Sunrise Mountain sets to the east of Nellis Air Force Base near Las Vegas. One can watch the sun rise over it in the morning from North Las Vegas and Nellis AFB. This rarely climbed peak gives one the best birds eye view of Nellis AFB. On the north side of the base resides Nellis AFB Area 2, formerly known as Lake Mead Base. This location stores many nuclear weapons.
Sunrise Mountain is often confused with it’s neighbor to the south, Frenchman Mountain
. Traveling East on Lake Mead Blvd. from I-15 in Las Vegas you will enter a pass. Sunrise Mountain is the small peak on the north side of the pass. Frenchman Mountain is the more prominent peak on the south side of the pass.
Both Sunrise and Frenchman contain Vishnu Schist, some of the oldest rocks in North America, at their base. These rocks date back about 2 billion years in earth’s history.
Sunrise Mountain can best be climbed from October-May. Being at lower elevation it would be extremely hot during the summer months.
From I-15 in Las Vegas, exit at Lake Mead Blvd East (Exit 45B). Drive approximately 8.2 miles to the East up to the pass between Sunrise and Frenchman. There is a parking area on the right (south side of the road). This is by the service road that goes up Frenchman Mtn.
Alternatively one could park at the Albertsons at 6885 E Lake Mead Blvd, just east of Hollywood along Lake Mead BLVD, and hike from here. This would be good if one is more concerned about their vehicle being broken into as it is in a more populated area. Break-ins have been known off the road in this area.
There are some 4WD roads in the area but these roads have been closed to motor vehicles. Be aware of people that go on these roads to dump!
Don't be tempted to drive on the 4WD roads near here. The BLM is cracking down on this.
For more information contact:
Bureau of Land Management
Las Vegas Field Office
4701 North Torrey Pines Drive
Las Vegas, Nevada 89130
If parking on the service road at the base of Frenchman Mountain, cross the highway. You'll then have to hike over the small hills. Once over the hills head north crossing the 4WD road and then start hiking up the ridge for the summit. This will be about 4 miles round trip with about 950 feet of net elevation gain.
If parking at the Albertsons or along Lake Mead BLVD, hike to the base of the mountains along Lake Mead Blvd. Then turn left just before the hills on the north side of the HWY. Hike between the valley between the hills and the south side of Sunrise Mountain. Head for the south ridge and start hiking up to the summit. This will be approximately 6.5 miles roundtrip with about 1,300 feet of elevation gain.
Weather for nearby Nellis AFB
External Links Dynamic Red, White and Blue Display “TRIBUTE TO THE TROOPS” AT NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE IN LAS VEGAS
Flashback History of how Sunrise and Frenchman have been confused
flood basin An article of land near Sunrise
Sunrise Mountain or Frenchman Mountain?
Sunrise Mountain or Frenchman Mountain? Sunrise Mountain or Frenchman Mountain? Link explaining Sunrise Mountain and Frenchman Mountain
Geocache Geocache on Sunrise Mountain