|Peak Summited||2021 Turtlehead Peak|
|Type of Hike||Day hike|
|Trailhead||Turtlehead Peak Trail|
|Road Conditions||Road suitable for all vehicles|
|Bug Status||No bugs|
|Snow Conditions||Snow free|
|Trail Conditions||Minor obstacles posing few problems|
7/5/2021 – Peak 3 of the Las Vegas Six Pack of Peaks Challenge
Turtlehead Peak, 4.5 miles in 2hrs 59min (including stops for pictures and summit time) and 1,999 feet in elevation gain.
I started out this morning by arriving at the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area at about 5:40am. The park opens at 6am and the Ranger was prompt in opening the gate. Entry into the park is $15 unless you have a permit. What was cool for me this morning was my retired military ID allowed me free access. 😉 From the entrance gate it was about a 10 minute drive in to the trailhead.
There were only two others cars that arrived as I was prepping to get started. One was a couple of rock climbers planning to spend the morning climbing rocks in the area. The other was another hiker who was planning to tackle Turtlehead Peak as well. After speaking with him at the summit I learned he had climbed this peak multiple times. He took a higher route up the draw than I did. Stepping off it was right around 84 degrees, but the luck of having some great early morning cloud cover made it feel cooler as I ascended.
The route is pretty straight forward. Initially, just follow the well-used and well-marked trail along the valley floor and then turning up the canyon draw. Once in the draw, there are several trails that spider along the way, but as long as you stay on the left side of the draw all the way up there are cairns, and other markings (painted dots and arrows) shoeing the way.
The summit views made the journey well worth the effort. Beautiful views all around. Temps at the summit with the cloud cover blocking the sun felt like low 70’s. As the clouds burned off the temps did warm up a bit as I was descending. By the time I got back down to my car just after 9am it was already reaching the 90’s.
I’d say the hardest/steepest part of the hike is following the draw to a small saddle. From the saddle, it’s a little more of a gradual climb. Still an incline, but not as steep as the draw. Most of the climb up the draw I would consider class 2 with some lite class 3 scrambling along the way. Lots of loose rock. In my opinion, if you are used to hiking up and down canyons and draws, like in Anza Borrego, this hike would be a breeze. If you are more of a follow the trail type, it may be a little more challenging, but doable. Again, just follow the signs.