Hiked around back here five days earlier on President's Day, and though I ultimately was really close to the summit, I had to turn back due to the hour of the day. Climbing up Sunrise requires a bit of route-finding, and being local, I'm glad I had a chance to come back after studying some photos and reading a few more descriptions. It's a "lumpy" mountain with a lot of peaklets and washes (and no trail at all) so it's best to have a firm idea of where you're going beforehand.
Anyway, this time I made it up pretty quickly from the Lake Mead Blvd. pass. It was insanely hot, nearly 80 degrees with no breeze, in February. Worth it though. Judging by the summit register, not many people hit this peak -- a couple in December, and only one other person in 2012 so far (in early January). The constant roar of air force jets and the firing of guns from the police firing range is a bit annoying, but the land is beautiful (especially once you start scaling up from the desert floor between the hills and the base of Sunrise) and the views are very nice in all directions.
Enjoyable scramble on a nice cool clear winter day.
Pics/Trip Report here.
I chose an unfortunate parking spot that added a few miles to my trip, but the ascent and descent of the peak turned out to be enjoyable and some of the wash walking was also a lot of fun.
Left home at 6:55 AM and was on top at 8:15 AM. I was back home again at 9:35 AM. I ascended (and descended) via the wash that intersects the 4X4 road southeast of the peak. On the way up I followed the wash west, then northwest, then north, then southwest to reach the peak/highpoint. On the way up I found a huge aluminum oilpan-lookin-object with the bottom blown out of it and I left it on top covering one of the telephone pole stumps. Lots of hardware scattered around the top and upper end of the wash.
After work. 1.5 hours car-to-car.
I set out to climb this mountain along with 4 other folks. Having scouted out this area the previous week I knew there was no way to get very close to the mountain as all the 4x4 roads that go to the base of it have no trespassing signs everywhere. I've also heard that the road we wanted to park on this week was reported to have a rash of vehicle break ins lately. It seems when hikers park their vehicles to go on a hike and then return that their vehicles have often been broken into. So to avoid this we had a friend drop us off and picked us up when we were finished. We were dropped off near the Natural Arch shown on the topo map I've uploaded.
The initial hike up and over the saddle by the Natural Arch then across the desert to the base of the mountain is a enjoyable hike.
Coming down the backside of the saddle one enters a wash which you can follow almost all the way to the 4x4 road you see on the topo map.
The wash resembles a small slot canyon in a of couple sections and you'll run across a couple of dry waterfalls that aren't more then 3 or 4 ft high.
The climb up the first canyon to the saddle near hill 2938 on the topo map isn't to bad. Although you'll be traversing the typical rough volcanic rock you find in this region. You might want to wear gloves as the rocks can be sharp. Watch wear you sit. These rocks can shred your pants in no time.
From the first saddle we followed the terrain around to the base of the summit gradually climbing as we went. This section was pretty easy.
At the saddle before the climb to the summit we ran across a unique structure. Somebody spent some time attempting to build a rock structure. Looks like they never finished it.
Climbing up to the saddle at the south of the summit it gets a bit steeper. The last 600 ft to the summit from the saddle is pretty steep. It's probably the steepest part of the hike but it's pretty short.
Once you gain the summit ridgeline what appears on the topo map to be a nice easy stroll over to the summit is actually a very steep rocky edge you have to make your way across. You really want to watch your step over this section. One false step could send you plummeting a couple hundred feet. This was the only section where I felt the need to strap my dog onto her leash so I could have a little more control over her.
We checked out the remnants of a beacon that use to be on this mountain top. Not much left of it.
The hike down wasn't to bad. We took a lot of photos and just enjoyed ourselves.
We did run into a sidewinder on the way out. This surprised us as these reptiles usually aren't out and about in February.
We started the hike at 10:22 AM and finished at 4:00 PM. So 5 1/2 hours round trip. A bit longer then I thought it would take us. But we really took our time and took a lot of photos. Plus we probably spent around 45 minutes on the summit.