Sloan Canyon & Lake Mead summits and rock art Nov 26-28, 2016

John Morrow

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After my time in Death Valley I parked it at Lake Mead Boulder Campground for a few nights with the intent to do some dayhikes. Being that I hadn't seen much rock art in a while, I had a craving. Most of the sites I had yet to see nearby were short hikes, or even drive ups with a 4WD, so I thought what better way to enjoy them but to add a scramble or two of nearby summits. Thus, a plan was hatched.

Nov 26. Petroglyph Wash, Lake Mead National Recreation Area.

My Honda Civic left we with a 3 mile hike to the rock art located in a wash adjacent to a jeep trail. From there I sought a pair of summits that, while unknown, I figured would give me great views of the mountainous terrain all around Lake Mead. It did not dissapoint and made for a great Class 2 (touch of 3) loop hike of 12 miles. The map will explain it better than words.
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Nov 27:

I did a fairly long TH commute of 35 minutes to get to the Sloan Canyon National Conservation Area. A BLM wilderness (N. McCullough Wilderness) so preserved for its spectacular petroglyphs. Lots of info in the web. The rock art is a 3 mile round trip hike up a pleasant canyon wash with a couple nice Class 2 dryfalls to scramble. The rock art starts immediately beyond the dryfalls. Very impressive displays.


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Then it was time to head SE up a side canyon to take me on a pleasant scramble of Sutor Benchmark, an area highpoint. The north ridge is mostly a pleasant walk, except for the 30 mph winds of the advancing cold front.


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From Sutor it was time to descend west to connect two very interesting pinnacles with assorted Class 3 scrambling, occasionally loose, to run the traverse. Fun stuff, even in the wind and light rain. The first pinnacle, Canine Crag, I gained from its Class 2/3 SE slope. Continuing down its solid and aesthetic Class 3/4 NW Ridge, I accessed the next crag via its SE Slope as well.


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I descended the NW Ridge of the 2nd(western) crag, called Feline Fang, via its Class 3 NW Face which brought me down to a maintained trail. Trail 300 returned me to Sloan Canyon and the Visitor Center.



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Nov 28. Willow Beach Peaks, Black Canyon, Colorado River. Lake Mead NRA.

Up one wash, lots of awesome Class 2 scrambling, down another with a couple fun downclimbs of Class 3 dryfalls. This route connects 3 peaks known by and named by the local Vegas Area mountaineer types. A 5 mile loop out of the Willow Beach Campground/concessionaire area of Lake Mead NRA. In keeping with the theme, a few riverside petroglyphs started me off.



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Maps:


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Rock Art:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/23557848@N03/sets/72157679681419985

https://www.flickr.com/photos/23557848@N03/albums/72157676092467313
 
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