Sheep Mountain is the prominent mountain rising on the east side of Jean, NV. It can be seen when driving along I-15 on your way to Las Vegas residing behind the state prison at its base on the West side of the mountain. The views from the summit provide excellent views of the McCullough Mountains to the East, the Spring Mountains to the West and Northwest, and many more desert lakes and desert peaks to the south into California.
Also, if hiking this peak on the weekend you might get an airshow. Gliders as well as small planes like to fly and practice around here. You might get buzzed by a glider while summiting this rarely desert climbed peak.
Planes in formation flying by Sheep Mountain.
From Las Vegas, drive south on I-15 to exit 12 at Jean, NV. When you exit the Interstate turn left (East) at the stop. Continue a short distance to a stop sign. Turn left at the stop sign. You will now be on HWY 604 heading north. Drive for 1.6 miles and turn right. After 0.6 miles you will go underneath a Railroad. Continue for another 0.6 miles and then turn right (south) onto a dirt road. Drive for 0.7 miles and park here.
NOTE: Locals come to this area for shooting and target practice.
There is NO RED TAPE to climb Sheep Mountain.
This is on BLM land. Camping is permitted on BLM land as long as you are more than 100 feet from a water source. However, I would not camp here since people like to come and target practice. There are many hotels in Las Vegas about 25 miles to the north. Jean even has a local casino
From the parking area you will see a ridge on the SE side. Once you gain the ridge stay on the ridge as it goes south, southeast. Eventually the ridge widens and opens up. You will be able to see the summit to the south here. Continue south along the widened area of the ridge to a saddle. From the saddle you can turn right and follow the contour of the ridge which eventually heads south to the summit. The last ¼ mile or so to the summit gets a little steep but it is only for a short distance.
Total distance is just over 2 miles with about 1,200 feet of elevation gain.
When to Hike
The best time to hike Sheep Mountain is from Fall-Spring. The summer months at this low elevation would be scorching in heat. If you do hike it in the summer do it early in the day and get it over with, or if you are lucky to get a cool spell that comes through.