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Kraft Mountain - Red Rock Canyon

Backcountry route to the summit of Kraft Mountain, alternate exits exist for this rugged mountain peak.
Rating: 5 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Strenuous
Length: 4 miles
Duration: Half day

Overview :  As temperatures cool into the double digits exploring the rugged hillsides of Red Rock Canyon is an outdoor adventure everyone should ... more »

Tips:  Backcountry Route! Safely hiking backcountry routes depend on your own good judgment, adequate preparation, and constant attention to ... more »

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Points of Interest

1. Parking and Trailhead

Follow I-215 (Las Vegas Beltway) to W Charleston Blvd. Proceed west on hwy-159 to Calico Basin (NOT the Red Rock Canyon loop). Turn Right. Follow Calico Basin road into the area's subdivision. Turn right on Calico, take the next left, then right again on Sandstone Drive. At the end of Sandstone Drive is the trailhead. A spacious parking area ... More

2. Kraft Mountain Wash Loop

From the trailhead follow the well traveled trail leading north-northeast along the base of Kraft Mountain.

3. Junction to Kraft Mountain Scramble

Follow the well worn trail, lined with rocks, until it passes through a wash. Stay with the hikers left trail and enter a very popular bouldering area.

4. Semi-wash scramble

Working through the boulders aim for a gentle rise along the face of Kraft Mountain, the trails start to converge as you proceed up a wide semi-wash toward the first layer of cliff bands.

5. Cliffband traverse

Near the top of the semi-wash a cairn is found. At this junction look north-northeast along the cliff face and you should spot another cairn, this is the direction of travel. Cairns mark the path horizontal across this cliffband section of the route.

6. Wash Scramble to Saddle

A cairn marks where the trail leads up a steep but manageable wash. Several small class 3 moves are required.

Continue up the wash until the ridge line is reached. A large boulder rests on the eastern most edge for beautiful pictures of Las Vegas.

7. Ridgeline to Summit

To reach the summit of Kraft Mountain you will need to proceed along the ridge line west, cairns mark a path, but route finding skills are required. Many side trails lead to view points and more bouldering opportunities.

8. Summit of Kraft Mountain

The summit is marked by a small cairn and registration box, and of course beautiful views in all directions. North is Graycap peak, west is Turtlehead and Calico Hills. Looming over Calico Hills is the beautiful skyline of Red Rock Canyon with White Rock Hills, Bridge Mountain and on south.

9. Exit route #1

Exit route #1: follow jtscwhitney route off front of Kraft Mountain.

10. Exit route #2

Exit route #2: Continue west along the ridgeline and follow a wash north-northwest toward a sandy level area.

11. Route finding skills required

Extensive route finding skills required, the route is well marked by a series of cairns, with one exception. After leaving the sandy wash area a large cairn marks a route to the west. Several cairns mark the short trail through a wash then the cairn's stop. Continue to down climb over a series of boulders and another cairn can be spotted to the ... More

12. Alcove of dreams

Just above the crux is a beautiful alcove of colorful striped arches and windows of red and white.

13. Crux

The crux requires some serious down climbing through class 3+ areas. If you have a shorter reach these areas might be class 4.

14. Final Traverse

Below the alcove and crux the hillside gives way to more gentle hiking. Continue to follow the cairns through the various washes and cliffbands to arrive at the canyon floor.

15. Gateway Canyon Floor Junction

Gateway Canyon Floor Junction and another choice of direction is needed. East will take you along the well worn path back to the starting point of your ascent up Kraft Mountain and the bouldering area. West will take you through a very rugged wash of boulders and slot canyon type setting. Some scrambling is required around the problems but all ... More

16. Calico Hills - Kraft Mountain Saddle Junction

Keep an eye north as you leave the canyon boulders, and make sure you hike up the wash between Kraft Mountain and Calico Hills. This well worn trail leads to a high saddle between the two summits and again beautiful views

17. Return to Parking Lot

The trail leaves the saddle and begins a gentle descent back to the parking lot.