White Rock Pinnacle
White Rock Pinnacle, also known as White Pinnacle Peak, is a minor subpeak located on the southern end of Mt. Wilson
, the highest sandstone peak in Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. From many perspectives, it hardly stands out at all. However, it is one of the most enjoyable minor peaks of RRCNCA for a number of reasons:
1. At only 1.5-2 miles from the car to the summit, the route can be a pretty quick one, making it among the few in Red Rock much suitable for summer forays.
2. The route is a fun one, with several spots of Class 3-5 scrambling, and it is not overly brushy (that does not mean it is not brushy at all).
3. The imposing final walk/scramble to the summit; see pictures attached to this page. Although the summit is not as steep as some pictures make it look, it is still very narrow and very exposed; a slip off the south side means a fall of over 1000' into First Creek Canyon, while a slip off the north side will entail "only" about 400'. Because of the slope of the final part, especially the lower half, there is almost no room for error.
3. Dead Horse Point
, another nice minor peak in RRCNCA, is very close by and easy to pair with this peak.
4. It is possible to continue on and climb South Wilson
Go prepared-- the single hardest move on the route is described as 5.4. There traditionally has been a fixed line here that lowers the spot to Class 4, but as the peak lies within a federally designated wilderness area, fixed lines are illegal, and you can't be positive that rangers won't have removed the line. Do not attempt this route unless you can "scramble" up a 25' 5.4 pitch or unless there is someone in your party who can can offer a belay to others or set a handline. Likewise, if you can't downclimb something like this or don't feel comfortable doing so, bring a rope (60' to be safe) and other gear for rappelling.
Mt. Wilson and subpeaks
The original author of this page has been inactive on SP for a very long time, which is why I have adopted the page and done a bit more with it. However, since he seems to be one of the people who established the principally used route up the peak, out of respect to his efforts, I haven't adopted the route page and have only made some minor cosmetic edits to it. The route page is more than sufficient for a first-timer to make a successful climb of the peak.
White Rock Pinnacle from First Creek Canyon
Take Charleston Boulevard (SR 159) west through Summerlin. After the development abruptly ends and the desert begins, drive a few miles and pass the well-marked entrance to the Scenic Drive.
The exit from the Scenic Drive is about three miles farther along 159, and not far after that is a roadside trailhead for Oak Creek Canyon. Continue on just about a mile along 159 and find the roadside trailhead for First Creek Canyon.
It seems that most people climb these peaks first by ascending White Rock Gully (Class 4-5.4; see attached route page entitled "Standard Route"). Climbing both WRP and DHP and using this gully for both the ascent and descent is 4-5 miles RT tops and something like 1500-2000' of elevation gain in all.
There are, however, a couple of other options:
- A longer but technically easier approach via First Creek Canyon. One way to do this is via the Hidden Bowl route.
- Climbing Dead Horse Gully, which is the first gully to the right of White Rock Gully. From what I gather, this is a challenging Class 4 route. My only experience with it so far was when I headed into it mistakenly thinking it was White Rock Gully. At the time, I had a heavy backpack with rope and rappelling gear since I was alone and wanted to be prepared, and I eventually turned back due to getting onto Class 5 terrain that was too risky for me to negotiate with such a large, heavy pack on. Something of note is that Dead Horse Gully is quite a bit brushier than White Rock Gully is.
Climbers going up one of the gullies can traverse west from the summits and pick up the Hidden Bowl route to the summit of South Wilson and Mount Wilson.
White Rock Pinnacle and Dead Horse Point with White Rock Gully just left of center and Dead Horse Gully to its right
No fees to park or hike here. Because you're right off the highway, exercise caution about parking here when it's dark; break-ins have been a problem at times.
There are no campgrounds off the Scenic Drive in RRCNCA. There is a campground outside it, though; see here
for more details. Bivouacs and backcountry camping are permitted, but with permits and restrictions. Use the link at the end of this page to find out more.