This was the first summit for my 5.5 month old Golden Retriever. Many more to come. It was 8.5 miles rountrip with 1,800' total elevation gain on a beautiful day. The volcanic rock sucks.
In the morning, Kimberly, Kessler, Shaylee, and I headed for Lava Butte near Las Vegas and climbed it since I thought it looked interesting from a distance. We hiked the north ridge up. It was a good hike and the views were really good. It was a warm day.
After climbing Lava Butte, we headed for the Valley of Fire. We hiked the Elephant Rock Trail, Mouse's Tank Trail, and the Rainbow Trail. It would have been nice to hike some more trails, but the park closes at sunset, so we didn't have time.
Went up the northeast ridge for 2.5 miles round trip. 2 more nearby peaklets in the afternoon.
I enjoyed this peak a lot more than I anticipated. It's a quick but challenging scramble to the top -- less than an hour needed, but a leg-burner most of the way. The summit offers surprisingly spectacular views in all directions. It was oddly hot for February (mid- to high 70s) but it was perfect once I reached the top. I hung around for more than an hour, walked the ridge south to get a better view of Lake Las Vegas, and just kicked back and enjoyed the late afternoon sun and the endless stream of helicopters and planes heading into the city. Great afternoon hike that I'll definitely do again.
Quick short morning outing before work.
Pics and commentary are here.
Nice hike up hard rock. Came from the Northern Lake Mead rd and found a workable NW face.
Somehow I've never been up Lava Butte before, because I was always in a hurry to go somewhere else.
Today I was driving back from Lake Mead at 1 PM, and thought, "Hey! Why not!? Too bad I have no idea where I'm going!"
I took a route on the steep W side of the peak. Made it to the top in 30 m, but HAD to travel fast to keep from sliding backwards into oblivion. Amazingly, there was a very faint herd path much of the way. Built some small cairns.
As loose as that was, I took a worse route down.
I guess I should have read the SP instructions BEFORE the hike! Doh!
Well deciding I needed a little challenge for my weekend hike I decided to do Lava Butte. This has been on my so-called to do list for sometime now.
If you've ever been out to Lake Mead then more likely than not you've seen this little mountian.
After a couple of wrong turns down some dirt roads we eventually found the correct dirt road and ended up near the base of the mountain. Here's a little tip...if you plan to do this hike follow the powerline road. It'll take you right to the base of the mountain.
We approached the North side of the mountain and decided to drive on a bit so we could also have a look at the South side.
I wanted to see which side looked the easiest to climb. I decided the North side looked the easiest so back down the road we went.
The approach from the South side saves you a couple hundred feet or so in elevation but it looked much steeper and had more cliffs.
Although a longer climb, the North approach seemed to have a more gentle approach to the summit.
So after parking the truck and gearing up off we went. Me, Sherry and my ever faithful hiking companion Hobo...that's my dog.
Initially we thought we'd hike to a saddle then take the ridge up to the summit. On our approach I noticed a ravine that was in the shade. Since I hate hiking in the sun we opted to try the ravine.
I thought that it did look like it might be a bit harder, but at least we'd be in the shade.
A little harder was probably an understatement. This ravine we climbed up was filled with lots of loose rocks and was extremely steep. I was hiking ahead of Sherry and had to be careful as to which rocks I held onto and stepped onto as I didn't want to send a rock plumiting back towards her.
I would guess the ravine we chose went half up the 1000 ft that we had to climb. We managed to get to the top of the ravine with no serious injurys.
In hindsight the ravine was probably a bad idea. I probably should have just sucked it up and dealt with the sun.
I think that had it been overcast the ridgline would definatly been the better choice and much, much easier.
Climbed Lava Butte on April 9, 2006. I didn't do the route documented on here or in "Hiking SOuthern Nevada." I scrambled straight up. It took about 50 minutes, it was very tough. The route I took is in my picture I attached titled "the route I took." I went straight up to the point where there are 3 boulders together, then hiked up to the next big saddle about 30 feet or so up, then to the summit. I took a different route down that was safer and struggled to find my vehicle, had to rely on my GPS. That took almost 2 hrs. My suggestions is to watch your step and to wear long pants. I wore shorts and got lots of scratches on my legs. Drink lots of water too, this is a nice short but good scramble that will make you sweat. The views though are amazing. You can see Gass Peak, Hayford, the Muddy Mountains to the East, Lake Mead, Lake Las Vegas, Frenchman, the Spring Mountains, Downtown Las Vegas, Red Rock, Mt. Potosi, and much more. Very Rewarding Views!!
I biked out Vegas Valley Drive from Pecos/Harmon area of Las Vegas. After biking up Lava Butte Road, I ditched the bike before the road got too steep and I hiked up from the east side. Only thing I would have done different is take more water.
A nice short dayhike, great for introducing people to hiking.