There are 2 ways to get to the summit of Wheeler Pass.
1. Take HWY 95 North From Las Vegas past HWY 157 (Mt. Charleston turnoff) and then again past Lee Canyon Turnoff (HWY 156). The next road on the left, highly visible with prison complexes, is your turn off. Turn left here and drive about 15-20 miles to the community of Cold Creek. You will likely see many wild horses as you get close to Cold Creek. There will be a sign to turn right for Wheeler Pass. Right after this right turn there is a left very shortly after. Follow this road west and with a little trial and error you should eventually follow the route to Wheeler pass, visibly seen between Willow Peak and Wheeler Peak. The last 2 miles to the pass gets very bad and a 4X4 is definately required!
access from Cold Creek
2. Take I-15 south to HWY 160. Take HWY 160 towards Pahrump. Once you get to Pahrump turn right (east) onto Wheeler Pass Road and follow it to the summit of Wheeler Pass. There are many unoffical routes and tracks entering and leaving Wheeler Pass Road, so try to stay on the main road. There is no sign and no official trailhead at the summit of Wheeler Pass.
(Though this route is further from Las Vegas, it is easier and more straight forward than trying to find the route through Cold Creek). A high clearance vehicle is highly recommended. 4X4 even better.
More detailed directions for this drive:
From Las Vegas head west on HWY 160 (Blue Diamond Road). From the intersection of HWY 160 and HWY 159 just outside of Blue Diamond, NV set your odometer to 0.
Drive for 37.3 miles and turn right onto Wheeler Pass Rd.
Drive for 7.6 miles (44.9 total) and you will meet up with Wheeler Pass Road from Pahrump. (Rd 071)
Continue for 3.0 miles (47.9 total) and take the left fork (Rd 601)
Continue for 5.9 miles (53.8 total) and take th right fork.
Continue for 1.9 miles (55.7 total) and take the left fork.
Continue another 2.1 miles (57.8 total) and you will be at Wheeler Pass.
This route is fairly straight forward. Start out going West a short distance , then turning Northerly up the ridge. You will go up past a few rocky outcrops to a big rocky outcrop area where there is some basic class 3. This is about 3/4 of a mile to here. This is a steep section, but do not stray off of it, as this would result in some mean bush wacking.
Once you get on top of here you will be on top of the main ridge. Follow the main ridge up to the steep ridge that leads you to the summit. This is ridge is about a mile and a half before you make the final push to the summit.
The steep part of the ridge is about 1/2 a mile with about 800 feet of elevation gain. There are some slippery rocks and a tiny bit of class 3 here and there depending on how you meander around some rocky outcrops.
|Elevation (ft) & Distance (mi)|
|WPT 1||Park||36°23'28.1"N'||115°47'50.7"W||7,738; 0.00|
|WPT 2||On Main Ridge||36°23'47.9"N||115°48'16.0"W||8,431'; 0.73|
|Start of Steep Section||36°24'50.5"N||115°48'34.5"W||8,347'; 2.10|
|WPT 4||Wheeler Peak||36°25'17.6"N|
|115°48'37.7"W||9,164'; 2.76|The Route
Good Hiking Boots. Long pants would be a good idea to avoid many possible bush wacking scars that may occur. If hiking in the winter some snow shoes would be recommended depending on snow conditions.
trip report --SP Member MoapaPK's trip to Wheeler Peak.