Page Type Page Type: Mountain/Rock
Location Lat/Lon: 36.18030°N / 115.4456°W
Additional Information Elevation: 6324 ft / 1928 m
Sign the Climber's Log


Turtlehead Peak, located about 15 miles west of Las Vegas, is the only limestone peak in the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area (RRCNCA). It is also perhaps the most popular hiking peak in Nevada due to it's close proximity to Las Vegas and the fact that it is the only non-technical summit the RRCNCA provides hiking information for. The summit offers stunning views of other nearby desert peaks as well as the city of Las Vegas. In addition to naming all the nearby peaks from the summit, you can also name the nearby casinos ;-)

The 2.5 mile class 1-2 Turtlehead Peak Trail ascends the peak's North Slope and starts at the Sandstone Quarry trailhead (4280') on the Red Rock Scenic Drive (3.0 miles from the Visitor Center). Follow the trail north to a clearing where you will find a sign for Turtlehead Peak and Calico Tanks. Instead of heading directly for the summit, the trail goes northwest through some dry creek beds and climbs up to the saddle to the west of the peak. This is also west of a large creek bed so if you end up in this, just climb west to gain the trail. Once you get to the saddle, the trail to the summit is obvious, heading southeast up the North Slope to the summit for some amazing views. The West Gully is an interesting variation of this standard route.

Getting There

SANDSTONE QUARRY TRAILHEAD: Take NV SR-159 to the Red Rock Canyon Visitor Center. Drive 3.0 miles on the 13-mile Scenic Drive to the Sandstone Quarry Trailhead where there is a parking lot, restrooms, and a trash receptacle.

During busy periods (such as holidays), you may have to park in "overflow" areas marked "No Parking" and on the road itself. While the RRCNCA has been known to be flexible with parking on occasion, don't surprised if you see cars with $175 parking tickets in these undesignated ares.

Red Tape

An entrance fee is required for the RRCNCA and there are many fee options. For 2013 some popular options are: (1) $7 per car, (2) $30 for an annual pass, or (3) $80 for a America The Beautiful Interagency Pass.

When To Climb

This peak can be climbed year round. During the late spring and summer it can get very hot and there is little shade along the route so be prepared. During the winter, there is occasionally snow, but it doesn't last long so if you find it, enjoy it :-)


Camping is not allowed in the RRCNCA and the hike is so short that camping isn't necessary, however, if you want ot stay in the area he "13-Mile Campground" is located just 2 miles east of the Visitor Center on NV SR-159. This is an improved BLM site that includes picnic tables, grills, water and toilets, however, no RV hookups are available. Permits are required and available by calling (702) 647-5050. Reservations are available for groups only. You can also get more information by contacting the RRCNCA listed under the Mountain Conditions Section.

Mountain Conditions

BLM RRCNCA Weather Page

You can also contact the BLM RRCNCA:

BLM Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area
HCR 33, Box 5500
Las Vegas, Nevada, 89124
Phone: (702) 363-1921

External Links

Additions and CorrectionsPost an Addition or Correction

Viewing: 1-2 of 2

odogg0824 - Feb 2, 2008 1:05 am - Voted 9/10

Minor Addition

This is a good page and without it I may not have searched out this peak during my short trip to Vegas. I thought I might add for those out there who are novices like me, going up Turtlehead the term "trail" should be used very loosely. After your initial approach to the gully, the trail can seemingly split into several directions if not vanish altogether. To get to the top be prepared to get creative and just keep pushing carefully upward to the saddle/ridge and then to the summit. As the creator of this page mentioned stay west of the dry creekbed as you head up and keep this in mind on the way down as well.


Alpinist - Apr 8, 2016 8:16 pm - Hasn't voted

Broken links

The 2 BLM links on this page need to be updated.

Viewing: 1-2 of 2



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