Turtlehead Mountain


By: Campy Camphausen


When you look west from Las Vegas you can see the deep red hues of Red Rock Canyon. The geologic feature of this area Is the Keystone thrust Fault which appears as a gray limestone ridgeline of the Spring Mts capping the red and white sandstone. A paved scenic loop road from Charleston Blvd was built by the Bureau of Land Management to view the formations at close range and to reach popular rock climbing areas. Turtlehead Mtn resembles a giant turtle's head rising from the desert in the foreground.

The Sandstone Quarry indicated on the Blue Diamond 15' quad is a trailhead for local hikes, From here the base of the peak is reached after a mile along the trail and up a dry wash. I climbed the broad west-side canyon to the limestone ridge and followed upward through pinyon. Summit views ranged from the colorful western escarpment and Charleston Pk to the hazy and impacted desert of the ever-expanding Las Vegas 'burbs. This short climb is for anyone who has a half day of free time while In Las Vegas. Stats: 2 mi to summit one-way and 2000' of gain.

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