Sheep Peak is the 3rd highest peak of the Sheep Mountains. Lots of reports say it is the 2nd, but studying topigraphic maps, there is a peak that is 9,782 feet to the NE of Hayford.
The Sheep Range is located north of Las Vegas within the Desert National Wildlife Refuge (DNWR)
, the largest wilflife refuge in the lower 48. The refuge contains 6 major mountain ranges. It is home to desert bighorn sheep, mountain lions, diverse desert plants and much more. Joshua trees are common around 4000 feet. Above 6000 feet junipers and big sagebrush are common. Ponderosa pines and white fir dominate the landscape from 7000-9000 feet. Above 9000 feet bristlecone pines exist. The canyons within the Sheep Rage tend to be deep and rugged, many of them difficult to traverse with dry waterfalls.
Sheep Peak is infrequently climbed. The 1st recorded ascent was in 1975. From the summit the Spring Mountains lie to the west, Hayford Peak to the North, Gass Peak and parts of the Las Vegas valley to the south, and much more. Here is a satellite image of Pine Nut Camp in relation to Sheep Peak.
Coming from Las Vegas take HWY 95 north. After passing HWY 157 to Mt. Charleston on the left keep going as you will go under the Snow Mountain overpass. Then you will see a sign for Corn Creek Road on your right at mile marker 101.5 or so. Turn right on Corn Creek Road. (When you reach the Corn Creek Field Station be sure to sign in if they are open; it helps them get more money for the Refuge). Once you reach the Corn Creek turn left (North) on to Alamo Road. Take Alamo Road about 12 miles to Cow Camp Road. Turn right onto Cow Camp road and take it as far as you can (Last part of the road is 4WD. This is the start of the route at 5,750 feet.
I.E. One could also drive to the end of Hidden Forest Road and hike up and stay the night in the Hidden Forest Cabin
. One could hike Hayford Peak one day and Sheep Peak the next, staying over night camping in the Cabin. Hiking from the cabin to Sheep with this route would be about 8 miles round trip and 2500 feet elevation gain.
One other alnertative route would be to climb it from the east side from Pine Nut Camp. This route is about 6 miles round trip with 2900 feet elevation gain. Here's a story from 1971 Sheep Peak 1971
. To get to Pine Nut Camp from Corn Creek Station Turn right onto Alamo Road for 0.3 miles. Then turn Left (East onto Morman Well Rd for 13.7 miles. Then bear Left (North) onto Pine Nut Road for 5.9 miles. From here estimate about 6 miles roundtrip and 2900 feet elevation gain.
Red Tape / Camping
None. There are no concessions (i.e., no gas, lodging, food, campgrounds) on the Wildlife Refuge. Camping is permitted anywhere within 100 feet of a designated road as long is it is not within 1/4 mile of a water source. Campfires are permitted using dead wood.
When to climb
Sheep Peak can be climbed year round.
Climbing during the snow season (November-May) may require lots more effort.
In case of an emergency, call 911 if you have reception on your cell phone (don't count on it though). Refuge headquarters at Corn Creek (702-879-6110), but there might not always be someone there. The main office in Las Vegas during buisiness hours is (702) 646-3401. Otherwise you are on your own. Be prepared and self-sufficeint as this is remote country. Be prepared to survive on your own. This is a hike I recommend to not do solo but if you do, let someone know your agenda.
External Links LVMC Club trip to Sheep in 2003
Trip Report to Sheep Peak
Someone's Adventure to Sheep Peak
Sheep Peak Hike trip report via Wagon Canyon
Desert Naional Wildlife Refuge
Pictures step by step of hiking Sheep Peak via Western Route
Private trip 20-May-95