Greycap Scramble

Date of trip: 04/27/2018

Mileage: 5.7 Miles

Elevation Gain: 1742 Feet

Time: 5 Hour(s) and 0 Minutes

Class: 3

Partners: Carrie, Melanie

GPS Track: View Here

Peaks Climbed on Trip:
Peak Name Elevation Prominence Range Close to County highpoint Range highpoint Map
Greycap5443423SpringBlue Diamond, NevadaNoNo36.1788, -115.4277

Trip Report

We were in Las Vegas for a software conference that ended on Thursday. My wife was with me and a co-worker (Melanie) wanted to join us. We had planned a hike for the Friday after the conference for quite awhile.

The hike I had picked was in Red Rock Canyon west of Las Vegas. Greycap seemed like a neat peak with a interesting and challenging route to the summit.

The day of the hike was supposed to be warm, but windy. Instead of drinking until late the night before, we should have hydrated and then slept! Given that we were bad, we didn't start the hike until mid-morning... it was already warm!

The hike started out in sandstone and was quite scenic with blooming trees and narrow canyons. We eventually popped out on Rattlesnake Trail and started our descent towards Gateway Canyon.

Gateway Canyon started out with a lot of gravel and was quite wide, but eventually narrowed and became rocky (limestone). Once the canyon started turning easterly, we saw the crux... a red and white rock face ahead of us. We located a lone juniper on the skyline that our hiking instructions said to climb toward.

The red rock section was easy going, but got quite steeper once on the white rock. Eventually we reached the juniper. However, the scramble was not over.

We then followed cairns through some pretty tricky terrain until we could finally see the summit (it was obvious, being a grey color amongst the red stone).

We were hot and tired and it looked a long way off with more difficult terrain. However, the ladies were not ready to quit, so we plugged on. Turns out the terrain wasn't that bad and soon we were stepping on the grey terrain that started just below the summit. Not long after we stood on top of the summit with great views of the surrounding peaks (Turtlehead Mountain is quite impressive from this angle) and even views of the strip.

Being hot and tired, we didn't stay long, but did sign the summit register. Getting out of Gateway Canyon was tiring, but once we were back on trail, we cruised. The only hiccup being a rattlesnake buzzing us on the aptly named Rattlesnake Trail.

Just before the end of the hike, we found a cool slot canyon that required an acrobatic move to avoid a watery obstacle. I had no problems with my long legs. The girls thought I was crazy, but both easily overcame the obstacle.

What a fun day in a scenic area with great hiking partners!


Getting There

Follow the paved Red Canyon loop road to the Sandstone Quarry trailhead. The trailhead has a large, paved lot with plenty of parking and a bathroom.


Hiking Directions

This is a complicated route that is kind of difficult to describe. I did my best below, but refer to the GPS track for specifics!

The hike starts out on the Sandstone Quarry Trail. We followed that route for just under half a mile, before branching off shortly onto the Calico Tanks Trail, then branching off that onto the Rattlesnake Trail. The beginning of the Rattlesnake trail is tough to follow, but there are a few cairns to help. However, once out of the sandstone, the Rattlesnake Trail is easy to follow. Follow it until it meets the Ash Canyon Trail, where it turns northeast and starts losing elevation as it descends toward Gateway Canyon.

Once in Gateway Canyon, turn left and start following the wash up and towards Turtlehead Mountain. It has some fun narrow sections that require 3rd class climbing.

Once the canyon starts turning easterly, you will see the crux, a red and white rock face ahead. We located a lone juniper on the skyline that our hiking instructions said to climb toward. Pick your line here and head steeply up!

From the juniper, we traversed climbers right to a saddle, then followed cairns at the base of a cliff until we could finally see the summit (it was obvious, being a grey color amongst the red stone).

We then descended about 50 feet, then followed cairns that led us up to the west ridge. Once on the west ridge, the route is a cruise to the top.


Photos

View Slideshow

Carrie and Mel checking out a blooming tree
Carrie and Mel checking out a blooming tree
Carrie early on during the hike
Carrie early on during the hike
Hiking the Rattlesnake Trail
Hiking the Rattlesnake Trail
Nearing the Ash Canyon/Rattlesnake Trail Junction
Nearing the Ash Canyon/Rattlesnake Trail Junction
Greycap in the distance
Greycap in the distance
Hiking through the eroded limestone in Gateway Canyon
Hiking through the eroded limestone in Gateway Canyon
The gals taking in the views in Gateway Canyon
The gals taking in the views in Gateway Canyon
Neat shrubbery in Gateway Canyon
Neat shrubbery in Gateway Canyon
Gateway Canyon
Gateway Canyon
Our route was to aim for the juniper on the skyline
Our route was to aim for the juniper on the skyline
Carrie on the red rock section
Carrie on the red rock section
Carrie on the steep crux
Carrie on the steep crux
Carrie resting in the shade after the crux
Carrie resting in the shade after the crux
Large water hole
Large water hole
Carrie and Mel nearing the summit
Carrie and Mel nearing the summit
Las Vegas from the summit of Greycap
Las Vegas from the summit of Greycap
Looking back toward our trailhead
Looking back toward our trailhead
Melanie descending the red rock
Melanie descending the red rock
Narrow slot section
Narrow slot section
Carrie climbing over the water hole
Carrie climbing over the water hole
Neat narrow section of canyon near the trailhead
Neat narrow section of canyon near the trailhead




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