Take Highway 95 North from Las Vegas past both the Kyle Canyon Road (Mt. Charleston turnoff) and Lee Canyon Road (turn off for the ski resort). Your turn-off is the Cold Creek turn-off, which will be the third turn-off on the left. It's only a few miles past the Lee Canyon turnoff. There is a huge prison complex on both sides of Cold Creek Road (it is marked as HWY 172 on some detailed maps). DO NOT PICK UP any hitchhikers around this area, there are signs for that on HWY 95.
Follow the road for about 15-20 miles into the small community of Cold Creek. There are no services here.
Stay on the main road until it turns into a dirt road near the base of Bonanza Peak
(the large forested peak to the south). Follow the dirt road to the base of Bonanza Peak. Park here.
About 100 yards or so SW of the parking area you'll see a Mt. Charleston Wilderness sign. This is the start of the Bonanza Trail. Follow this trail for 2.8 miles and you will be on top of the ridge. (Elevation ~9769 feet). You can see Bonanza Peak to your South (Left) and Willow Peak is along the rocky ridgeline to the North. Turn North and follow the ridge line to Willow Peak. You will start doing some rock scrambling and bouldering. There are 4-5 good class 3 sections as you are going along the ridge. Be careful of loose rock and make sure you have a good grip.
You will come accross this window carved natural arch. This is one of the class 3 sections along the way. The ridgeline is mostly treeless due to a large fire some years back. It is trailless too.
The total distance to the summit is 4.4 miles (about 1.6 miles along the ridgeline). To return retrace your steps.
External LinksSomeone's Winter attempt of Willow Peak
A hiker's trip report to the Natural Arch