Indecision Peak is the prominent mountain that separates the First Creek (on its north side) and Sandstone (on its south side) canyons. It is the large mountain immediately south of Mount Wilson
. The summit elevation listed for this mountain provided by cp0915
Summit route for Indecision Peak via East Face Gully
has been added by cp0915
. It starts from the same pullout on NV highway 159 as Lotta Balls
The north side of the peak is split at midheight by a large ramp system. Several popular climbs are located below this ramp system including the Lotta Balls
Wall, the Mysterious Amphitheater, and the Alcohol Wall. According to J. Urioste's guidebook, the Upper Cliffs (on north side walls of Indecision Peak above the large ramp) contain many crack systems up to 500 feet high (attainable via 3rd class scrambling). Swain describes a continuation to the Lotta Balls
route called Kick in the Balls. It involves 3rd class scrambling directly above Lotta Balls
to reach a two-pitch, 5.8 route (hand crack to off width) - not clear whether the route can be used to reach the summit. It is also not known (by author) how to attain the summit from north, east, or south sides. Presumably, the west side would have a scrambling route to the summit (will add information when it becomes available).
The south side of the peak, i.e. the Sandstone Canyon is long and flat. There's a reservoir for drinking water at the mouth of the canyon and the Nevada State Parks system has imposed entry restrictions into and around the canyon (according to J. Urioste's guide book, c. 1991). Not much information is currently available on this side of Indecision Peak. (when more info. becomes available, I will add it here).
From downtown Las Vegas (or from I 15), drive west on Charleston Blvd. through a suburbia of Vegas (apartment comlexes and shopping malls). As you leave the human development behind (just drops off beyond one of the intersections), Charleston turns into NV SR 159. Follow NV SR 159 PAST (or south of) both the enterance AND the exit from the marked scenic loop road on your right. Stay on SR 159 for 0.7 mile south of Oak Creek. Park in the pullout on the right hand side of the road.
Follow the old road west toward the mouth of First Creek Canyon to access the north side routes on Indecision Peak. When the trail forks, take the left fork (Upper Trail) and then the left fork when the trail splits again. Keep on left side of drainage once in the mouth of the canyon. T. Swain's guidebook provides a sketched map and both guidebooks show photos of the north side climbing walls. Hiking time is approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour (depending on the chosen climb).
No fees. No permits for day use. If you are going to stay overnight in the backcountry you will need to obtain a permit from the visitor's center (702-363-1921).
The trailhead for this peak is on Nevada SR 159 and thus parking there is not subject to the restrictive set of rules one sees along the scenic loop road (although roadside camping is not permitted anywhere except for designated areas, i.e. 13-Mile Campground - see below).
Park service allows dogs in the backcountry. Please keep them leashed and pick up their feces.
When To Climb
As it is true for all climbing in Red Rocks, the question of "when to climb" (or more specifically, "when to climb comfortably") varies from route to route. As an example, Lotta Balls
has a northern exposure thus making it suitable for climbing on warm and hot days.
"When NOT to climb" is easier to answer: DO NOT climb after rain. Give the rock at least 24 hours (or more depending on duration/intensity of the rain) to dry out following a rainy period. According to Swain's guide book, sandstone becomes more brittle when wet.
The "13-mile campground" on NV-SR159 (driving from Vegas, you will see a sign for the campground located on left side of the road before reaching the Red Rocks marker) provides the closest overnight accomodations in the area. There are no reservations except for group sites - first come, first serve basis. In addition to the standard drive-up sites, there are numerous walk in sites (park in the communal parking lot and walk to your tent). The campground charges $10/night for both types of sites (self issued). Despite the proximity to Las Vegas, the campground has a safe feel to it as it is frequently patrolled by the Park Service. The campground has running water and numerous rest rooms. The campsites have picnic tables and fire pits. There are no trees on the premises - the campground is no doubt extremely hot in the summer months.
BLM Red Rock Canyon
National Conservation Area
HCR 33, Box 5500
Las Vegas, Nevada, 89124
Phone: (702) 363-1921
Climbing Rangers at Red Rocks (very nice and helpful):
The Falcon guide to the area, "Rock Climbing Red Rocks" by Swain, is an excellent resource. Contains some pictures of routes, nice approach maps, and great topo's of some of the more popular routes. Swain, however, does mention the fact that he has not climbed any of the routes listed for Mt. Wilson for example.
An out of print guide book by one of the Red Rocks climbing pioneers, Joann Urioste (the little red book) can also be found (was able to buy a used copy of it at Amazon.com
). Urioste talks of routes not mentioned in Swain's book but does not provide much details on many of them. There are no route topo's in her guide book but she does provide some route overview photographs for select routes (including Lotta Balls
Even though some overlap exists between the two guide books, each DOES contain some unique material. For those planning on doing the less popular routes at Red Rocks, Urioste's book is definitely worth having.