit registration exists with plenty of pens and paper. The views across valley south of Red Rock Canyon is stunning. East toward Las Vegas is equally breathtaking. Several trails drop off the ridge line to some rocky outcropping. Use extreme caution if venturing off the peak.

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7. Exit #1 Return the way you came

Exit #1 Return the way you came by following the class 1 trail back to the parking lot.

8. Exit #2 Follow jtscwhitney alternate route

Exit #2 Descend off back side of Turtlehead Mountain following jtscwhitney and their "Turtle Head Alt Route" trip report creating a loop (returns to same parking lot).

Note: No trail exists, class 2, route finding skills required, some scrambling and downclimbing.

9. Exit #3 Summit Graycap Peak

Exit #3 Summit Graycap Peak before returning to parking area. Descend off back side of Turtlehead Mountain following "Turtlehead - Graycap Peak Loop" trip report creating a loop (returns to same parking lot).

Note: No trail exists, class 2, route finding skills required, some scrambling and downclimbing. Full day hike allow 7-9 hours.