Lake Mead Natl Recreation Area North Shore scramble fun. Nov. 28-30, 2019

John Morrow

May 22, 2015
Three days of walking and scrambling, beginning with a short day on the 28th in advance of a strong wet cold front. Well, almost advance, I ended up getting caught in heavy hail and rain and lightning on the top of Black Mesa. Vertical ground strike over Lake Mead sent me running! Short hike from the Callville Bay Road. Camped at Callville Bay, puddles formed deep outside the tent through the night.

Black Mesa in the T-storm
by John Morrow, on Flickr

Muddy Mountains storm
by John Morrow, on Flickr

On the 29th I was low energy through the gusty blasts of wind so I opted for a couple road side jaunts. Surprisingly, the scrambling was quite excellent.

Echo Hills, SW spur of the SE Ridge made for a fun Class 3 scramble, descending the center of the south side.

SW Ridge of SE Ridge Echo Hills HP
by John Morrow, on Flickr

View East to Gold Butte
by John Morrow, on Flickr

Bitter Ridge NW
by John Morrow, on Flickr

Then I was back into the car to another pull out of the North Shore Road to go up fun limestone slabs on the north side of Pinto Ridge. I returned via a nice shallow tight canyon to the NE with easy dryfall scrambles and bypasses.

Silvery limestone N Ridge of Pinto Ridge
by John Morrow, on Flickr

Sentinel, Pyramid, Saddle
by John Morrow, on Flickr

descending Pinto Ridge NE draw
by John Morrow, on Flickr

On the 30th I was feeling ready for a longer hike and stitched together a wonderful ridge run loop of a number of peaks along segments of quite enjoyable scrambling up to Class 3. Beginning at the Cottonwood Wash Trailhead it went like this:
North Ridge Jacal-->
East Ridge Hamblin-->
North Ridhe West Hamblin-->
South Ridge Hamblin Butte-->
West Ridge Basalt Peak-->
Cottonwood TH

Above Cottonwood Wash
by John Morrow, on Flickr

Razorback and Pinto Ridges
by John Morrow, on Flickr

Jacal Peak
by John Morrow, on Flickr

Raven gurads Hamblin Summit
by John Morrow, on Flickr

Headed for West Hamblin Mountain
by John Morrow, on Flickr

W. Hamblin great scrambling
by John Morrow, on Flickr

Crescent shaped ridge looks fun
by John Morrow, on Flickr

solid fine scramble
by John Morrow, on Flickr

ran that skyline
by John Morrow, on Flickr

Lastly toward Basalt Peak's long West Ridge
by John Morrow, on Flickr

Basalt Peak's west ridge
by John Morrow, on Flickr

A nice wash finish into Cottonwood Wash
by John Morrow, on Flickr

This is a very fun loop. Should be easy to see the route on a map, I could upload one if desired.

Full pics set explains the whole story:
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Oops, I already did this trip report!!!! No way to delete so I may just edit into something else... I had duplicated Keene Canyon TR so I replaced it with this Lake Mead TR, if you were confused.
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Northshore Rd is a great corridor, end to end, to start hikes from. Some very cool narrow drainage's between the roadside rest and East Longwell ridge un895.

pt-1109-015.jpg muddy mountains 004.jpg fire peak 005.JPG fire peak 008.JPG

Muddys are in my top 3 favorite places ever.
@westy, what is un895?
895T on the topo, Artemus. Yeah, Westy, I've been looking to get into those tight canyons toward the Fire summits. Great pics. Looks awesome. From east to west the entire N. Muddy Crest to Monocline Valley looks really neat.
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