OverviewLee Peak is an overlooked peak at the West end of Lee Canyon. From the Ski Resort it is the highest point one see’s when looking to the west when on the ski runs (Lee Canyon blocks the view of Mt. Charleston once you get up further up from the ski lodge). It’s neighbors to the South are Charleston Peak and Mummy Mountain to the East. According to my GPS Lee Peak is about 11,300 feet. Even though this is higher than Griffith Peak, it is not considered one of the highest peaks in the Spring Mountains due to the fact it is less than 300 feet in Prominence. According to Peaklist.
Prominence as a Qualifying Rule
Prominence turns out to be a convenient way to compare summits. Mountain climbers can use prominence to rank the importance of mountains. Prominence is also useful as a qualifying rule to determine inclusion of mountains on lists of summits.
Lists of the highest mountains have been around for at least 100 years. However, such lists have a classic shortcoming; how does a mountain qualify for inclusion on the list? In the absence of a qualifying rule, one might say that the earth's ten highest mountains are ten rocky outcrops on the Mt. Everest summit block. A list of high mountains must either employ a minimum prominence as a criterion or be based on a subjective sensibility as to what constitutes a separate peak (such as limiting entries to named peaks only).
This question of what constitutes a separate peak is a recurring one amongst mountain climbers. In Colorado, the generally accepted criterion for inclusion on lists is 300' of prominence. The 300' rule (sometimes referred to as the Colorado rule) is based on a 1950s survey of 14,000' mountains in Colorado published by the U.S.G.S
This is stated under the Definition of Prominence Peaklist's Definition of Prominence
For another point of view on Prominence you can look at this link on Peakbagger
Lee Peak has a prominence a little under 300 feet from detailed study of topographical maps, thus this is probably why it is not well known to people. In fact, the only place it is shown on maps or pictures as Lee Peak is on the trail map of the Las Vegas Ski Resort. This can be viewed at Las Vegas Ski Trailmap and can be downloaded there as well. On that picture it is listed at 11,405 feet, however based on topographical maps and my GPS it is 11,300 feet or so. Most people would not go to hike this peak just to hike it. It makes a good little side excursion when hiking Mt. Charleston via the North Loop Trail. I hiked it after hiking Mt. Charleston. It was only a 30 minute excursion. Great views can be seen here of Lee Canyon which is obscured a great deal from Mt. Charleston.
Getting ThereHiking Via Lee Canyon
From Las Vegas take Hwy 95 North. Go past HWY 157 (Charleston Turnoff) up to HWY 156 (Lee Canyon turnoff) and turn left. Take HWY 156 all the way to the ski resort and park here.
Hiking Via North Loop Trail
From Las Vegas drive north on Highway 95 to Highway 157 (Kyle Canyon Road) . There will be a sign to turn left to go towards Mount Charleston. Turn left onto Highway 157 and drive west for 17.1 miles to Highway 158, which is just past the Mt. Charleston Hotel. Turn right onto HWY 158 and drive for another 4.8 miles. This is the 2nd turnout past the Hilltop Campground (Site 487). The parking area is on the left side of the road with a large sign (Park here; this is the trailhead).
Hiking Via Trail Canyon
From Las Vegas drive north on Highway 95 to Highway 157 (Kyle Canyon Road). There will be a sign to turn left to go towards Mount Charleston. Continue west on Kyle Canyon Road.
After reaching the Spring Mountains visitor center, continue driving for 2.1 miles to Echo Road. Turn right onto Echo Road, which is the first paved road to the right past the Old Town Fire Station. If you miss the turn, you'll go around a big hairpin bend to the left.
On Echo Road drive northwest for about 1/2 a mile to a hairpin turn on the right where Echo Road becomes Crestview Drive. The trailhead parking is on the outside of the curve. Park here; this is the trailhead.
Red TapeTaking the North Loop Trail there is none. Going through the Ski Resort there is none when it is not ski season, however, one would have to probably buy a ski lift ticket and then snow shoe to the summit if they wanted to take the shortcut through Lee Canyon during ski season. To find out about this during ski season call the Ski Resort at 702-385-2754.
RoutesOne can either take the North Loop Trail (starting elevation 8,437 feet), the longest way to Mt. Charleston, and at about 5.8 miles from the Trailhead you head up the ridge on your right and Lee Peak is right in front of you. You could also take Trail Canyon (starting elevation ~7,600 feet) in Kyle Canyon.
The other way, shortest route would be to take a shortcut through Lee Canyon to the North Loop Trail, then it is only 0.2 miles to the ridge to take up to the summit. Starting elevation is about 8600 feet.
To continue on to Mt. Charleston, here is route information for that.