OverviewFrom first site Junniper Peak seems to be a technical climb; however, there's a fun class 2/3 route. This hike has plenty to offer: A trail to warm up on, bouldering through a magnificent canyon, and class 2 and 3 scrambling. Great views of Rainbow Wall, Brownstone Wall, and an awesome overlook into the south fork of Pine Creek makes this one of best hikes in Red Rock Canyon. If you listen carefully, you can hear climbers hundreds of feet above as you hike through Juniper Canyon.
Getting ThereFrom Vegas take Charleston Blvd. west to Red Rock Canyon. At some point Charleston Blvd. becomes State Route 159.
Depending where you turn onto Charleston Blvd. it could be from five to 20 miles before the signed turnoff to Red Rock Canyon.
Drive to the fee booth and onto the Scenic Loop Road. Pine Creek trailhead is located 10.3 mile along the Scenic Loop Road.
Parking can be a problem on busy weekends.
Route DescriptionThe Hike: Follow the Pine Creek Trail 0.8 of a mile to the easily missed concrete foundation, which is the only thing remaining of the old Wilson homestead. It’s to the left of the trail. Just beyond the foundation take the less prominent left fork and follow it SW 50 yards where it crosses Pine Creek. In another 30 yards turn south (left) onto the signed Arnight Trail. The trail heads south then turns easterly as it climbs a ridge. The trail forks in about 0.25 miles; take the right fork. You are now on the locally named Juniper Peak Path (JPP), which heads to the mouth of the Juniper Canyon. Stay on JPP; do not veer off on footpaths. As the path draws near the mouth of Juniper Canyon, a major wash appears to your left. Do not be lured down into the wash. Continue west on the JPP walking up a candy-striped boulder and down the other side. The path resumes and becomes easier to follow. Continue another 40 yards to a hole created by boulders. Squeeze through the hole. You’re now in the wash, which leads to a path. The route from here to the start of the path is hard to follow; luckily it’s only a couple hundred yards. Numerous cairns have been placed in the wash to help guide you.
The path is steep, but is easy to follow. It climbs to level ground and passes by a fallen log. Continue on the path about 300 yards to a two-foot high boulder with a cairn on it.
The path divides here; take the right fork and follow it 30 yards into another wash. Go west (left) in the wash about 40 yards to an opening in the brush where a path starts. It will be to your right.
Hike 30 yards up the steep path to a small boulder field. Head SW through the boulder field aiming for a large, blackface boulder at the far side of the boulder field. A cairn sits on top of the boulder. Just to the right and little beyond the boulder, the path resumes. It travels 30 yards cutting through brush and empties out onto white sandstone.
The next part of the route parallels Brownstone Wall to a chute that is located at the north end of Brownstone Wall. The chute is your next major landmark.
Climb the wall and scramble up the chute. Hike west up the beehive sandstone. Veer north (right) and parallel the north end of Brownstone Wall 100 yards to a fantastic overlook 1,000 feet down into the south fork of Pine Creek. It’s to the north (right). After taking in the view, head south (left) just past the second of three large ponderosa pines. Traverse east (left) about 25 yards on the sandstone following numerous cairns. The route makes a 180-degree turn and heads west. Climb off the sandstone slab and under the boulder. Hike 30 yards to the pinion. Turn left (SE) and hike 20 yards going between two small sandstone crags to the crag that marks Juniper Peak.
To Descend: Retrace your steps.